Let’s get one thing straight: you should not pick at your zits to begin with. “But if you have sensitive skin and your squashing you are skin with your finger nails — even if they’re wrapped in a tissue,” it’s a major problem, Dr. Wechsler warned. “People come into [my office] all the time, and the pimple is still there, but around it is rough, raw, dry, and infected skin.”
If you have a pimple and you believe it has to be popped, she proposes to take two cotton swabs and gently, evenly apply pressure on the sides. “If it’s not ready, it won’t pop,” she said. “You cannot hurt yourself with Q-Tips. They’ll break if you push too hard, and they’re soft and clean. People don’t stop when they use their fingers until they get blood.”
You can buy some over-the-counter acne products, but avoid anything with benzoyl peroxide. “The two active ingredients approved by the FDA for over-the-counter are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid,” she explained. “So it’s safer to stick with salicylic acid. If a salicylic acid product isn’t working for you in a few weeks, then you really need to see a dermatologist.”
If you live in NYC and would like to book an appointment with Dr. Wechsler, then visit her website.