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To squeeze or not to squeeze………………..or pick,or prick,or pop,or scratch-that is  the question?

The birthing of a pimple is no cause for celebration and there will be no naming ceremony at my house. We’ve all played host to these nasty, painful, unsighly, throbbing, mind of their own insidious beasts.

They choose their host indiscriminately but not their position, placing themselves front and centre like  Ricky Martin on stage and never never never discreetly behind your ear,or in your hair line kinda place.

The Third Eye-unseeing but not unseen!

Aways in a place where random strangers are immediately confused as to which head they should be talking to, coinciding with the day you’ve booked the family photo shoot in preparation for the xmas card mail out, thats our beast!

A BCF ( best concealer friend) became my 11th finger during those times of torment. Armed with a ‘go hard or go home’ attititude and an inability to restrain myself, the creation af a green headed monster to embark on it’s own healing process never entered my mind. Immediate erradication was overiding. As a Dermal Cllinician I am now skilled in removal of my own Mt Etna’s but I’m not sure I would advise the same technique to fellow sufferers. Hypocritical I know but I want scar-free and complication-free outcomes for my clients.

Gotta getcha outta my life……….. 

Professionally I approach this delicate procedure glove,gowned with aseptic practice. Reducing the spread of infection is priority so keep those hands away from the area involved!

We all have a preferred method of strangulation……from the tea tree burn to the two finger vice grip.Some even suggest using a combination of rubbing alcohol and sea breeze……not sure how to capture and apply the sea breeze, despite my proximity to it. There is certainly a dearth of creative home remedies out there!

A good starting point is to include good cleansing hygiene ,which means using a gentle cleanser containing Salicylic Acid and a non oily Zinc based sunscreen or moisturiser. Salicylic acid acts as a keratolytic, bacteriocide and antinflammatory agent and  Zinc posesses the ability to help speed up the healing process. The regular changing of bedlinen and towels is also of benefit.

For more severe cases, in clinic treatments may include superficial peels and llight based therapies to assist in the reduction of lesions. The use of isotretinoins, oral/ topical antibiotics and retionoids may also be considered in difficult to manage cases,however this should be balanced with the risks and side effects associated with these treatment options.

Patience and compliance are your friends when tackling this condition and results may be prolonged taking as long as 8 weeks for results.

Acne Is a multlifactorial condition meaning there are a number of contributing factors including genetics, hormones, enviromental (humidity and skin care products),medication and diet.

Acne is diagnosed into three categories -mild, moderate and severe according to the number of lesions involved and these factors should be considered when investigating treatment options with your Dr or Dermal Clinician. It is also important to remembet to consider treatments  already tried.

The Triangle of Death, an urban myth….?

The Triangle of Death is no urban myth! The area spans from the corners of the mouth to the bridge of the nose. The potential exists for the spread of an infection to the brain from a pimple being squeezed in this triangle. This is possible due to the special nature of the venous supply to the nose and surrounding area and proximity to the meninges (the membrane protecting the brain), via the cavernous sinus, so best to avoid using the ‘vice grip’ here!

But it’s no myth Acne can be disfiguring and emotionally damaging. It is most prevalent during the angst ridden teenage years when the hormone Androgen is rampant. Androgen increases the production of oil in the sebaceous glands. Together a build up of epidermal cells (creating a plug), this increased oil production, bacteria and inflammation combine to form a pimple.

So lets have that funeral……

Plenty of treatment options are available depending on the severity of the condition……squeezing is not one of them! Heres some tips…….


  • gentle cleansing x 2 daily
  • non oily moisturisers/zinc base sunscreen
  • diet- there is some evidence to suggest a low GI diet may help with some Acne sufferers
  • Don’t battle the beast on your own seek help from your Dermal Clinician, Dr or Pharmacist


For more detailed professional advice and treatment options for Acne -or simply to ask me a question-please visit



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