What Do You Put on a Popped Pimple to Prevent Scarring?

Proper care for pimples can keep your face smooth and scar-free.

Photo: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

When a girl's getting ready to go out for a night on the town, a big date, or even just to her workplace, the last thing she wants to deal with is covering up unsightly acne scarring. Pimples are problematic even when they first pop up, and no one wants to live with the unfortunate aftermath of popping one out. Ever just have to burst that big, annoying zit, even knowing it might scar? No worries; you can still reduce the possibility of scarring and keep your face looking flawless.

Scar Styles

Left untreated, a popped pimple can quickly turn into several types of scarring, some of which are much more noticeable than others. In addition to the usual small, pale scars that fade over time, a girl can get deep, pit-like holes that makeup alone can't cover and discolored marks that stand out against her skin. Bigger blemishes like lumpy keloid scars and shallow dell scars can't always be corrected after the fact, either, even with surgical intervention.

Keep It Clean

Just popped that pimple? Don't let the open wound get contaminated with new bacteria from your hands, or you may just find yourself with a bigger blemish later. Dip a cotton swab into your favorite cleanser and gently clean the area around the pimple, then rinse your face. Skip the exfoliating scrub this time around, however, or you may just irritate your skin into another breakout. Ditto for makeup, which will just clog up the wound.


One of the worst things you can do to a popped pimple is let it get reinfected and fill with pus once more. At this point you're usually stuck with scraping off the scab and squeezing it again, making a bigger wound that's much less likely to heal up scar-free. Treat your freshly-popped pimples with a salicylic acid cleanser daily, and follow it up with a dab of antibiotic ointment for some fast infection prevention.

Soft and Smooth

Although you never want to pick off a pimple scab, you also shouldn't let it get too dried out, either. Hard scabs heal harshly, creating puckered scar tissue. Instead, keep your scabs soft and supple by smoothing on a bit of vitamin E oil and cocoa butter every night. Getting ready to go out the next morning? Don't forget to cover your scabs and new scars with sunscreen to avoid discoloration and extra skin damage.

Related Videos




National Institutes of Health: Acne
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Better Skin; Lucy Beale and Angela Jensen Healing Adult Acne; Richard G. Fried



Acne for Dummies; Herbert P. Goodheart

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