There are many reasons why you should you stop picking at your skin. One of them is because it can cause bacteria to spread- making the issue worse.
What You Need to Know About Bacteria
Some types of acne bacteria are present in virtually every human’s skin- not just those with acne. Cutibacterium acnes (C acnes) falls into that category and for those who are breakout-prone, it is not their friend.
Many people believe bacteria is the only cause of acne. With this mindset, they often fall for the idea that an antibiotic will kill the acne bacteria, causing acne to clear up. Although some find temporary relief after taking antibiotics, they often end up with unwelcome side effects, or no improvement in their skin at all. Learn more about antibiotics for acne here.
BACTERIA DOES PLAY A PART IN ACNE FORMATION…
Cutibacterium acnes (C. Acnes) is a bacteria that thrives in environments full of oil and debris, like hair follicles (or pores). Because of the bacteria’s ability to proliferate so well inside the pore, it has a role in the stimulation of inflammation and the formation of pustules or pimples. Bacteria like C. acnes can be reduced with my Clear Skin Boot Camp protocol, where part of my focus is on reducing the “breeding ground” for bacteria in the skin. This is done by teaching you how to use acne-safe skincare and lifestyle changes that reduce oil, dead skin buildup, and other pore-cloggers.
Something to keep in mind: Bacteria from acne is easily transmitted through skin contact. For this reason, it is important to avoid common skin care mistakes that can spread acne bacteria: Like picking at your skin.
Have Trouble Resisting the Urge to Pop that Pimple?
IT CAN BE HARD TO AVOID PICKING AT YOUR SKIN, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO TRY TO STOP.
Touching your face, scratching an itch, or trying to extract acne yourself can do more harm than good. Picking at your skin will only make the issue worse by causing irritation in the deeper layers of skin. You may have started by just picking one pimple, but that may spread the infection which leads to 5 more breakouts! Scratching and Picking also lead to scarring, so the time to try to stop is now!
PICKING CAN CAUSE MORE BREAKOUTS AND SCARRING/PIGMENTATION, AND MAY ALSO LEAD TO MORE SEVERE BACTERIAL SKIN ISSUES, LIKE STAPHYLOCOCCUS.
“STAPH CAN CAUSE INFECTION WHEN THEY ENTER THE SKIN THROUGH A CUT OR SORE.”*
Here are some strategies to help you curb that urge to touch your skin:
- Avoid situations in which you find yourself picking most often; such as times of boredom or simply looking into a mirror. Try a new hobby, or spend time with a friend to lessen those triggering situations.
- Keep your hands busy with other things such as silly-putty or a stress ball. Keeping your nails trimmed short or even covered in gloves when necessary can be helpful, too.
- If your skin-picking is from high stress or emotional issues, consider seeking a medical professional who will provide you with medications or therapies to help.
- If you are scratching due to itchy skin or because you are prone to breakouts, it's time to schedule a visit with a skincare professional. As an Esthetician, I am trained in therapeutic treatments to soothe the itch, and to perform extractions of the skin the proper way. Book a facial so your skin gets the relief it needs!
*Thanks to Hopkins Medicine for the informative fact