Sunday, 13 October 2013

Should you ever pop a spot?

It's a big question, you look in the mirror, realise that you've been walking around all day with a large yellow friend on your face-- embarrassing, right?

- yellow "friend", AKA a spot.

It's a big question, everyone is posed with it at one point in their life; whether it's unfortunately everyday, or once in a blue moon (lucky people). The common idea is that we shouldn't pop them, yet we all do squeeze them-- it's almost like they were made to be squeezed, are they?

Well to get a better understanding of what a spot is, we need to look at the anatomy of the spot, why do they form?

This is a very basic over-review of how the acne forms; you can think of the sebaceous gland as a pump, pumping oils(sebum) onto the skin via the sebaceous duct (where the hair is). In normal skin, this functions pretty well, but in acne skin there is a problem; in simple terms the duct becomes clogged up-- a traffic jam of sebum.

Our little friend called "Propionibacterium acnes"  (P.Acnes) come along and they love this oxygen-free (anaerobic) area in the sebaceous gland and duct, the bacteria feed off the sebum blocked in the skin, they love it. They release digestive enzymes that can break down sebum in the skin as an energy source and can even break down the hair follicle it self, they're pretty damaging. Now that the bacteria have a home(the follicle) the bacterium multiply massively, filling up the follicle, eventually this causes the inflammation and redness.

Now you have a little friend superficially forming on your face, not nice.

My opinion 

In my opinion, I think you should try your best not to "pop" a spot, however it's not ideal having to go about your day with a large spot that's just bursting to explode. My advice would be to only squeeze them in the morning and not at night, this reduces the chances of further infections in the skin, reduces risk of anything spreading from the point. Whilst i'm asleep, I don't worry about how I look, I couldn't care less. So I simply leave any spots for the morning-- generally if I leave it until the morning anyway, they tend to go, I apply my DMK acu-klear to smaller spots and acu-therm to large spots which haven't formed a "head*".

When you're going to pop a spot however, always cleanse the area around the spot first, and make sure you've cleaned your hands pretty well too. After popping the spot, make sure you cleanse the area again thoroughly, whilst still being gentle to your skin. Simple protocol like this will reduce the chances of the acne becoming infected, or any more severe.

So in fairness, it's a tough call to make, try your hardest not to pop your spots. In an ideal world I wouldn't have to pop them.

A professional opinion 

I asked skin-expert Danne Montague King on his opinion, he wrote:

"When you squeeze a pimple with fingers you risk spreading the p.acne bacteria. This "rupturing the skin" also is the start of creating a scar. Pimples can be professionally evacuated with a comedon extractor and an lancet.
Using ACU THERM to hydrolyze the wax sebum plug and pus away is best even if it takes a day (max two days)  It evacuates the pimple and purges the area from bacteria.
IF however, the pustule is already open after cleansing with the Acu Klear system-- sterilize your hands well with the cleanser and GENTLY press each side of the pustule with two fingers until it evacuates. Then clean the skin again, dashing cold water onto the face as a final rinse. If the pimple is still bleeding, apply a small amount of clean tissue on it with pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding is stopped, the tissue can be softened with water and removed" 

*when I say head, I mean when are above the skin, they tend to have a yellow pigment and can be very easily extracted.

I hope this helped you with your decision on how to tackle your skin problems. I'd love to post more often, I really would, if you have any ideas on what you would like the next article to be about, please contact me:

All the best,

William Thomas Terence Rickard. (Will)


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