We all have those pimples that rear up in what seems to be the exact same spot, sometimes even right after they ve just finally healed up. Sometimes it pops up on cue at that time of your cycle or just when you were praying for
before a big event. The fact is, even blackheads come back after regular professional pore purging sessions. Why? б Because is complicated. ItБs always БonБ and needs diligent round-the-clock stalking to keep it balanced and blemish free. The number one reason that pimples seem to have a built in GPS is not due to friction from your favorite fedora, pore-clogging cosmetics, the wrong dietary choices, twitchy gland receptors, or fluctuating hormones (although these all play a major role), itБs our own habits that are the main offenders. LetБs break down how your actions keep that pimple rolling on back. Touching: A few things transpire when you mess with a papule or even a blackhead for that matter. Firstly, your fingers and nails not only transfer dirt and bacteria but stimulate blood flow to the area. link that alone can stimulate more skin cells and sebum to be produced in , which leads to more blockages and more blockages lead to more breakouts. Scientists are now not sure what comes first Б the inflammation or the pimple (kind of like the chicken or the egg scenario) Б but what they do agree on is that inflammation is bad and pimples donБt clear up until the inflammation is gone. Picking: Picking can also spread acne bacteria to an adjacent follicle, so basically the pore next door now becomes a pimple. Picking off a scab just opens up newly healed skin tissue to the outside world thatБs chock full of airborne bacteria, dirt, and viruses, so the whole begins again and many times results in an angrier pustule than what you had prior. Squeezing: When you get two forefingers in for a good olБ squeeze with the goal of excavating your pimpleБs contents, you run the risk of breaking the side of the follicle (pore). YouБll know it when you see clear fluids and blood Б this is a major no-no as it increases the scarring risk. When bacteria spills out into a deeper layer of the skin (the dermis), it is majorly unwelcomed and your white blood cells swoop in to clean up the mess.
To help the white blood cells get to the bacteria fast, structural fibers get broken down and this is what results in indentations and icepick scars. This internal cleanup also results in your skin trying to contain and force the bacteria out to protect you, which is when that non-inflamed bump now becomes a full blown painful pustule. For some people, that bacteria and damaged cell debris becomes a nodule or cyst, which spells Бserious issueБ and medical intervention will need to be considered. Alternative idea: Since telling you not to pick is as pointless as telling you not to text, letБs keep it real and like some other practices, teach you how to be safe. The rule is this: If itБs inflamed, sore, and red, leave it alone. If itБs a blockage or blackhead, you can extract it but thereБs a right way and a wrong way to do so. Prep your skin first by showering or washing your face to soften skin and increase pliability. Next use a (look for ingredients like rice bran, fruit enzymes, and salicylic acid) to help lift away dead cells that block the follicle opening and help your impaction to ease out without needing excessive force. Make sure hands are very clean and nails are short, and better yet, and tightly wrap Kleenex around your forefingers (remember to swap out for fresh Kleenex as you go to avoid spreading the bacteria). For inflamed pimples, a bacteria controlling and soothing can be dabbed on frequently using a Q-tip for utmost hygienic delivery. Look for one or two of these pimple fighting ingredients: sulfur, niacinamide, lactobacillus ferment (healthy bacteria to banish the bad kind), colloidal silver (also super healing), azelaic acid and soothing green tea, tea tree, and licorice. Keep in mind that comedones (the main sign of acne, consisting of a dilated (widened) hair follicle filled with cell debris, bacteria, and sebum) and breakouts are different types of lesions Б one is inflamed and dangerous, the other not so much, and not all comedones become pimples, but pimples can start out as comedones.
Seeing a skin pro is the best way to learn about your lesions so you can practice safe skin acts. We can help clear up breakouts before they turn into scars and are there for life. б Annet King is the director of global education forб б andб Related: It seems truly unfair that after dealing with an especially aggressive zit, diligently spot-treating it and handling it with the care of a surgeon for days and days on end, that another zit should pop back up in the same exact spot, just months, or even weeks, later. Like, why? What cruel force of nature allows pimples to keep resurfacing like a bad Tinder date that canБt take a hint? And how the hell do you prevent it from coming back? MORE: These arenБt rhetorical questions, mind you. I genuinely wantedБno, needed Бto know, seeing as the hormonal zit on my jaw had gone from a four-day visitor to a permanent squatter over the last few months. So I asked Yale dermatologist and VPP (Very Patient Person) Mona Gohara, who I have on speed-dial for skin БemergenciesБ like these. Her answer? ItБs only partially your fault, and thereБs definitely ways to fix it. YAY! БIf weБre talking about your classic, raised pimple with a visible whitehead, then chances are, it was spread by you picking at your skin or popping a nearby pimple at some point,Б says Gohara. (DonБt even try to tell me that you never pop your pimples or touch your face, OK? ) БEach time you pop your zits or try to squeeze them at all, you transmit bacteria into your other pores, while also causing inflammation in the surrounding tissue,Б she says. DoesnБt sound like a huge deal, but when you consider the fact that inflammation is already a big cause of acne, youБre essentially throwing fuel onto the fire. And, says Gohara, the inflammation and bacteria spreading is made a billion times worse if youБve already been using acne-killing products on the area. БWhen someone has a pimple, they tend to douse it with a ton of irritating, drying spot treatments, which weakens their skinБs barrier and compromises their good, healthy cells,Б she notes.
БAnd when you irritate an already-compromised skin barrier and throw a bunch of bacteria into it from picking and squeezing, youБre pretty much asking for re-occurring breakouts. Б But letБs pretend that youБve never once touched your face, and you never put any zit creams on your pimples, and you also exist in an ethereal cloud of perfection, and your zits still come back in the same spotБthen what? БThereБs a theory that some sebaceous glands on certain parts of your face are simply more susceptible to hormonal changes and fluctuations in oil productions,Б says Gohara, adding that people with recurrent cystic pimples on their jaw and chin may fall into this category. БIf your cystic acne seems especially tied to your hormones, then the only way to fix the issue is to eliminate the hormonal cause, which means working with your doctor to try Accutane or oral hormone stabilizers. Б OKБcool. But you already knew that you should be talking about your acne with your derm, right? You just want to know what you can do right now, at home, to fix this shit from happening again. WeБre going to be really honest, though, and say that nothing you apply topically will be as effective as what your derm will prescribe you. As long as youБre cool with those odds, you can still try to mitigate re-occurring zits by treating the area nightly with a lightweight salicylic acid (which gently exfoliates and unclogs pores), like l, then dabbing a sheer, sheer layer of benzoyl peroxide (which kills acne-causing bacteria), like, every other day on the exact spot you last had a zit. If your skin gets irritated, though, stop using them for at least four days, or youБll cause a compromised skin barrier, extra inflammation, and, of course, more acne. Fun, right? But at least you can stop feeling like a crazy person the next time you see a zit appear in literally the exact same spot as before, and thatБs almost as satisfying as having clear skin. OK, itБs not at all, but itБs still something. MORE: Pin It!