You may well be aware that picking, popping and scratching a spot is a no-no. Although, you may have been told otherwise or been unable to resist the urge and want to make it go away as fast as humanly possible by popping and removing the white head. Ultimately, (if done wrong) you’re left with a red, inflamed and painful mark on your face, not good. In most cases, what remains is actually worse and is often more noticeable. So the question then is, what should you do with spots?
What’s the right way to do it?
Professor Tony Chu, Head of Dermatology at Hammersmith hospital, says “It is not unheard of for people to use instruments such as eyebrow tweezers, metal nail files, pins, needles or scissors to dig at their skin. I would encourage those people to leave their skin alone and start using anti-acne medication.
If you must ‘pop the spot’, Professor Chu recommends to use the “traffic light system” and it works like this:
RED – Stop
If a spot is red, this is commonly known as a papule and even the best squeezers can’t get much from these spots. Picking these types of spots will only make the spot far worse and last longer, as well as increasing the chances of scarring.
YELLOW – Proceed with Caution
Thoroughly wash your hands before
If you don’t, bugs on your hands could become bugs in your spots, causing no end of trouble and infection.
Use a tissue over your hands
This enables you to quickly dispose of the contents of the spot after, reducing the risk of further infection.
Tackling the spot
Use the side of your thumb and the end of your finger, damage to the skin can be reduced by pulling the skin apart as opposed to squeezing. If you do squeeze do not, whatever you do, use your nails as this will damage your skin and sometimes even cause bruising.
When to stop
If you’re applying a lot of pressure and nothing is happening, when you see clear fluid, rather than yellow.
When you’ve finished, dab it with antiseptic or tea tree oil. The spot will heal more quickly now providing that you now leave it well alone. Now wash your hands again.
GREEN – go…
…to the doctor – this type of spot is rare and is usually a result of sitting in a Jacuzzi for too long!
The worst part about these flaming spots is that they often come up around the worst times, including job interviews, before a date, and around just about any other special occasion. We’ve all been there, you can’t help but notice that the person you’re engaged with is staring directly at the spot… well then, there goes your confidence, see you again – never.
Peter Roberts, Head Trainer and Managing Director at SkinMed, says “while stress is not a cause of acne, it is certainly a big factor in terms of further exacerbating acne symptoms. If you’re undergoing stress at work, preparing for an interview or even have a date, it’s incredibly common to notice an increase in spots that appear (almost magically) over-night”.
Not to mention get-togethers with friends and family. Whether it’s a nice meal at a restaurant or a night out, you can’t help but feel the spot on your face is the focal point and not your new haircut, shoes or new clothes that you wanted to impress everyone with – we all know how frustrating this can be.
From personal experiences, we understand this, it’s incredibly demotivating, demoralising and sometimes even depressing. Rewinding to a point made earlier, that you probably ‘want to get rid of it as fast as humanly possible’, this is now a possibility…
This website is supported by an educational grant by SkinMed