What Happens If You Don't Pop a Pimple

What Happens If You Don't Pop a Pimple?

Ever wondered what happens to the pus and bacteria on untouched pimples? Learn what happens if you don't pop a pimple and its benefits.
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To pop or not to pop, that is the question. For many of us, acne is an unavoidable part of life. But no matter how many times pesky pimples make an unwanted appearance on our faces, it can still be hard to decide what to do with one that isn’t going away. 

You may find yourself wondering, what happens if you don’t pop a pimple? If I try to burst the blemish, I might spread germs and bacteria around my face. But if I leave it be, how long is it going to overstay its welcome?

You’ve got lots of questions, and we’ve got answers. In this article, we’ll go over what happens if you resist popping pimples and explain why leaving your acne alone can actually be your best bet. 

Should You Pop A Pimple?

We’ve all been there: you wake up, look in the mirror, and realize that a new pimple has reared its head on your face. Overnight pimples can appear when you’re not using non-comedogenic products. Sometimes it’s minor, other times it’s ugly and painful. The reason why pimples hurt is caused by inflammation that the body is actively trying to combat.

Your first instinct may be to treat that blemish with at-home acne extraction methods. But as you probably already know, this quick fix is not the smartest solution. Let’s take a look at what can happen as a consequence of premature pimple popping. 

Risks Of Popping A Pimple At Home

Professionals sometimes use careful techniques to properly extract pimples without damaging the skin. However, attempting to remedy a breakout at home without the right tools or training can end up causing serious issues such as:1

  • Permanent acne scarring 
  • Exposure to bacteria and infection/inflammation
  • More obvious and painful acne

When you use your fingers to pop a pimple, you introduce bacteria to your pores and sometimes push the contaminants within the pimple further into your skin. All in all, this DIY method is a recipe for disaster. So let’s learn the alternatives. 

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What Happens If You Don't Pop A Pimple

If you don’t deal with a pesky pimple, the only other option is to peacefully coexist with it. But this is much easier said than done. 

It’s never fun to just sit with a pimple and hope for the best. When you have a better idea of how long the blemish might last and you know the right strategies for actively treating breakouts, it will be easier to make the commitment to stop popping. If you’re interested in long-term solutions, learn how to treat hormonal acne naturally from our skincare experts.

How Long Does A Pimple Last Without Popping It

On average, you can expect a pimple to last for about three to seven days before fading naturally.2 In other words, a pimple left undisturbed could completely disappear without a trace in as little as 72 hours. 

However, taking matters into your own hands and popping a pimple can elongate the time it takes for the blemish to heal. A popped pimple can take more than two weeks to vanish in some cases.2 And even when the original blemish is gone, you may be left with a scab or scar in its place. 

While it may bring your short-term satisfaction to take matters into your own hands and pop a pimple, it’s possible you’ll end up regretting it in the long term.

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Effective Ways To Make A Pimple Go Away Faster

Sometimes waiting for a pimple’s appearance to lessen can merely be a small annoyance. 

Other times, you have a big event coming up and you need a fast fix to look your best. 

While we can’t guarantee that these acne solutions will always cure a pimple overnight, they’re your best bet for speeding up the healing process. 

  • Craft an acne-prone skincare routine – Normal cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliators, and serums don’t always bring results to individuals with acne. Often more powerful formulations tailored in skincare for acne-prone skin is required to completely unclog pores, treat acne, and prevent further breakouts. 
  • Heal it at the source – Sometimes acne will persist no matter how much you wash your face. This is because the condition often stems from internal causes. Hormones are a common culprit behind pervasive acne: especially adult acne. To regulate these hormones, it can be helpful to take a hormonal acne supplement designed to target and balance the body functions behind your acne. For an alternative to supplements containing 5-HTP, consider MINDBODYSKIN® 2, a natural supplement for hormonal acne, which offers a unique approach for those on SSRIs, antipsychotic medications, or mood stabilizers, focusing on oil, digestion, detoxification, PMS, and hormones to address the root causes of acne.
  • Using a pimple patch – Skincare solutions take time to work their magic. If you’d like to cover up any particularly painful or pesky pimples while helping them to heal, try out pimple patches for acne. Essentially, it’s a hydrocolloid bandage that absorbs the gunk from your pimple. You can find patches with cute designs or choose options that blend in seamlessly with your skin and barely show up at all. Select patches with helpful ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil to combat acne while you cover it up.3

Perfect Your Pimple-Prone Skin With CLEARSTEM Skincare 

Combating acne all alone can be frustrating and defeating. You deserve to have clean, clear skin that makes you feel confident. Instead of persistently popping your pimples and causing damage to your delicate skin, nurture your epidermis with high-quality skincare products engineered to eliminate acne. 

Pamper your skin with our line of anti-acne, age-fighting skincare solutions, including our non-comedogenic moisturizer, to get one step closer to the smooth skin you’ve always dreamed of. This ensures your pores remain unclogged while keeping your skin hydrated. CLEARSTEM Skincare products only use the best natural ingredients to bring you real results. 


  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Pimple popping: why only a dermatologist should do it. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/skin-care/popping
  2. Intermountain Healthcare. Should You Pop That Pimple? https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2019/04/should-you-pop-that-pimple/
  3. NBC News. 9 best pimple patches to heal breakouts, according to experts. https://www.nbcnews.com/select/shopping/best-pimple-patches-ncna1254463#