Squeezing pimples or zits, as they are commonly called, can be painful and cause serious damage. An enduring myth about acne is that squeezing blackheads can clear up the acne faster. This myth is not only false, but following this advice can also cause long-lasting harm to the skin.
Pimples can be classified into two types. There is the non inflammatory type, which is essentially whiteheads and blackheads, also called closed comodones and open comodones respectively. Whiteheads are plugged follicles below the surface of the skin. Blackheads on the other hand are enlarged plugs that look like minute black spots and push through the skin’s surface. Then there are the inflammatory types which are further classified into papules, which are pinkish in color and tender to the touch; pustules, which are small and round lesion like pimples with a red base and a yellowish centre; and nodules or cysts, which is the most severe form of acne, and are large and extremely painful and tend to leave scars.
Squeezing blackheads is more likely to harm than heal. As tempting as it can be, squeezing comedones can injure the sebaceous follicle and the tissue around it and force the contents, the bacteria, deeper into the skin tissue and also force its contents to extrude to the skin surface. This can result in inflammation of the skin. Also, scientific evidence suggests that blackheads not be removed by using blackhead extractors that are so commonly available on the Internet or magazine ads. A fully developed blackhead will not become inflamed if left alone.
Moreover, squeezing whiteheads can be potentially even more damaging. Whiteheads, also called sandpaper comedo, are so small that they can hardly be seen, and are more likely to be felt as roughness on the skin. a whitehead is more likely than a blackhead to become inflamed, and further evolve into a pustule or a papule.
When whiteheads naturally evolve into papules or pustules, they should be treated by a dermatologist. Acne can be severely exacerbated if you attempt to squeeze the inflammatory type of lesions. Also whiteheads are so small, that there is hardly any content in it to squeeze out so overall the whole squeezing experience can be rather unsatisfying! A regular acne treatment, based upon your specific type of problem, cause and skin type is by far the best way to keep your acne under control.