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Dr. Jessica Wu On: How To Pop A Pimple

This week, we've tapped top dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu to share her best skincare tips and techniques with us on Lucky Right Now. Check back daily for her posts.

Right now you're wondering how I could possibly tell you to do that, when most doctors would scold you for picking at your skin. The way I see it, telling someone not to pop a pimple is like telling them to eat their veggies. In an ideal world we'd eat healthily every day, but sometimes it's hard to resist the French fries. And I know that people with breakouts tend to pick and squeeze at them on occasion. So I'm here to tell you how you can do that while inflicting the least amount of damage. (By the way, this is the same advice I give my actress patients, who are stuck on location for months at a time and can't get in to the office to see me.)

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1)
The only pimples that are (relatively) safe to pop are whiteheads, which are filled with pus and easy to drain. Painful cysts or boils are too deep to drain by yourself, and can lead to scars.

2) Wash your hands and face, using lukewarm water. Do NOT do this in front of a magnifying mirror.

3) Swab the area with alcohol. Using a clean needle (that you've also swabbed) gently pierce the whitehead, being careful not to draw blood.

4) Using clean fingers or Q-tips, gently squeeze from either side. If it doesn't come out easily, stop. Squeezing too hard and drawing blood will cause scabbing, which can turn into a scar.

5) Cover with a small Band-Aid to avoid scabbing.

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