The single worst thing you can do to a pimple is pick. These are not surgical instruments, you should not be doing this to your skin. So I do prefer those blackhead removing tools over using your fingers and a tissue. But I also think that this is something that should be done by your dermatologist, in order to have the best chance at extracting the contents of that blackhead without leaving a scar.
So anytime you pick at the skin in any way; whether it's using the tool or your fingers, you do have some risk of scarring. So every pimple, blackhead, whitehead, or a pustule, or papule, all starts out as a same thing.
Our face is covered with lots of little hair follicles, which are called pores. At the base of those follicles there can be some bacteria that grows as well, called P. acnes.
For some reason, which we don't fully understand why that is, the opening of the follicle can become blocked, and that means that all the contents behind it has no place to go, it can't get to the surface. So as it builds up, it can create a little bump on the surface and it can look a little bit white, that's a whitehead.
If it opens to the surface, it gets oxidized, and that's a blackhead. So a blackhead isn't dark because it's dirty, it's dark because there is oxidation that goes on and makes it look dark.
If there is a P. acnes bacteria that's growing at the base of that follicle, now that the follicle is closed, this kind of bacteria loves an environment where there is no oxygen. So once the covering gets closed, there is no more oxygen, the bacteria wakes up, and it has all this great food; its got the oils from the oil glands that are produced there, and all the proteins from the skin cells that are clogged behind it.
And now its got an abundance of food supplies, so it starts to flourish, and that can look like a pimple.
So when you pick at it, what you do is you create an inflammatory response, which makes it red and angry and can make it more likely to persist or last longer and more likely to scar, and more likely to come back in the same spot, so picking is very bad. But your dermatologist can help extract that for you, or give you a treatment, like a retinoid or a topical antibiotic, that can get rid of that pimple for you much more quickly and safely.
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