Society’s sick obsession with pimple popping

What’s up with the world that pimple popping videos have become our favourite pass time? (And we’re not the only ones ‘cos these videos have millions of views). Our beauty editor answers the burning questions.

The options available for your viewing pleasure on Instagram and YouTube range from amateur to professional, dermatologists to beautician and blackheads to ingrown hairs. Some sick humans have even added music in the background for a more ‘soothing’ visual experience.

Watching these videos spills over into us wanting to pop our pimples, too and interestingly enough there are many psychological theories about why some of us enjoy it as much as we do… one being dermatillomania.

This is an OCD which can be really harmful because you have an uncontrollable urge to scratch your skin or any abnormalities on it. Obviously seeing your dermatologist is the ideal situation, but for many of us, we can’t resist the urge to squeeze all the contents out and examine them to our heart’s content. So, if we are being realistic… 99% of us wont bother going to the dermatologist.

From watching these videos, I have learned a few important things to avoid traumatizing the skin as little as possible.

  1. Make a small incision (even just the prick of a needle) to whatever you are trying to get out. Doing this allows for the contents to be released more easily and avoids tearing the skin.
  2. Popping different things requires different tools. Using your fingers to just squish is not good enough. I have the full kit, but I use my comedone extractor, skin tweezers, and a hypodermic needle the most.
  3. Blackheads don’t sort themselves out. They grow larger and widen your pore making it more likely to fill up again in the future.
  4. Apply something cold afterwards to help the swelling go down.
  5. Rupturing the follicle is what causes your scarring, so go gently on your skin. People with darker skin are particularly susceptible to this happening making scarring easier and more apparent.
  6. STERILIZE! Make sure your hands and tools are extremely clean so that you don’t put any bacteria in the area you are trying to clear up.
  7. Prevention is better than cure.
  8. Consult your dermatologist for any major concerns.

Always remember your pimples/ blackheads/ cysts etc. are not dirty. Yes, there can be a bit of buildup from oil, but mostly they are caused by the sun, or just your skin doing skin things. Problematic skin is nothing to be ashamed of. Our skin is as diverse as the rest of us.

And remember, if you’re going to be a popaholic, do so safely!