If you struggle with acne, one of the top pieces of advice you'll hear is to stop touching your face. Your hands carry bacteria which can transfer to your face. There is an especially large risk if you routinely squeeze, pop, or pick at your pimples. Touching your face is a habit like any other, which means you may find it difficult to stop. Here are four tips that will help you stop picking at your skin:
1. Wear makeup.
Wearing makeup can remind you not to touch your skin. After you spend time carefully applying cosmetics in the morning, you won't want to touch your face and mess up all your hard work. You may find liquid foundation a more effective deterrent than powder foundation, since it's more likely you will be able to feel liquid foundation sitting on your skin. Make sure to look for noncomedogenic formulas so the makeup itself doesn't exacerbate your acne.
2. Use pore strips.
Pore strips are pieces of cloth with adhesive on one side. When pressed to your skin and activated with water, this adhesive clings to your face as the pore strip dries. After a short waiting period you can pull the pore strip off your face to remove blackheads. Squeezing blackheads can irritate your skin and cause infections. Pore strips are a safe alternative, and many people find it satisfying to see their blackheads clinging to the used pore strip after. Don't use pore strips more than once a week in order to prevent irritation.
3. Try topical creams.
If you're picking at your skin due to blemishes, you can find another way to eliminate those skin imperfections. Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical that can be used to spot-treat acne. You can purchase benzoyl peroxide cream at your local drugstore. Apply the cream as directed on the label and wear sunscreen, since it may make your skin more sensitive.
4. Visit your dermatologist.
If you have a stubborn, large, or painful pimple that won't go away, it's time to visit your dermatologist. It's not a good idea to pop pimples at home, but your dermatologist has the tools and skill to safely extract cysts in their office. Your dermatologist can lance pimples in a way that won't cause scarring or infection. After your dermatologist lances your pimple, it's important that you keep the area clean until it heals. They may give you a small bandage to cover the area to remind you not to put your hands on it.