Introduction and background
one of the worst things that you can do for your skin and acne problems is to constantly pick, squeeze and touch your face, according to Mark Bowers, Ph.D. Not only does it invite infection by placing germs near open sores, but you could be making the problem worse by adding oils to your skin from your fingers. Not touching your face can greatly improve the condition of your acne, but some may find it hard or nearly impossible to not touch, poke or squeeze new acne sores.
Why touching is dangerous?
Because of infection, inflammation and damage to the skin cells, scarring may form after a pimple bursts or subsides. This is especially the case with severe forms of acne. Scarring may vary depending on how infected the pimple became, and how much the person experiencing the pimple manually interfered with it via touching and popping. Pimple scarring can be permanent, as well as create an atmosphere for future chronic pimple infections in the future. Therefore, while you might be tempted to try to pop the pimple or touch it, avoid doing so because this can make the pimple worse.
Similarly, too much washing dries out skin causing it to itch creating more problems. Then to make matters worse when you scratch with fingernails it irritates the skin and pimples even more. You have to resist the urge to touch pimples or acne with bare hands to avoid extra bacteria contact or transference.
1- Keep a log of your behavior. Bowers recommends that you keep a notebook handy so that you know how often you’re touching your acne and what is happening when you do. It might help you realize how often you do it and take note of what things trigger you touching your face. Recognizing that you do it is a first step to stopping the behavior altogether.
2- Try replacing the acne touching or zit-popping behavior with something that feels the same and gives you the same amount of satisfaction. Perhaps making the motion of touching your acne on another part of your body, such as your hand, can give you the satisfaction of touching your acne without causing more problems. Popping bubble wrap may stop you from popping your acne.
3- Clench your fingers or otherwise engage them so that you cannot touch your acne. Take up a habit that causes you to use your hands, such as crocheting or playing a video games, so that you distract your hands from touching your acne.
4- Note what situations cause you to touch your acne the most. Some may find that they tend to do it more often in stressful situations. Learning different stress coping techniques will help you to stop touching your acne. Breathing deeply when stressed or humming a song may distract you. If you find that you touch your acne most while looking in the mirror, wash your face somewhere where you can’t look in a mirror to avoid the behavior altogether.
5- Remind yourself to stop touching your face with notes posted where you can see them. You can use a code phrase if you are embarrassed of other people seeing them. Paint your fingernails a bright color that will catch your eye and remind you not to touch.
6- If you use a new acne product this can sometimes cause pimples to itch as well. Pay close attention to how skin responds when you use products this will alert you to the problem. Or it could begin to itch later in the day then think back to exactly what was used earlier.
7- Stress is yet another factor when it comes to break outs or itching. It’s possible that when you are stressed that it can cause pimples to itch. So, the best thing you can do here is keep your life as stress free as possible. You can do this by practicing meditation, exercise and eating a healthy diet.
While on the subject of diet it seems that what you eat and drink plays a role when it comes to acne problems. Try to avoid too much sugar, soft drinks, meat, caffeine, candy, ice cream and refined processed foods.
The best way to prevent pimple scars is to keep your face clean. Using a simple face wash and performing periodic face scrubs will help keep pimples from forming. However, pimples are sometimes unavoidable. In these situations, a pimple solution with an anti-inflammatory agent will help keep swelling and scarring to a minimum. If you experience pimples, do not play with them or try to remove them on your own. Touching the pimple with your bare hands only introduces further dirt, bacteria and oil to the affected area. Popping your pimple will cause greater scarring and infection, leaving you with an increased chance of permanent scarring. Remember with proper care of your body and mind you can avoid itchy pimples and outbreaks you and you alone are the only one who can do it.