“…but I thought I wasn’t supposed to pop my pimples?”- Musings of an NYC Dermatologist

Acne vulgaris is so common that many children in the street could correctly diagnose it. Skin is an accessible organ, particularly the skin on the face. Although acne is often very distressing to those with it, it is not life-threatening, so many people never seek the services of a professional to treat this problem. When a person is trying to DIY acne treatment, most are aware of the warning, however, not to “pop pimples,” “pick zits” lest they develop scars.
In the dermatologist’s office, however, we often perform a procedure called acne surgery, in which we extract the plug, or puncture and drain acne lesions resulting in a reduction of pain, less risk of scarring and faster clearing of acne. Acne is a essentially a plumbing problem, and like plumbers, your dermatologist may need to physically clear the drain in order to help the acne go away. Patients sometimes perceive us as “picking their zits” when we do extractions as part of their acne treatment. But remember the warning, “Don’t try this at home.” A trained professional knows the difference between an acne lesion that would respond positively to extraction and one that should be left alone. A professional knows the right techniques to use to get the best outcome and not scratch up the surrounding skin. In addition, it is physically easier to have someone else do this procedure correctly than to try to do it on ourselves.
Perhaps the risks aren’t the same as trying to take out your own appendix, but to get the best outcome when if comes to treating acne, a board-certified dermatologist is your partner in achieving beautiful, acne-free skin.

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Posted in: Aesthetic Services, Commentary, Cosmetic Dermatology, Facials, General Dermatology