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Squeeze Me ‘Till I Pop

July 19, 2009

Here at Realize Beauty we take a scientific approach to life. We know that humans are curious creatures and we also know that anything is possible in the comfort of our own homes!  We know that we share a few little secrets – one of them being the joy that is squeezing spots.  Oh, come on! We know that some of you only do it under duress while others don’t often have the opportunity to indulge this little fantasy but for some of you, the thrill of the zit chase is delightful! A bit gross, but pleasurable anyhow.

What we want to know is this:

Is squeezing bad for you?

Am I “normal” in wanting to do this?

And for those grossed out by the concept but in need of assistance – Can I outsource my zit popping?

So, without further ado we will get on with it!

Is squeezing spots really bad for me?

For those of you like to play by the rules and have your actions vindicated where do you turn? I like many before me turned to the god that is Google. Guess what it said? NO, NO, NO!  Ladies NEVER squeeze their spots, teenagers SHOULDN’T squeeze their spots, adults have “issues” if they are still squeezing their spots and for everyone outside of these groups just DON’T go there.

Hummmmm, Boring!

The most common reason cited in the “don’t squeeze” camp is that squeezing spots will cause them to spread, cause scarring and generally mess you around.  While there is some truth in each of these statements they fail to convince me that squeezing  leads to any worse an outcome than not squeezing and let’s face it since when has anyone ever taken advice from “Google”?

Like everything else in life there is not a black and white answer, it all hinges on two variables:

1)      Your personal circumstances.

2)      Your skill and cleanliness as a squeezer!

For a bit of fun, we have designed our own “squeeze test” below: To squeeze or not to squeeze.

spot squeezing guide

1)      Severe acne is more than just a few discrete spots; its effects go much deeper. The skin surrounding the spot is often (but not always) reddened and the skins barrier function compromised making it more prone to infection and scarring. Those with severe acne should avoid anything but the mildest squeezing of spots to prevent adding to the skin’s trauma. Those suffering from severe acne should be seeing a dermatologist or at least a GP who may have prescribed a course of tablets, creams or treatments. These can also affect the skin and can occasionally make it more fragile – at least in the short term. Another reason for leaving the skin alone, at least until it calms down and strengthens again.

Those who have mild acne or who get the occasional spot/s can probably squeeze without suffering any adverse consequences. That is as long as the “safe squeeze” protocol is followed to avoid infection.

2)      Squeezing for top results involves a bit of planning.  Firstly, if you are squeezing something that resembles a boil (soft centre) you will need to be extra careful. The puss that comes out is what your body has made to help it fight an infection or to help remove a foreign object. It can be highly infectious and if pushed further into the skin (bad squeeze technique) can spread the infection. In addition, if the stuff squeezed isn’t disposed of carefully and the area cleaned down effectively you could also spread the infection across the surface of the skin leading to a blistering look.

So, for safe and effective squeezing view what you are doing as a mini operation. You would be totally grossed out by a doctor who lanced your boil bare handed and then proceeded to pick his nose before shaking your hand.  You need to apply a high standard of hygiene at all times to avoid spreading infection and making things worse. Clean the area and remove all make-up first. Second (optional but prepares skin nicely), use a 10 minute steam bath to soften the skin.

A good squeeze does not involve fingernails, especially not dirty ones.  In fact, a good squeeze should involve fingers being wrapped in tissue, which serves as a softener, a hygienic barrier and a means to removing the debris.  Each spot should be viewed as a new operation.

A good squeeze shouldn’t leave your face looking red and bruised for hours. You are not there to punish the zit. If it won’t come out to play, leave it alone.

Lastly, finish off with a final wash and apply a little (and I mean little) antiseptic cream on any trouble areas before moisturizing. Avoid re-applying make-up for a little while to let the skin re-balance.

So, is squeezing bad for you?   When done sensibly, cleanly and without a “die zit” attitude we think that you can squeeze away. Squeezing correctly has not been proved to leave any more scars than leaving spots well alone.  Squeezing badly on the other hand can make bad skin worse.

Am I normal in wanting to do this?

Who are we to judge?  I am a squeezer and I come from a family of squeezers. I also know many people who would rather die than squeeze a spot. Everyone is different and as long as squeezing is not an obsession, that is ruining your life then you are probably OK.   For those who do feel that they have a squeeze problem we found this useful website, which promises to hypnotize your zit popping antics away. I guess, whatever get’s you through your day!

Can I outsource my zit popping?

Oh yes you can! If you think that, your skin would benefit from a little on the spot treatment then pop down to your local beautician. They are trained in the art of successful squeezing and can advise you on an appropriate after care program to help keep your freshly squeezed skin fresh and clear.

In summary, I would like to say that I suffered acne as a teenager and as someone now in her mid thirties, I still get more zits that I am happy with.  Acne is much more than just an inconvenience; it can be emotionally and sometimes physically crushing making you dread certain events, seasons and situations.  If you suffer from acne or know someone whose life is being compromised by this condition then don’t suffer alone. There are many organizations that can help put you or your friend’s life back on track.  Speak to your GP to find out where your nearest help center is. You may be surprised at the diversity of options open to you.

Take Care.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2009 11:00 pm

    Great advice and a great read. Why is it that our mums never seemed to get spots past teenager years yet we still do? Confused.
    Also can I put in a song request? Would love to hear your views on the evils (or not) of petroleum jelly and mineral oil. When you get a minute or two that is…… Kirsten

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      July 20, 2009 11:07 pm

      Hi Kristen,
      I would be delighted to take that on board! I have been getting a few requests and will probably have that sorted out for next week! Thanks for the feedback and yes it is odd how us girls are suffering from spots well past 20. Not fair

  2. July 22, 2009 8:46 pm

    I am someone who supports using home remedies for acne instead of very chemically (and at the same time unnaturally) harsh acne curing products such as Accutane and other retinoids. Sure, these chemical products work faster, however, their risk of side effects aren’t to be trifled with either!

    One example is:

    Lemon Juice (with rosewater) <- A very famous method is to apply lemon juice with the same amount of rosewater over the pimple or scar to eliminate them. It is natural all right, and ok to use if you don’t overdo it or else your skin will be very irritated from all the acidity and your acne WILL worsen.


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