Are you a spot sufferer? Have you spent hours wondering if you should pick spots or leave them? It’s something that feels so good, so satisfying and then you hear your mum whispering in the back of your head (like seriously, how did she get there?), ‘you better not be picking your spots now!’. But why, seriously why should I not be doing something that feels ‘o so good!’ Well lovely, I am here today to release you from spot picking guilt. I am a firm believer that you should absolutely pick your spots and I have 5 science backed reasons why!
1. A Spot Is Trying to Pick Itself – You Gotta Help It Out!
It would be bad of us to not help it out right! Should you pick spots or leave them? We need to know what that spots purpose in life is, then our purpose, no, our duty(!) is to help them on their ‘natural, born-to-do-it’ path in life.
There are lots of different things that can cause a spot, anything from hormones to dead skin, bacteria and stress (hormones again! Geez! They have a lot to answer for!). Spots have a lot of different causes, but once they are ‘born’ they all have the same aim. They are united like that! Spots are like a fighter pilot, in crazy slow motion, attempting to press the eject button. A spot is your body ‘reacting’ to something that shouldn’t be in your skin, it’s bad, it wants out, and your skin is going to do whatever it can to eject it or neutralize the danger. This is proper 007 stuff my friends.
A spots aim in life is to isolate the danger and get rid of it.
So when it comes to that question, ‘Should I pick spots or leave them?’, it is all about timing my friend. Picking a spot too early is like trying to eat your dinner before you’ve cooked it. You have to let your body ‘do its thang’ [isolate that spot for you] then it’ll let you know when ‘It’s time’! How do we know? A white head my friend. That white head is a sign. It is your body waving a flag, sending up the smoke signals and lighting its SOS fire. A white head is a spot that has been isolated!
Should you pick spots or leave them? See a white head and its A-OK to pick that spot.
2. Spot Juice (puss) Is Not Good For You If It’s Locked Up
If spots ‘hang-around’ for too long, then a dermatologist will ‘lance them’, see we all know spot juice is not good for your skin or your body. A home friendly method for pre-white headed spots is a dab of alcohol or witch hazel on the surface to dry them out… however normally I would not recommend alcohol on skin, for this reason.
The main reason people answer leave ’em well alone’, to the question ‘should you pick spots or leave them?’ – because most people believe squeezing a spot causes damage.
It makes sense right, you know this, and I can tell you yes, this is absolutely true, there is an amount of damage. I can also tell you that there is damage anyway, because most spots like to think they are competing with Mt.Everest for world’s largest title. That means there is damage being caused to your skin because it is ‘inflamed’ and that means skin stress. The longer that spot, with all its bacteria, thrive in your skin, the more damage is caused. See a spot, is the site of a skin war. With every kind of war, there is damage caused before someone wins.
My personal experience, for my skin, leaving a spot well alone for its whole life, leaves me with noticeably damaged skin and those ‘dark’ marks that fade with time.
Should you pick spots or leave them? In the world of medicine, there is a go-by saying, ‘Where there is Puss, evacuate it’. Puss is not meant to be ‘kept’ in your body! Leaving it there, is like not washing and deciding to ‘fester’ instead, while that is a challenge an all, it’s not one I would recommend!
Of course there are good and bad ways to pick your spots, here is a super skin friendly method of ‘spot picking’ which will cause minimal damage to your skin!
3. You’re Not Killing Anything That Wasn’t Dead Anyway
If you checked out the super-skin friendly way to pick your spots, you’ll of read that the top of a puss filled spot is dead. This is another part of a spots natural ‘goal’ in life, it’s all about the ejection! Once your body has decided it is time, there ain’t no good gonna be done by keeping that puss in your skin.
When skin is dead, there ain’t no damage you can cause to it!
Should you pick spots or leave them? That dead bit of skin on the top of a white-headed spot is the evacuation door for puss. Thing is, sometimes skin is too tough for it to evacuate, and while it can’t take the fire escape, that puss is causing damage to your skin trying to find another exit. This is why, when asked ‘should I pick spots or leave them’ I say pick, pick them in the right way & at the right time and you will save skin from more damage.
4. There’s a Lot of Bad For Skin Stuff In a Spot
A spot contains good and bad stuff. Bad stuff being bacteria, dead skin and toxins that those nasty bacteria make. The good stuff is what your body releases to fight the spot war.
The spot starts which much more of the bad stuff. A spot has something that bacteria have fed off of to make that spot. Everyone needs a hearty meal to do their best work ‘ey! This is a reason why you should pick spots and not leave them. That spot has food for bacteria in it. If you had mice, you wouldn’t leave crumbs out to make the wee ones feel all comfortable in your house ‘eh!
Should you pick spots or leave them? Picking your spot when its ‘ripe ‘en ready’ makes sure the good bacteria gets over the finishing line. There’s not much bacteria can do if there no food to feed them!
5. Picking a Spot Gets Things Over Quickly
Have you had those spots that just won’t seem to go away? They seem to have become your new BFF, they’ve gotten all clingy and can’t bear to be without you. I don’t blame them, you are pretty spectacular (!) but I completely get it – everyone needs their space!
If you leave spots completely to do their own thing, then you might be waiting a long time. #PullThatPlasterOff
That is more time that spot has to cause damage to your skin, more time the spot making bacteria have to feast on their dinner getting all strong and mighty and more time for that spot to go deeper and get ‘roots’! Basically there is a lot of skin havoc that can happen.
Should you pick spots or leave them? Sometimes everyone needs a little help and picking spots at the right time IS helping your body and your skin. If you choose to leave ’em, it’s like watching the dirty dishes pile up on the counter top. That’s ok for a while, I mean we all deserve a night off, but too many nights and the bacteria set-in!
If a spot is taking too long to get ‘ripe’ and squeezable then get to drying them out by dabbing alcohol or witch hazel on the spot ‘top’.
Well lovelies, do you feel free and scientifically backed to pick your spots? Empowered to know the ‘right time’ to do it? Chat to me in the comments below…
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.