It is certainly not a myth or wives’ tale that whitehead removal done improperly can lead to permanent scarring. Especially with individuals who develop more serious forms of cystic acne that can mimic the look of a whitehead (also called comedones), removing one by simply squeezing the pus out of the pore can be detrimental.
Regardless how horrible and embarrassing the presence of the whitehead on your face, you should carefully consider the quality and health of your skin before aimlessly popping your blemishes.
Furthermore, since whiteheads are actually an infection caused by bacteria invading a clogged pore, you can potentially develop additional problems if this procedure is done incorrectly.
Consider these tips to ensure your removal techniques are not damaging your skin.
Step One: Wait It Out
Many dermatologists agree that the best way to deal with whitehead removal is simply let the blemish run its course. Instead of popping every blemish that develops a head, apply an antibiotic cream or lotion and allow it to heal on its own accord.
Also, a course of oral antibiotics can eliminate all traces of the comedones without you having to pinch, squeeze, or poke at your skin.
Visit your local dermatologist and see if a prescription for a topical antibiotic can benefit your situation. Keep in mind that these ointments are meant to be used after a blemish has developed and are not preventative measures.
Step Two: Avoid Breaking the Skin
Far too often, individuals try home whitehead removal by using a needle to break the skin over the blemish. This is terribly dangerous and can potentially cause blood poisoning.
Additionally, the infection can spread or become worse if an unclean needle is used. Remember that bacteria are everywhere, and that new needle fresh out of a package or sewing kit does not necessarily mean that the needle is clean.
Also, avoid drawing blood by squeezing your comedones too enthusiastically. This can also allow the bacteria to enter your blood stream, potentially causing blood poisoning.
Step Three: Keep It Clean
Instead of performing a whitehead removal procedure with your bare hands, think again.
No matter how clean you think your hands may be, there can be—and probably is—bacteria trapped beneath your fingernails that can add to an infection. Use two cotton tipped swabs and apply gentle and even pressure on either side of the comedones.
Also, take a page from a professional aesthetician’s book and use tissues or cotton pads to provide a physical barrier between your skin and your fingertips. One great way to rid yourself of whiteheads without causing problems is to use a hot compress to draw the toxin out of the pore.
Step Four: Protect Your Skin Again Infections
Remember the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” This is quite true when it comes to your skin care.
You will not have to worry about whitehead removal procedures if you do not develop any comedones. Work to keep your skin healthy and clear by visiting your dermatologist and discussing your options.