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“Popping pimples is bad for your skin:” advice commonly ignored by teenagers and acne-ridden adults. Squeezing and picking at zits might seem like a quick solution to getting rid of those tiny raised bumps, but doing so can actually result in long-term damage.

Pimples are caused when dead skin cells block the pores prohibiting sebum, the oil made from the skin, from being released. This buildup results in a blackhead or whitehead. Acne is one of the most common inflammatory dermatological conditions amongst teenagers, and for adults with certain hormonal imbalances, taming acne outbreaks can be lifelong struggle.

Putting pressure on pimples can make the affected area even worse. Popping spreads the bacteria and causes more inflammation. Once the redness decreases, what was once a pimple might turn into a serious scar. "Having a professional help you with your acne lesion is important, because sterile equipment and expertise are utilized to prevent unnecessary scarring," Julia Tzu, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist told Seventeen.

Pimples exist on their own timeline, and will eventually disappear in around a week without leaving a trace. The white or yellowish pus will also dissolve on its own.

Preventing acne outbreaks requires sticking to a well-balanced diet with a low glycemic index, such as nuts, legumes, fish, and vegetables. Acne isn’t a surface-level problem, and those who are prone to pimples should stick to a simplistic face-washing regimen, and avoid excessive exfoliating and scrubbing. Using oil-free beauty products, soap, sunscreen, and silicone-based hair products will keep irritating zits at bay.

Most importantly, if a pimple emerges, distract yourself, and keep your hands away from your face.

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