How To Properly Extract A Cyst or Pimple

By: Brittany Priore         Illustration: Cloud Paint Skin


Anyone who has ever gotten a pimple on or around their chin can vouch that they are probably the most painful and stubborn! They reside deep underneath the skin, inflamed and irritated causing nothing but discomfort. When a pimple is causing that much pain, it’s usually due to the bacteria trapped inside of it. Once released, the pain should subside significantly. But what are you to do when a pimple hasn’t formed a head yet? Sometimes if it sits too long, it only enhances in size or leaves a scar behind long after it’s gone. Even though popping a pimple is the worst thing you can do to your skin, sometimes the situation just warrants it. You know, like picture day? The first day of work or school or even your wedding! So, if you’ve already tried topical solutions such as acne spot treatments and facial masks, then it’s time to pop it and I’m going to teach you how to properly do so.

Step 1: Cleanse your face with your preferred acne facial cleanser. My go-to is Juice Beauty’s Blemish Clearing Cleanser. This is my all-time favorite facial cleanser because it’s specifically designed for oily and acne-prone skin. After you have cleansed your face, it’s time to exfoliate. This is important because it will remove any dead skin cells that may be clogging your pores and causing you to breakout. I’m obsessed with Tree Activ Four-in-One Acne Treatment. It can be used as a cleanser, an exfoliator, a mask, or an acne spot treatment- and it’s cruelty-free!

Step 2: Apply a hot compress such as a tea bag to the blemish. This is a safe and easy way to bring a head to the surface. The herbs inside the tea help reduce the swelling and inflammation. I like to use chamomile but any tea bag will do. Simply heat some water, place the tea bag in the water, and allow it to sit until it’s warm enough to touch. This allows it to cool down while also fermenting the herbs in the tea. Once slightly cooled, place the tea bag on the affected area and allow it to compress for about 5 minutes. A head should form by this time. If not, repeat the process.

Step 3: It’s popping time. Okay, so I know this is completely forbidden in the world of acne, but sometimes it absolutely necessary and if you’re doing it the right way it’s okay! I promise the acne gods will forgive you. Start by wrapping both of your index fingers with tissues or toilet paper. Don’t squeeze, gently pop and allow the white pus to abstract from your pimple. Once it all has come out (I’m trying not to repeat the word pus again because it’s gross.. oops said it again) put the hot tea bag back on the affected area for another 5 minutes and allow the heat and the herbs to extract the rest of the bacteria. This will also help to calm down the swelling and inflammation. Once the swelling has subsided, ice the affected area for about 10 minutes.

Step 4: Cleanse the affected area, again. Then, apply your preferred facial toner. This will help reduce redness as well as help calm and soothe the skin even more. I’m in love with the Thayers Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel. Next, apply your favorite moisturizer- it doesn’t have to be an acne-fighting one. Any moisturizer that works well on your skin will do. And finally, apply an acne spot treatment. I like to use the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.

I prefer to do this whole process at night so afterward, I can go to sleep and give my skin time to rest and restore itself. The next morning I usually repeat step four again and try avoiding putting any makeup on my skin.

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