Guide to Squeezing Spots


Traffic light guide to squeezing acne spots

Main acne page

This is a simple guide. There are, however a view basic rules to consider first:

  • Once you have squeezed a spot, leave it alone.
  • Use only freshly washed hands or a clean tissue.
  • Avoid digging long nails into the skin. This not only damages the skin but also leaves large marks behind.
  • Use a concealer only once the skin has started to settle (this may take up to an hour).
  • You can use emergency spot treatments to help calm and reduce redness

Think traffic lights:


Red – stop!

Squeezing red spots (papules) hard may force the contents deeper into the skin. This can cause greater damage, possibly resulting in a scar which might not have happened had the spot been left. A papule can be treated with emergency spot products that help to reduce the redness, and can then be concealed with a product that matches the usual skin colour. This is suitable for both men and women.

Yellow – ready!

This type of common spot, called a pustule, has a yellowish centre filled with pus. Pus is the name given to the white blood cells that are fighting the bacteria causing the spot. This can be gently squeezed out using the following technique to keep any damage to the skin to a minimum:

  • First use a warmed face cloth and leave on the spot for a few minutes to help prepare the area to make it easier to squeeze.
  • Gently pull the skin apart around the spot, away from the centre. It is natural to want to squeeze together, but this can make the spot worse. If it is ready, the action of pulling apart should be enough to allow it to gently pop. Applying more pressure could lead to problems.
  • If you have to use long or short nails, wrapped two pieces of clean tissue around your fingers to give plenty of padding.
  • Avoid the temptation to pierce the skin, and don’t use home-sterilised pins or needles. Stop if you see blood, carefully dab the skin and leave alone to recover.
  • Dab the skin after it has burst and apply any self-medication that claims to help calm redness.
  • Leave the skin as long as possible before trying to conceal.
  • If all of the above do not work, leave the spot alone.

In case you are wondering about the last colour of the traffic light, if you have a green spot, you will need to seek help from your doctor! Luckily this is extremely rare and not usually connected to acne in anyway.

Main acne page