Aftercare of a Popped Pimple

by Kimberly Johnson

You know shouldn’t have done it, but you just couldn’t help it. That giant pimple on your chin was just begging to be popped. While it’s never a good idea to pop a pimple, it can be done safely -- especially with proper aftercare. Sterilizing the area keeps infection from setting in, which would be far worse than the original pimple. Proper care also prevents the all-too-familiar scab from forming as a lasting reminder.

Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water. This prevents additional oil or bacteria from transferring from your hands onto the skin.

Saturate a cotton ball with alcohol, and then squeeze the cotton ball firmly to remove the excess.

Wipe the cotton ball over the pimple and the surrounding skin out to 1/4 inch. This kills any bacteria inside the pore and prevents it from spreading to other areas.

Apply a tiny dab of antibiotic ointment to the tip of a cotton swab. Press the ointment onto the center of the pimple to reduce inflammation and kill any remaining bacteria inside of it.

Wait until the ointment absorbs completely. Apply a tiny dab of 2.5 percent or 5 percent benzoyl peroxide to the tip of a clean cotton swab. Spread the product over the pimple until it is covered. You can also opt for a salicylic acid product containing a 1 to 2 percent concentration.

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Items you will need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Cotton ball
  • Alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid


  • Opt for a tinted benzoyl peroxide product that matches your skin tone to help hide the pimple until it heals completely.


  • Never squeeze a pimple, as this can damage the surrounding skin and cause permanent scarring.
  • Do not apply makeup, sunscreen or any other facial products until the pimple has time to heal over, which can take several hours. These products can get down into the pore and cause a new infection to occur.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images