Stop Popping Your Pimples!


Lana K/

Are you a pimple-popper? With sanitary tools and proper technique, it's okay to operate on an occasional blemish that's ready to burst, but do you ever pick your skin without the excuse of a complexion crisis? When it comes to skin scrutiny, why do we magnify the pores—and the problems—with unnecessary prodding? "Some people are natural pickers," says New York City-based dermatologist Amy Wechsler, M.D. "Whether it's mosquito bites, scabs, or pimples, the habit worsens during times of anxiety or stress,” says Dr. Wechsler.

Unfortunately, the compulsion to squeeze stems from boredom as well. A zit assault leaves a permanent reminder of bad beauty habits on your face. And when your fingers go rogue, you risk broken capillaries, acne scarring, and infection—most of the time, you make the problem worse! Ready to quit? Discover three ways to hide your twitchy fingers and cut the urge to purge for good!

1. Throw Out The Mirror

Even though it's fun to explore a microscopic view of your skin, remember that no one's looking at you—or your pores—under a magnifying glass. Any minor imperfections spotted aren't worth the effort or the potential harm, so toss the magnifying mirror and start self-reflecting at a regular magnitude.

2. Get a Stress Buddy

Sometimes it takes accountability to break a bad habit. If you live with a fellow pimple-picker, pair up and hold one another responsible for keeping your complexions in check! Create a reward and punishment system to encourage good beauty behavior.

3. Distract Your Hands

Many of you need to keep your hands occupied, so give your fingers another hobby! "Try squeezing a stress ball instead," suggests Dr. Wechsler. "You can also keep a ponytail holder on your wrist to play with." But what if an occasional slip-up leaves you with undesirable marks? Here are the doctor’s orders: "Keep the areas moisturized with antibiotic ointment and stay away from the sun!"

One of only two physicians in the country board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, Dr. Amy Wechsler is well known for her unique approach to all dermatological procedures. She

is a member of The American Academy of Dermatology, the American Psychiatric Association, and The Skin Cancer Foundation, among others. 

Dr. Wechsler is the author of The Mind-Beauty Connection, and has been featured on the Today Show, the Dr. Oz Show and The Tyra Banks Show.