I know that squeezing spots is not a recommended acne remedy but some of them really look horrible. Are there any spots that I can squeeze?
Although most doctors will tell you, quite sensibly, that squeezing spots is definitely not a substitute for using the best acne treatment products and that it should be avoided at any cost, there are still many people who find it difficult not to squeeze their skin. If you are going to squeeze or pick at your skin, you might wish to follow the simple rule introduced by the Acne Support Group, described below.
Traffic light guide to squeezing spots
If your spot is red (with no yellow head), stop. Do not be tempted to squeeze or pick at this kind of spot, as you are likely to cause more damage because there is nothing to squeeze out. This spot will probably hang around for a lot longer and may even scar if you try to squeeze it. Talk to your doctor about the best acne products for this type of spot but certainly don’t squeeze it.
If your spot is yellow, it is ready and you may squeeze gently. The best way to do this is with clean fingers, and tissue to cover your fingertips:
- First gently pull the skin apart, rather than squeeze and pinch the skin together. If the spot is ready, it will burst with gentle pulling apart. This should be all the pressure and force that is necessary. Any forced squeezing may then result in blood (which is red and therefore you should stop!).
- Soak up the contents with the clean tissue and dab gently.
- You may apply a small dab of tea tree oil (neat will be OK) directly to the spot, but do not apply too much as it could irritate the skin.
- Now leave the spot alone!
If your spot is green, go to the doctor. (It is rare to have green spots, and very unlikely to be acne – we are just cheating because of comparing spots to traffic lights!)
Blackheads can be squeezed gently, but whiteheads should be left alone.
Squeezing at your skin will usually only add to your problems, so, ideally, leave your skin alone and let the treatment get to work on it.
The ‘never, ever, do this’ guide to squeezing spots
Some people have written to the Acne Support Group describing what they have used to try to help ‘clear’ their skin of spots or blackheads. Under no circumstances be tempted to use any of the following:
- Stanley knife
- nail scissors
- sandpaper (to help smooth the skin – not a good idea and very painful).
Acne Tips – The Traffic Light Guide To Squeezing Spots by Michelle Spencer