The hygienic way to pop a pimple (if you must)

…Unless, you really need to pop that pimple. Let’s be realistic here—there are some cases, such as when you have large pus-filled whiteheads on your face, that you may be tempted to get rid of the pimple. You certainly do not want a massive whitehead on your face right before a wedding or a work event. Here’s a few steps to popping a pimple the right way:

Examine the pimple for inflammation. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before you check the pimple. Is the pimple red or sensitive to the touch? Make sure that the pimple is at the end of its life cycle and not actively inflamed. If the pimple is inflamed, back off and wait to handle the situation later. Furthermore, make sure that the pimple has risen to the surface of the skin. If the pimple is beneath the surface of the skin (i.e., cystic acne), do not attempt to pop the pimple.

Wait until nighttime. Plan to pop your pimple at night, when it’s easier for the skin to heal. It’s also much easier to cover a pimple with a band-aid at night, as opposed to when you’re out and about during the day.

Prick the pimple. Get your tools ready: Gather rubbing alcohol, a sterile sewing needle, cotton balls, Q-tips and a band aid. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap (or if you have medical gloves handy, use those instead). Swab the pimple gently with the alcohol. Use the sterile needle to gently lance the whitehead just enough to pierce the very top of the pimple (you should not see blood). Use two Q-tips to gently squeeze the whitehead.

Protect the pimple. Wounds heal better when they are moist and covered. Whip a band-aid and cover the pimple. Do NOT apply moisturizer or an acne cream to the pimple—simply cover the blemish and go to bed.