How to Extract A Pimple In 8 Really Simple Steps

How to Extract A Pimple In 8 Really Simple Steps
How to Extract A Pimple In 8 Really Simple Steps

Popping a pimple is a tricky business.

At certain times, it helps heal acne faster. However, in some cases, it makes pimples redder, angrier, and bigger.

So, my advice?

Never pop your pimple.

But if you really have to, make sure you do it right.

Here’s a quick guide on how to properly extract a pimple.

how to extract a pimple

1. Have the right tool

Pimple extractors are available literally everywhere. They’re like longer versions of a needle where there’s a pointed tip on one end and a loop on the other.

The pointed tip is what you use to prick your pimples open. The loop, on the other hand, is for pressing down open or pricked pimples so you can remove all the pus inside.

how to extract a pimple

Now, in choosing your pimple extractor, make sure to find one with a thin loop. It’s easier and more precise to use than a thicker loop.


Avoid dropping your extractor as it can make the tip blunt. This can make your extractor useless since you can’t do anything with a tip that’s not sharp.

2. Disinfect your tool

You don’t want to introduce bacteria to your skin, right?

So, grab some rubbing alcohol and disinfect your tool with it. Make sure to wash your hands and face as well before going with the procedure.

3. Prepare your face

Wash and steam your face. It will help open up your pores so it’ll be easier to squeeze those pimples out.

However, do not let your face get too close to the steam. It can cause broken capillaries which can make your face sensitive and unfit for the procedure.

how to extract a pimple

You can also apply warm compress on individual zits if you don’t like steaming your entire face. Do this at least 15 minutes before extraction.

4. Know which ones to pop

I know it’s tempting, but not all pimples can be popped.

To avoid nasty consequences, choose pimples that have a yellow or white head. Never attempt to pop a zit without a head because if you do, you’ll just make your acne worse.

It might even cause other pimples to form on the surrounding areas.

5. Use gentle motions

After pricking the tip of a pimple, place the loopy end on top of it and press down gently. The gunk will be removed quite easily if the zit is ready to come out.

See to it that the entire gunk is removed. Make sure that the “mother seed” or the acne root (which feels more solid) is completely extracted so the zit doesn’t grow back the next day.

6. Squeeze the remaining gunk out with your fingers

Extractors are great but sometimes they don’t get the entire job done. This is especially true when the loop of the extractor is smaller than the actual pimple.

For this scenario, get a tissue paper and put it on top of your pimple. Then, press or squeeze both sides of the pimple gently to remove the remaining gunk your extractor missed.

You can also use some q-tip to “roll out” the remaining gunk and lymph fluid from your zit.

7. Know when to stop

If the acne root is still not coming out despite following the steps above to a tee, maybe it’s time for you to give up. Stop forcing it out of your skin if it still isn’t ready to come out.

Trying to squeeze a zit that’s not “ripe” enough can cause more damages to your skin. You might even end up with a worse inflammation and infection.

8. Apply medication

Medications help popped pimples heal faster.

Using a q-tip, you can apply some rubbing alcohol on the popped zits. But, I must warn you: it will sting.

As an alternative, you can dab on some antibiotic gel or aloe vera gel and cover the popped pimples with a band-aid.

Aside from helping them heal faster, it can also prevent acne scarring and bacterial infections.

how to extract a pimple

Now, after popping your zits, you’ll notice that they will bleed, swell, and crust over after extraction. They may even look bigger.

However, you must remember this: Those reactions are normal.

If you interrupt any of those processes, your popped zits won’t be able to heal completely.

So, avoid picking the crusty scabs and stop touching your zits all the time.


Popping pimples is nowhere near fun.

First of all, it’s really painful. And when not done properly, it can make matters worse (read: more inflammation and scarring).

However, since there are days when you just have to pop them, you have to know exactly how to do it. That’s exactly where this guide can come in handy.

Do you pop your pimple? How do you do it?

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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