Korean Skincare Guide: Pimple PoppingPosted on 22/10/2018
To pop or not to pop? That is the question!
[By Biscuits & Makeup] Monday, 22 October 2018
Before we find out why popping our pimples may be an extremely bad idea, we need to know a few things first. When those pesky pimples come to the surface of your face, we are all tempted to give it a good pop to get rid of it. Naturally, we abandon our moral obligation to our skin and submit to our urges. But not always is that a smart idea. Popping a pimple (no matter how good or satisfying it feels) may create more harm than good. In our latest blog post, we revealed to you our ultimate skincare guide to treating your acne. Now, we will be educating you on how to understand your acne better and why popping your pimples may not be the answer! Read on to find out the secrets. It may surprise you.
What’s inside a pimple?
Have you ever wondered what gunk is coming out of your pimples? A disgusting thought to have but without knowing what’s inside our pimple, we can never truly find a solution to treat our acne.
Generally, our pimples are like pockets that holds oils, dead skills cells, debris and bacteria (and even yellow fluids as a response to fighting the infection or bacteria in the pores of your skin). But as you would have experienced, not every pimple is the same. What’s inside a pimple is dependent on what type of pimples you have. Here’s a complete breakdown of the common type of acne you may come across.
Types of Acne
By first understanding the different types of pimples or forms of acne that you have and how they appear on your skin, then you can truly make the right decision to pop a pimple or to treat it with the appropriate Korean skincare products that work best for you. Acne appears differently from person to person and it may be more severe in some people than in others.
Acne is said to form numerous kinds of skin blemishes and each of them have a defining appearance or symptom. By analysing these traits, you can identify which type of acne you have. In our previous post, we had mentioned that there are two types of acne; inflammatory and non-inflammatory but there are also levels of acne. These are categorised into: mild, intermediate and severe. Professionally, your dermatologist will categorise them based on “grade” going from I to IV.
These types of acne are non-inflammatory acne lesions. They are the least painful and are the easiest to treat out of the three types. They do not swell and are generally not painful at all. You can easily find products on the shelf or even use home remedies to treat the mild acne that you have.
Blackhead and whiteheads are one of the most common acne on all skin types. These are comedones that appear on the skin and are filled with a build-up of excess oils and dead skill cells. There is a common misconception that the colour of the heads determines how “dirty” the comedones are. This is not true! The colour of the heads is the result of the comedones being exposed to oxygen. Since whiteheads remain under the surface of the skin, it is white. But as blackheads peek through the skin and are exposed to the environment, they turn black. This is due to the irregular reflection of light coming from the clogged pores that turn them to that colour.
2. Sebaceous Filaments
Sebaceous filaments are commonly mistaken for blackheads. These are actually not a type of acne but are natural oils within the pores produced by your skin to protect the hair follicles. They appear most around your nose, cheeks, chin or wherever you have fine hairs. Though they are not a type of acne, if not properly looked after, it would turn into acne.
These are categorised as a type of inflammatory acne. This type of acne is a little harder to get rid of and has a higher pain level than your common non-inflammatory comedones. These take a little longer to treat.
Papules are nasty little pinkish-red bumps on the skin. They are formed when a non-inflammatory comedones becomes inflamed or infected. Papules may be very sensitive and slightly hard when touched. They normally appear in clusters on your skin and they are the biggest indicators that your skin is unwell. These need immediate attention or else it may worsen and turn into severe acne.
Pustules are also known as a whitehead surrounded by a hot-red ring. They are typically filled with white or yellow pus and are the common types of pimples you see on nerds in movies. Because they are inflamed, they are very painful to have on the skin and if not treated, more will appear very quickly. They may even develop into severe acne as well, starting with one to many.
Nodules are large, inflamed, red mountains that have a dark top. They are sensitive and firm to touch and are very deep within the skin. Typically larger than papules and pustules, nodules are quite painful to be on the skin, especially when they are larger in size. They also contain pus and dirty oils. Depending on the number of nodules that lie on the skin, nodules can either be an intermediate or severe acne indicators.
Last but certainly not the least, severe acne is the hardest acne to get rid of. No matter what products you buy, this type of acne won’t go away that easily. You would need the help of a doctor to know the exact cause of your severe acne and to know what ingredients are right for you to treat it. It may even be an imbalance with your hormones that could be the problem and some medication would fix you right up. Or, it could be something completely different!
This type of acne is the most famous on the internet. It is most famous for being extracted and is known to be satisfying to watch. Cysts are large, pus-filled lesions that are slightly yellow in colour and thicker in texture – almost like a thick custard. They are very deep within the skin, causing an indent deep in the skin and are very painful to touch. The size indicates how long it has dwelled and developed in the skin. They must be treated by a certified doctor!
7. Nodulocystic Acne
As you can tell by its name, nodulocystic acne is a combination of inflamed cysts and nodules that appear all over the face and body. They are red in colour and at times even purple if the acne has bruised or infected the skin. This type of acne is a huge indicator that there is something wrong inside your body and you need immediate medical attention. They are commonly the most confusing to treat due to its nature and not one product could be the solution to this type of acne. These leave scars and take a very long time to heal.
8. Severe Papules/Pustules Acne
Imagine if a singular papule and pustule gathered their friends to have a red-raging party and never left your face. This is what we call severe papule/pustule acne. If the singular papule/pustule was left untreated or it has been tampered with, it becomes worse in nature and grows in clusters. The bacteria spreads widely around the affected areas and it continues to grow (varying in size) if not treated.
To Pop or not to Pop?
Now that you know more about the different types of acne, you can answer the ultimate question: “To pop or not to pop that pimple?” That is the question! We have diligently researched and heavily explored the vast majority of research articles to give you a definite answer. The general rule of thumb is “don’t pop it, treat it”.
When you pop or squeeze a pimple, it does feel extremely satisfying and liberating to finally get rid of what has been causing you grief. However after all fun is over, you are left with a red, irritated mess that you can’t get rid of. For those who are heavy-handed, it may even cause friction, abrasions or damage to the skin. These are even more impossible to treat.
Another reason why pimple popping is a bad idea is that the affected acne area is already exposed to bacteria and the like; therefore, you do not want to introduce more into the mix. This is done when you pick or pop it with your dirty fingers. Even if you wash your hands, chances are you still have some dirt, oil or bacteria left under the finger nail.
And let’s not forget that when you pop a pimple, the gunk has the potential to spread even further. When you squeeze the pimple, you are putting pressure underneath the skin for the pus, bacteria or yellow fluid to travel to an unaffected area. When you finally get the pimple to pop, the gunk explodes and lands on a different part of your skin and this disperses bacteria and may cause you to have further outbreaks of acne. This also applies to cold sores, lipomas, cystic acne and so on. You should not take the risk of causing more harm to your skin. Rather, use the power of skincare to help you treat your acne. If your acne still persists, you should seek the help of a doctor to find a solution for your skin.
Korean Skincare Recommendations
Some of Korea’s best skincare products truly do wonders for treating acne. But remember, education is key to achieving healthy skin.
Here are some of our recommendations for treating your acne and maintaining healthy skin as well;
- Some by Mi “AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner”
- COSRX “Two in One Poreless Power Liquid” (review here)
- COSRX “Acne Pimple Master Patch”
- Pyunkang Yul “Acne Cream”
- Pyunkang Yul “Acne Spot Cream” (Full review coming soon!)
- COSRX “AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner”
- Neogen “Bio Peel Gauze”
- COSRX “Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser”
- Jart+ Cicapair Re-Cover
- Jart+ Cicapair Serum
- Dear Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
We hope this article has given you a better insight to your acne and has taught you a valuable lesson in treating your pimples. Remember, “don’t pop it, treat it!”.
In our next blog post, we are going to reveal to our exclusive “Let’s Face It” family the secret ingredients to help you treat and maintain oily/acne prone skin! Keep up to date with our new blog post by following us on Instagram at @letsfaceitaus and @biscuitsnmakeup.
Read Part III of this series, Korean Skincare Guide: Best Ingredients For Acne Prone Skin.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This blog post is written by Biscuits n Makeup – a talented beauty & skincare blogger based in Sydney. To find out more about Biscuits n Makeup and to see her product review blogs on both Western and Korean beauty brands, visit her blog here. If you love all things makeup & skincare related, be sure to give her Instagram account a follow (@biscuitsnmakeup)!
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