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They’re uncomfortable, embarrassing and social life–threatening, and even when thinking back to your acne-covered high school days, you still can’t help but pick at a pimple. Though you may want to solve the problem as quickly as possible, it’s important leave your fingers where they belong and leave that zit alone! Though your mom has lectured you since you hit puberty, here's why you should never, ever pick a zit.

You’ll Make Inflammation Worse

While a stubborn pimple might make you want to fix the situation fast so that you can go back to looking like your pimple-free (flawless!) self, it’s important to know one thing: popping a pimple will only make the inflammation worse. The picking and pressure as you try to let out the ooze damages the skin around your zit, making it swell and appear larger and more inflamed. It can even cause the problem area to spread.

You Might Cause Scarring

Even worse, all that incessant picking can actually leave behind scars that last a lifetime. Let your zit heal itself instead and you’ll avoid a long-term reminder of its existence. If, when your pimple starts to heal, you notice that it’s too late, take action with a scar treatment product like Bio-Oil.

You Can Get an Infection

Let’s face it: your fingers are germ-carriers, regardless of how often you wash your hands. Touching your face in general can cause acne to sprout and spread, but touching an active pimple will undoubtedly make it worse by adding more bacteria to it. If you absolutely must undergo the extraction process, at least use a tool like the Clear Skin Beauty Tool to avoid causing an infection. And never poke and prod if a pimple is still well under the skin.

You Can Cause Discoloration

Other than scars that last, popping your pimple can also cause discoloration around the problematic area that sticks around for far too long. This discoloration is essentially another form of scarring, which can thankfully be treated with products like Skin Medica Scar Recovery. But why not avoid it in the first place instead?

You Might Cause More Pimples

The goo inside your pimple contains, quite obviously, pimple-causing bacteria. When you press hard, forcing that goo to pop out of your zit, you’re at risk of causing more pimples in the surrounding open pores. Talk about counter-productive!

You’ll Make it Last Longer

Left un-attacked by your dirty fingers, a regular blemish will heal itself within three to seven days. But, after being poked and prodded, the bacteria can be forced deeper into the skin or new bacteria can easily be introduced to the zit, extending the healing-process to weeks or leaving you with a scar that lasts forever.

Instead of picking at your zits, it’s important that you contain your urges and just let things happen naturally. Let that pesky pimple run its course and you’ll be fresh-faced and smiling in no time. It's just another reason that proves concealer is a Godsend.

Photos: FernandoMadeira / Shutterstock

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Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece