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Is picking at my pimples really bad for my skin?

Do you think once we get the contents of the pimple out, the pimple will go away and our skin will heal? The reality is that picking does not solve the problem and the result of the act will often leave us with acne scarring. In fact there is a medical name for the type of acne that occurs from the constant picking at or squeezing the lesions (i.e. a mark in the skin), it is called acne excoriée.

It is good to know that picking makes matters only worse, i.e. the scarring that is left behind. No matter how much we wash our hands, bacteria still exists on our hands and under our nails and will transfer to our facial skin. Also, picking or squeezing at will irritate the surrounding skin to some extent and has to heal itself. Again, this make us feel like there is a hard substance under the skin from the scab that forms, or from the scarring process within the skin that is trying to recover.

What is the solution then? The solution is to treat the acne with appropriate acne medications and to avoid touching the lesions at any cost. Also, our dermatologist can help us extract the contents of the pimples, or inject the lesions with a dilute solution of cortisone (i.e. anti-inflammatory drug often used to inhibit allergic reactions or to treat severe inflammation) to help individual lesions resolve more quickly. The result of this will be, as the acne lesions heal and fewer new pimples occur, our skin will feel naturally smoother and will look healthier as well.

We may not aware that there are several processes involved for acne to happen. For instance, the part that causes the acne and the part that heals the acne. In active acne, there is the follicular plug (i.e. blockage of the opening of the follicles and is one of the first steps in all types of acne), the comedo and some degree of inflammation. This can feel hard (usually last for days or even weeks) and tempted us to pick, squeeze or scratched it repeatedly. On the other hand, the healing part often make us feel like there is a bump or somewhat hard substance under the skin, this can last from weeks to months too.

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