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Why Do Pimples Make Noise When They Pop

You've probably wondered before, "Why do pimples make noise when they pop?"

For those of us with skin—so I mean all of us—you've had to deal with acne blemishes at some point.

You've maybe even been guilty of popping one or two pimples. And that's true for most of us!

And at one point or the other, you've probably heard your pimples make noise after popping them.

I bet you were as bewildered as I was! 

So, let's find out why pimples do that and why exactly is it so satisfying to pop pimples.

What actually happens when you pop a pimple?

Why Do Pimples Make Noise When They Pop

No one enjoys having a pimple on their face. And our annoyance can sometimes push us to do the unthinkable: pop the pimple.

Before you do that though, you'll want to find out what happens when you pop a pimple.

Simply explained, the direct pressure you place on your pimple…

Pushes the contents deeper into the skin, which can cause deeper infection. 

With that comes increased inflammation [1]. Also, this is why the pimple gets redder and angrier when you touch it.

With enough pressure, you can pop the pimple. In doing so, you just tore the skin's surface so the pimple's pus oozes out [2]. And that pus can spread bacteria to your other pores. Yikes. 

Now, you don't have a pimple but a full-on open wound. 

At this point, your popped pimple is also more likely to leave you with an acne mark and acne scar. And while acne marks fade with time, acne scars are usually permanent.

Why do pimples make noise when they pop?

Why Do Pimples Make Noise When They Pop

Okay, we now know what happens when we pop our pimples. 

And hopefully, knowing about the consequences will be enough to stop some of the pimple-popping sessions.

What we've yet to establish is knowing why pimples make noise when they pop.

You know those squelching noises. Sometimes even a little *poot* noise—like a small, modest fart.

If you have heard none of those noises before, here's a video of Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) popping a very large cyst.

A pimple pop sounds similar, except in a (very) smaller scale.

The reason for those noises is simple. 

Imagine a balloon being popped. It could be a sudden pop or letting the air out one squeeze after another. You can hear the air escape the balloon, right?

A similar thing happens when you pop your pimples.

The sudden release of pressure is enough to make a sound.

The pus rushing out and the skin being torn can happen quickly and violently for you to hear the squelching and poot noises.

What makes pimple-popping so satisfying?

Why Do Pimples Make Noise When They Pop

Satisfaction from watching pimple popping videos has a lot to do with morbid curiosity [3].

But for actually popping the pimple yourself, the satisfaction comes from a rush of dopamine.

University of Queensland School of Psychology PhD candidate James Sherlock explains it this way:

"In dermatillomania, skin picking is reinforced by dopamine releases from the brain—because the brain thinks the patient is responding appropriately to a potential threat." [4]

Occasional pimple-popping is nowhere near the severity of dermatillomania. But we can still experience the dopamine release after popping.

And this explains why pimple-popping is so satisfying. 

Dopamine, the happy hormone, is responsible for us experiencing happiness [5].

So, every time you successfully pop a pimple, you're hit with that dopamine, and feel good afterwards.

But please know that innocent and occasional pimple-popping can lead to something more serious. If you have trouble stopping, the how to stop popping pimples post may help.

How do you pop a pimple in the correct way?

Why Do Pimples Make Noise When They Pop

Let me be clear, I am not encouraging you to pop your pimple.

Dermatologists are against pimple-popping at home for a reason. Popping your pimple can cause scarring, even if you do it correctly. 

But if going to a dermatologist isn't an option and you have a pimple that really needs to be popped, here's how you can do it correctly, according to acne.org:

  1. Make sure that the pimple is ready to pop. You can tell when it has an obvious white or yellow center.
  2. Clean your hands with anti-bacterial soap then wash your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser.
  3. Disinfect a basic sewing needle with rubbing alcohol. 
  4. Gently prick the pimple's surface with the sewing needle.
  5. Wrap each of your index fingers with a tissue paper each.
  6. Gently squeeze the pimple from the sides using your fingers. Use a down-and-in motion. Don't force it to pop. If the pimple is ready, the pus will come out. If it doesn't, leave it be.
  7. Stop if clear liquid or blood comes out.
  8. Walk away from the mirror! Continuing to press on a pimple that's not ready to pop will add unnecessary pressure and irritation. That can also increase chances of the pimple leaving permanent scarring.

If you successfully squeezed the pus out, use a clean cotton swab to get rid of any more pus around the popped pimple.

Applying a topical treatment like an antibacterial ointment can prevent skin infection. Use this as a spot treatment and only apply on the area surrounding the pimple.

You can also apply a pimple patch or acne patch so dirt won't enter the popped pimple.


With that said, I hope this satisfied your curiosity about why pimples make noise when they pop!

And I'd just like to reiterate that pimple-popping or acne-picking is bad for your skin. Yes, it could be satisfying, but at what cost? 

The risk of infection and permanent scarring is not worth the satisfaction of popping your painful pimple. 

So, stay strong and resist pimple popping!

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