View Full Version : What happens to unpopped zits?
05-16-2002, 08:34 PM
People often say "don't pop your zits -- it'll leave a scar." Still, the times I've left a zit alone, just to see what happens ... the answer seems to be nothing. The size peaks, and it doesn't go away -- you've got no choice to pop it, after which the area occupied by the former zit heals up in a couple of days. I don't have any acne scars.
I don't get a lot of zits, but when I get something, I pop it ASAP. What if I took the advice of those who say "don't pop your zits?" Do they eventually pop on their own? Do they just go away, the pus reabsorbed by the body? What about blackheads, that have the consistency of hard string, as opposed to milkier whiteheads? The world wants to know!
I don't know where they go exactly, but if you leave a zit alone it will eventually go away. However, in doing that, you may get a scar anyway.
I would think eventually the skin over the zit would get abraded away with friction from washing and even just the air.
05-16-2002, 09:44 PM
They run for Congress.
05-17-2002, 02:56 AM
My understanding was that you only get scars of you get infection... usually from idley picking away at little scabs or by keeping the surrounding area nice and dirty and the um, "wound" open for a long time. I've popped way too many to count, and don't have a single acne scar. I have several chicken pox scars though, and I absolutely never even touched those damn things.
05-17-2002, 04:43 AM
Don't pick them straight away, let the zit dry up a bit and then go for it. If you get those really big spots that feel quite deep it's best to let them go away by themselves. Also, wash your hands - the dirt under your nails is worse than fecal matter (apparently, cite Cecil)
Over-washing causes more spots, if you're scrubbing your face a lot you end up washing away the oils in the skin that help protect it. I'm not saying don't wash - but an obsession with cleaning the skin irritates it, dries it out and probably bursts more spots than it prevents.
I had bad acne & tried pills, creams (some with bleach in!) took, vitamins, cut out on milk/fatty products. None of them made any difference. However my zits went around the same time I decided to not pick them at all (man that was hard!) and stopped scrubbing - though other personal factors probably helped also.
Acne scars can happen without infection. I have a few pit type scars from spots I did not pick and did not get infected. OTOH I don't tend to get scars from zits I pop. I get lots of zits, not many scars.
Some times if you don't pop the zit, the center of it keratinizes leaving a hard mass that is not reabsorded. This can stretch the pore and cause it it for scar tissue around the strethced pore. The pore is no longer exerting much sidwiays force to hold the hard core in and if the surface skin wears off, it can fall out, leaving a pit.
Zits are fun.
05-17-2002, 07:45 AM
There is nothing more grotesque than seeing yellow encrusted blobs just dying to erupt from angry red volcanos.
05-17-2002, 09:32 AM
It's much like the question "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?"
Answer: The world will never know.
Or at least not me anyway :)
05-17-2002, 11:03 AM
Ewwww....yellow encrusted...licking tootsie pops....
05-17-2002, 12:22 PM
Acne scars accumulate; after several years of popping zits, your skin will look like it went six rounds with a cheese grater.
05-17-2002, 12:59 PM
I get these really nasty deep painful zits, that, if I start trying to squeeze them, come to an angry head, then ooze and bleed and take two long tortuous weeks to heal . . . .but if I can make myself leave them alone, they go away on their own within 2-3 days. YZMV.
As for yer regular everyday whitehead, I agree with the Tootsie Pop model. How could you possibly resist popping them?
It's not the popping that causes scaring, it's the squeezing. Trick is to wait until they build up enough pressure that a light touch is all it takes--and then don't be obsessed with squeezing every last iota of crud out. If you are always gentle, you should avoid getting an enormous scab. (And God save me if I get a scab---I simply cannot leave the damn things alone.)
Oh, and ditto on the no scrubbing thing. I broke the soap habit, and only rinse my face with warm water morning and night, or whenever I feel especially greasy. My skin is no better (or worse) than when I was trying every cleanser and chemical on the face (. . . er . . .) of the Earth trying to find the Magical Cure for Acne. Trust me. There isn't one.
Who, after more than a decade of zit-popping (and still going strong), somehow does not look like the victim of a cheese grater.
05-17-2002, 01:01 PM
I thought scarring happened when you pop a zit and it pops inward instead of out.
05-19-2002, 11:46 PM
Anyhow, I think I've got enough information to satisfy my quest for knowledge. Thanks, all!
The pus and sebaceous material in a typical zit is held in place by a thin sack quite often, either that or just the walls of the pore. If you squeeze it you can rupture the wall of the pore or the sack. This can lead to a painful infection or just a zit that is a bit nastier. If you squeeze after you can see a white head this is less likely. Hot compresses help the head to form. Hot compresses can also relieve pain if you pop a zit inward. I don't know why that is.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.