There have been many mornings when I wake up with a whitehead, blackhead, or pimple that I so desperately want to squeeze into oblivion. I know better than that; we all do. Still, listen to your mother when she told you, “Don’t touch your face!” Not only can picking, popping, or prodding at blemishes lead to scarring, but it can make the infection worse by pushing bacteria deeper into your skin.
According to Dr. Gross, we get acne scars when too much collagen forms a wound on your skin as it tries to heal. A particularly bad pimple can leave skin wounded and cause scarring without your intervention, so intentionally messing with them is a major no-no.
Ildi Pekar has seen hundreds of clients come in who have caused themselves scarring due to improperly trying to extract blemishes on their own. “With the wrong angle and improper pressure, you can break capillaries, which can cause lasting redness and form scars that take a lot of time to heal.” She recommended applying a hot compress to the spot and calling your esthetician for a professional extraction.
Even when it feels like a whitehead is taunting you, just remember: patience is a virtue. Severe breakouts can take eight to ten weeks to heal, while pimples can take two to four weeks. Picking will only prolong the healing process and can leave a lot of damage in its wake.