3 Reasons To Stop Picking At Your Face

August 18, 2017

I am guilty of picking my face for quite a while because of my acne, and when I say picking I really mean: picking, popping, scratching, lacerating, poking (needles, toothpicks..whatever.) And although I am STILL guilty of popping a pimple that has come to a complete head, I have learned that I did most of these things because it is the ONLY way I felt I had control over my situation.

When I stopped touching my face and tried to just leave my acne alone I found it really helped clear it up. I no longer had such flakey skin, my makeup applied easier, and my face was basically just a cleaner environment.

Here are 3 reasons to stop picking at your face.


We all have heard about the gross things that are lurking under our fingernails and on our hands. It’s no secret that we never completely get everything off. It is said that there could be up to half of a million different types of bacteria on our hands at any given time. When we pick our face it can lead to an open wound or scab, if you continue touching that area you are letting even more acne-causing bacteria back into it. This in itself can stunt the healing process, scabs are our body’s way of healing the wound, try not to pick it off!

Picking at Pimples Can Worsen the Inflammation

I have recently learned a different concept about popping pimples. To me, popping them felt like I was releasing the icky stuff from my pores. I thought that the only way to get rid of a pimple was to pop it because how else was it going to get out? This theory suggests that in fact, when you pop a pimple only a portion of the ‘icky stuff’ is coming out, and the rest of it is being lodged deeper down into the pore. I think that this makes a lot of sense when you think about it, there are two sides to a pimple, so with the pressure of popping the zit, it is probably not all shooting outward. This theory really helped me to stop popping everything that appeared on my face because I don’t want to clog my pore any further than they already are.

Prolongs Healing Of Acne

Our skin is truly an amazing healer all on its own. I know that we often need help from different products, doctors, and treatments to keep our skin healthy. But, when we are picking at our already disturbed skin we are really not helping the process, it knows what it’s doing.

A scab is a barrier to protect the wound from bacteria and other harmful things that it may come in contact with. How awesome is it that our body has the capability to create its own band-aid? Sometimes when we try to be our own dermatologist and try to perform our own operations such as lacerating, poking, or popping your acne we are instead going against our bodies own process of curing these issues.

I always secretly knew that picking at my face was not doing me any good, but in a way, at least for me because I'm a pop-a-holic it always gave me some sort of satisfaction. While there are definite reasons to stop picking at your face, I am just as stubborn to follow my urge.

Of course, there are always special exceptions to this advice if your doctor or dermatologist ever tells you to pop or ‘pick’ something there may be a good reason for it, but if there is they’ll probably do it themselves with sanitary tools. A good alternative to picking can be to use a hot compress to release pressure from a cyst or zit. I use a wash rag under hot water and hold it to the cyst until the rag becomes cool, and repeat as necessary.

Tips To Stop Popping Pimples

During my acne journey, one of the hardest things I had to deal with was resisting the urge in popping pimples.

Everyone tells you that you shouldn’t pop your pimples and if you do pop them the problem will multiply. The truth is, all those things are true and I knew that, but I still would find myself constantly squeezing my pimples. Because everybody tells you shouldn't pop your pimples I am not going to just be the record on repeat, rather I want to help you and give you tips that I found helped me to stop popping pimples.

Put A Sticky Note Reminder Not To Pop It!

The first tip is to put a sticky note on all the mirrors that you frequently use. Make the notes somewhat aggressive and maybe list all the bad things that will happen when you pop your pimples. The more aggressive and harsh it is, the more likely you are to listen to it and stop popping those pimples.

Try Not To Stare In The Mirror As Much

The second tip is to avoid mirrors as much as possible. When I had acne, I was constantly going to the mirror to see what my face was up to. Every time I went to the bathroom, I would be in there for at least 15 minutes just staring at my face and if I had active pimples I would be popping them.

Keep Skin Hydrated 

The third tip is to stop touching your face. This is much harder than it sounds. Whenever my skin feels itchy, I'm more likely to touch my face, so keeping it hydrated keeps my skin from feeling as itchy and I avoid popping my pimple.  When my skin gets try, I tend to want to tug at the dry skin flakes too. 

Apply A Spot Treatment Over The Acne

The final tip is to put something, such as spot treatment or a face mask over your pimples. When there is something over your pimples you are less likely to touch your face and if you do touch you are touching the creme first not the actual surface of your skin. These are four simple tips, but they can make a large difference in helping to keep from picking at your acne, or popping pimples early.

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