It's irreversible damage,” says Dr. Henry. Damaging your skin by squeezing or picking can also cause inflammation, hyperpigmentation and scarring. Squeezing additionally introduces bacteria, oil and dirt from your hands into your pores, which can lead to more blackheads.
Though you may be tempted to squeeze or otherwise get rid of a sebaceous filament, it's best to leave them alone. Squeezing or picking at sebaceous filaments risks scarring and spreading any bacteria that may be in or around the pore to other parts of your face, causing a breakout.
“The most important thing to do after extractions is to soothe inflamed, irritated skin while creating an antiseptic environment,” says Melissa. “This is done in treatment by wiping down on extracted areas with salicylic acid and tea tree oil.”
The white stuff that comes out of your pores like thin strings when you squeeze your nose is called a sebaceous filament. It's mostly made up of sebum (oil that your skin produces) and dead skin cells. This substance typically collects in pores around your nose and chin.
“Squeezing, picking, pulling, prodding—all of that can stretch the elastic around the pores, which makes them wider and larger, and they won't bounce back into shape. Ultimately, your pores will look larger and become increasingly more visible. The perimeter of your pore is like the neck of a t-shirt.
extreme stress. poor skin care habits (such as not washing your face twice a day, or wearing oil-based makeup) dry skin (ironically, having dry skin can make pores more noticeable due to an increase in sebum production and accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin)
The technical term for an acne seed is a microcomedone. A microcomedone is a cluster of mostly dead skin cells that might be mixed with oil and comedogenic ingredients from pore-clogging products. It's called a micro-comedone because when it first forms, it is microscopic so it's invisible to the naked eye.
Clogged pores on the face show up as little dark spots. Pores produce oil, and sometimes that oil gets stuck around the opening of the pore. And because oil is sticky, it holds on to dead skin cells. Then, as the oil dries, it turns dark brown.
The skin in this area contains more oil glands than other parts of your face and body, which is one of the main factors why blackheads often pop up on your nose. Each pore has a hair follicle and sebaceous gland, which produces sebum that naturally moisturizes the skin.
Whiteheads are a type of acne (acne vulgaris). Oil and dead skin close off hair follicles or sebaceous glands (oil glands) and form a closed bump on your skin (comedo, plural comedones).
You get acne when oil and dead skin block a pore. This often causes a small growth, or “pimple,” that goes away on its own or with over-the-counter drugs. If it's more serious or a pimple gets very irritated, you might get a larger squishy growth called a cyst.
Eventually, the follicle should open enough to release the pus on its own, without you having to push or squeeze. “When you push that pus you compress it and it explodes, which leads to more swelling in your face,” says Finkelstein. When you use a warm compress, “it usually comes out by itself.”
Popping pimples releases dopamine
After feeling and hearing that “pop”, some people get an immediate sensation of pleasure and relief. That's because dopamine — the happy-hormone — is released when you feel a sense of accomplishment.
The bad news is that pore size is genetically determined, so you can't actually shrink pores. However, some products and treatments can minimize the appearance of pores, but none of them are permanent solutions. Pore-minimizing products work by stimulating and plumping the collagen that surrounds pores.
When oil collects in the pore and combines with dirt or makeup, the pore can become blocked. This blockage stretches the pore, making it look bigger. If the pore remains clogged, a pimple may develop. Genetics and the size of a person's pores help determine how active a person's sebaceous glands are.
Pores can become clogged with excess oil, dead skin, or dirt, or they can appear more prominent as a result of too much sun exposure. Other factors that can influence pores becoming clogged include genetics and hormones.
According to Benabio, "squeezing can cause the pustule to rupture backwards, deeper into your skin, creating further inflammation and turning a little pimple into a big, red nodule."
This means that by touching, prodding, poking, or otherwise irritating pimples, you run the risk of introducing new bacteria to the skin. This can cause the pimple to become even more red, inflamed, or infected. In other words, you'll still have the pimple, rendering any attempts useless.
Can I pop a pimple if I can see the white part? It's tempting, but popping or squeezing a pimple won't necessarily get rid of the problem. Squeezing can push bacteria and pus deeper into the skin, which might cause more swelling and redness.
Squeezing a pimple forces out a yellow liquid called pus. The trauma caused by the squeezing can also cause blood vessels underneath to burst, causing the pimple to fill with blood. Regular pimples occur when the skin's pores become clogged with bacteria, sweat, or dirt.
Pimple popping: Should you do it? Although it might feel good to pop a pimple, dermatologists advise against it. Popping a pimple can cause infection and scarring, and it may make the pimple more inflamed and noticeable. It also delays the natural healing process.
Given the increase in oil production, she says your skin will usually look greasier and slightly more inflamed. Zeichner adds that stress acne can also look like a combination of blackheads, whiteheads, red bumps, and pus pimples.