Dr. Erin Gilbert is a practicing dermatologist in New York City. Here, she explains what you should do if you’re going to pop a pimple at home. Following is a transcript of the video.
Dr. Erin Gilbert: Well, step one with pimples is that everybody wants to touch them. In my practice — and I completely understand. You want to get in there, you want to touch it. You want to make it go away. So, number one is restraint.
I’m Dr. Erin Gilbert and I’m a dermatologist practicing in New York City
Try to exercise restraint because it’s going to heal so much faster if you don’t get in there and start traumatizing it.
If you have gone down the dark path and you haven’t listened to what I’m saying, it’s understandable. We all do it. We all just want them gone. We think if we do more it’s going to get better and in fact, less is more in this kind of scenario. What you really should do is try the best you can to just not aggravate it more. You want to minimize what you’re doing to that area of skin. You’ve inflamed it, in some cases you’ve caused a scratch on the surface of the skin. And so there’s a few things that are important.
One of them is you can sort of cool the area down and you can use something like an ice cube. Just put a little piece of ice in either a paper towel or a washcloth. You can put that on and cool down the redness and cool down the inflammation. Another thing is you can use cucumber the same way. You can put cucumber in the fridge, get it nice and cold, and apply it to the area that you’ve been picking at.
Finally, the thing you want to just be careful about is make sure that it’s not getting infected. So, what you can do is, if you see that it’s getting red, inflamed, and kind of getting worse and worse and worse, you really should consider using an antibiotic ointment in that area. So, the last thing you want is to have an enormous, inflamed, infected pimple which is going to last you a lot longer and leave a greater red mark.