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What is the alternative to popping a pimple?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

If you take a sterilized needle (stick it in boiling water or hold it over a flame), you can poke it through the very tiptop of the pimple (where it’s white) and let the pus out. Never penetrate deeply; you don’t want a gusher. If it hurts, then the skin isn’t dead, and it’s not ready to lance. No squeezing; that defeats the purpose and will slow down healing. Be careful not to jab, rip, or poke. Then wash with soap and water.

Big warning: We’d rather that you have a dermatologist pierce the zit with a needle, because you do risk scarring if you do it the wrong way. While the chance of causing major damage by lancing a garden-variety pimple is small, you do have to be careful to keep the area sterilized and to not damage neighboring tissue. You’re just taking the very tip off to ease the inflammation. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching pimples, to avoid spreading the infection to other pores.

YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

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YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.