Acne Positivity – don’t pop those pimples!

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Stop picking, popping, poking your pimples!

I know, it's sort of like eating the whole bag of potato chips...we all know we aren’t supposed to do it, and yet, the temptation is SO STRONG! So…how do you stop?

Start with choosing an alternative activity!

  • Ideas might be unwrapping a mint or a piece of gum to chew.
  • Taking 3 slow deep breaths.
  • Tapping the inside of your wrist with your index and middle finger.

Secondly, choose a “why” to remind yourself you want to stop picking at your spots. Speak to yourself kindly with intention and develop a strategy!

  • It could be something like, “I want to help my skin heal and it won’t if I am introducing new bacteria with my fingers.” OR
  • “ I want to help prevent a dark marks or scar by not increasing the trauma to my skin.”

To help with strategy development, dive deeper into your habit. Pay attention to when/where/why you are tempted to pick and pop. For example, if you normally find yourself tempted to pick right after you wash your face and spend a moment looking in the mirror, instead replace that after face washing pimple-popping time with another habit. Maybe a facial muscle massage or a focus on moving straight to flossing or using mouthwash.  If you tend to pick and pop when you feel nervous or anxious, replace that pick and popping habit with a fidget toy, play with a necklace or other piece of jewelry you are wearing, or click a pen instead.

Now, I know you might be thinking, “but doctors do it?! Some are famous for it! Is it that bad? Why can’t I?” Well, you know that saying “leave it to the pros?” That is some sage and safe advice when it comes to popping pimples at home. A doctor who is working to “pop” a pimple has sterile tools, perfect technique, and a lot of know-how. And they are not really popping the pimple at all, they are extracting it because the physics of truly popping a pimple pushes some of that pimple goo outside which can be really satisfying, but it also pushes some of it deeper into the pore which can cause even more problems.  Where a dermatologist might be able to help reduce swelling and start healing, you might accidentally introduce new bacteria, create more inflammation, and even scarring as well as making the dark marks that hang around after a pimple is gone even worse. A pimple can heal more easily, quickly, and completely if left alone.  And we know you can do it!

By using these strategies or mixing them up with some ideas of your own, we hope you can work on stopping that popping. Consider rewarding yourself with something you enjoy after 7 days of no picking! After all your skin deserves your kindness because you were made a masterpiece.

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