Popping a pimple can lead to infection, swelling and even permanent scarring, especially if done improperly. When a person pops a pimple, it allows bacteria to get into other pores and can lead to even more breakouts, according to WebMD.
Acne sufferers should see a dermatologist to deal with a particularly irritating pimple, according to WebMD. A dermatologist can pop the pimple in a safe and sterile way. If a person must pop a pimple at home, there are ways to do it safely and reduce the chance of side effects.
Individuals should wait until the pimple has formed a visible head and then wash their hands and faces thoroughly. Next they should sterilize a pin by lighting a match to it, and then wiping it down with rubbing alcohol once it cools. After wiping the infected area with rubbing alcohol, it's safe to carefully pop the center of the pimple with the needle and then gently squeeze around the pimple with fingers or cotton swabs. If the pus doesn't immediately come out, the pimple is not ready to be popped, and the process should be stopped, WebMD explains. When finished, the area should be cleaned again with rubbing alcohol.
This process is not recommended by doctors, but it will do in a pinch. Most pimples go away on their own within three to seven days, states WebMD.