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How To Stop Popping Pimples

If you’ve reached the point where you’re asking how to stop popping pimples, it’s time to get serious. 

Don’t worry, I’m not here to shame you! As someone who struggled with acne for years, I’ve also asked that question—a bunch of times, to tell you the truth.

So, from one acne-sufferer to another, allow me to help you get through this.

Join me in this post to find out how to stop popping pimples like there’s no tomorrow!

How To Stop Popping Pimples

How To Stop Popping Pimples

I remember nights after washing my face when I’d stay glued to the mirror, picking at my skin and resisting the temptation to pop that glaring pimple. 

Is this you, too? Well, you’re definitely not alone.

Popping your pimples can be so tempting. And once you give in to temptation, it can be so satisfying. But we know deep down that it’s not right to pop our pimples, right?

That’s actually the first step you need to take to stop popping pimples.

Know What Popping Pimples Does To Your Skin

How To Stop Popping Pimples

It’s a lot easier to fall into the temptation of popping your pimples if you don’t know what it’s doing to your skin. 

When you pop your pimples, you get instant gratification at seeing the big pus-filled bump be reduced to a less conspicuous (but still noticeable!) red blemish. 

But what you might not see is what popping that pimple will do to your skin in the long run.

First of all, just picking at your acne blemishes—and not popping it yet—is already bad news.

Doing so pushes the contents of your pimple deeper into the skin. That increases your inflammation, which is why the previous pimple looks angrier and red [1]. 

When you do pop your pimple, it’s not just an angry bump anymore. You’ve full-on opened the wound and deepened the damage.

At this point, not only will your acne be more noticeable. It’s also more likely to leave you with an acne mark and acne scar.

And while acne marks do fade away after some time, acne scars are sometimes here to stay.

So, do you think the instant gratification of popping a pimple is worth the dark spots that take months to fade and the permanent scarring?

I hope you’ll agree that it’s definitely not worth it. And hopefully, knowing this will make you think twice before popping your pimples!

Pin-point Possible Triggers That Make You Want To Pop Pimples

How To Stop Popping Pimples

Still find yourself tempted to pop pimples despite knowing the consequences? Then it is possible some things are triggering you to do it.

Pin-pointing those triggers and addressing them will help a lot to stop popping pimples.

Some possible triggers are situational. And when those situations apply to you as triggers, you need to intentionally avoid them. Let’s see some examples:

You find yourself lingering in front of the bathroom mirror after showering. 

This situation is ripe for popping. What you can do is have an immediate after-shower routine that doesn’t involve the mirror, like applying body lotion.

If you find it really hard to avoid the bathroom mirror, it could help to take it down.

I know this may come off as extreme, and in a sense it is. But what’s worse is dealing with acne scars that are visible for the world to see.

You find yourself staring at the mirror right before bed.

A situation where you’re tired makes you more prone to give in to the urge of pimple popping. And you’re also likely to pop your pimple poorly. Avoid the mirror when you’re tired!

You tend to pick at your face when your hands are idle.

Your face and pimples could become the target of your idle hands. Fidget toys could help you counter this while also helping reduce stress.

You have a magnifying mirror on your vanity table.

Magnifying mirrors are very helpful for doing eye makeup. But they tend to showcase blemishes that won’t even be visible to the naked eye.

So, if you catch yourself tempted to pop a pimple because of your magnifying mirror, it’s probably time to get rid of it.

How To Stop Popping Pimples

Now, for some, your triggers could be emotional.

Popping pimples or picking at skin in general can become a coping technique for negative emotions, anxiety, or depression [2]. 

These emotional triggers can be harder to deal with, since they’re tied to something more than the urge of popping pimples.

This can take some practice, but what you can try to do is apply a competing response, like clenching your fist [3]. Then wait for the urge to pass. 

Make It Harder For Yourself To Pop Your Pimples

How To Stop Popping Pimples

If you make it harder for yourself to pop your pimples, you can become less inclined to do it. 

One thing you can do is cover your pimples with hydro-colloid bandages, like pimple patches.

Not only will these patches keep you from popping your pimples. These patches can also help drain pus-filled pimples and prevent big scabs from forming.

You can also wear gloves (or mittens, ;)) to keep your fingers from picking at your face.

Alternatively, having shorter nails or acrylics may lessen your urge to pop pimples.

Know When It’s Time To Seek Professional Help

How To Stop Popping Pimples

Still find it close to impossible to stop popping your pimples? It could be time to seek professional help.

If your pimple popping is linked to your mental health, a visit to your derm might not be the best course of action. 

Skin picking disorder or dermatillomania is a mental illness connected to obsessive-compulsive disorder [4].

Seeking help from a mental health professional could help you if you find yourself dealing with this disorder. You can learn more about dermatillomania here.


I hope this helps you on your journey to stop popping your pimples altogether!

It can take a lot of time and patience before you get there. But as they say, understanding the problem is half the solution. And it’s actually the important part!

You can now work on ways to address your pimple-popping problem. And just remember that through it all, you are not alone.

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