Popping pimples is a huge skincare no-no, but to be honest, a lot of us can’t resist. Huge zits are unsightly, and you may think that squeezing will make them go away. But have you noticed that the pimple keeps coming back after popping?

Learn why this happens and the 4 easy fixes to try that will prevent pimples from reoccurring.

pimple that keeps coming back after popping

Why Does My Pimple Keep Coming Back After I Pop It?

So, you had a huge whitehead that you popped. Did you find that the popped pimple keeps filling with pus?

To understand why this happens, take a closer look at the mechanics of a zit.

What Is A Pimple Made Of?

Zoomed way in, these are the components of a pimple.

Diagram of the Stages of acne and pimples
Education vector created by brgfx – www.freepik.com

According to Medical News Today: when you have an oil gland producing an excess of sebum and dead skin cells proliferating at the opening of the pore, the hair follicle gets clogged and infected. Because of this, it creates the perfect environment for the p. acnes bacteria to thrive. This is what causes inflamed, swollen, and sensitive acne!

So, a pimple is basically filled with sebum, dead skin cells, and p. acnes bacteria!


Since there is bacteria and inflammation going on here, white blood cells are sent to the area to try to fight it. Now you have a nice mix of everything bubbling up in the pore which shows up as a whitehead on your face.

Why Do Pimples Occur Again and Again?

A pimple in itself can cause lots of inflammation and damage to the skin, even if you leave it alone. Of course, this depends on the severity of the acne and your skin.

When you factor in more physical trauma and damage that comes with popping a pimple yourself, it can lead to a lot of negative things.

When you pop a pimple, there are different risks that you are exposed to that are listed below. The first explains why a pimple keeps coming back in the same spot:

The Pimple Can Become Reinfected

Your body is trying to fight off infections caused by pimples. If you pop a pimple, (especially with dirty hands) you will reinfect the pimple.

Plus, if the pimple isn’t done fighting the infection off, that pimple keeps refilling with white blood cells and pus until it does. That’s why it is pointless to pop a pimple! Learn from my experience: when I did this, a popped pimple came back bigger on my face. Not fun!

It is best to let your body run its course when it comes to battling out a zit. If you continue this cycle, a pimple can last for months and keep coming back in the same spot.

So, if that isn’t enough reason to not pick at your skin, you also might want to consider my next point.

The Risk Of Scarring Is Higher

If you pop a pimple, the risk of damage and scarring is much higher. This will create acne scars which are more difficult to get rid of than acne. They are also harder to cover with makeup. The indentions in your skin from popping a pimple are not worth it!

A picture of acne scarring that occurs from popping pimples

All of this doesn’t sound too fun, and can really put a damper on self-confidence – right? Not to mention, it can be frustrating as well as painful when whiteheads keep coming back!

Instead, try these easy and effective methods that can prevent the reoccurrence of acne.

Here’s How To Stop A Pimple From Refilling

Here are tried and true methods for how to get rid of a pimple that keeps coming back. I’ve tried all these remedies and can vouch for them!

#1 Soak The Pimple In Sea Salt

This is hands down my favorite remedy for any sort of pimple. I’ve used sea salt to get rid of hormonal acne, cystic acne breakouts, and pregnancy acne. Using sea salt as a soak for pimples is effective, and an all natural cure for acne if you prefer clean skincare.

I have written an in-depth guide on how I use sea salt to get rid of acne.

Read More: Does Salt Water Help Acne? Only With This Unique Routine!

But for a quick explanation: bacteria cannot survive in high concentrations of salt. When you use it as a soak and let sea salt water permeate the skin, it “flushes” out the pore in a way, and can kill off the bacteria that is causing acne. Sea salt also contains many skin nourishing minerals that will help soothe and calm the acne breakout.

Plus, it is not drying in any way if you use sea salt. DO NOT USE TABLE SALT!

Do not underestimate how powerful this is! When you take away the bacteria that is causing the infection, you break the cycle of whiteheads and the inflammation that makes it so tempting to pop. The zit will go down, it won’t come back, and you prevent damage from occurring.

#2 Use Zit Stickers

Another option to use is zit stickers. They are tiny little disks that you apply to your whitehead. The ones I recommend are from ZitSticka.

ZitSticka Goo Getter patches are “made from moisture-drawing hydrocolloid to absorb fluid and impurities from your superficial zit, quickly flattening its appearance.”

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission on a purchase without an additional cost to you if you buy something through the link.

This is so helpful, because it will draw out the pus in a huge zit safely, and protects your skin from the trauma of popping it. The spot will be flattened, and the Salicylic Acid, Vitamin C, and Niacinamide will all work to repair the spot and get things back to normal!

This is a much better way to get rid of a huge whitehead!

#3 Apply Hypochlorous Acid Spray

This is another overlooked option to apply to stressed-out skin. The Tower 28 SOS Spray is a handy little spray that you can apply after cleansing or when your skin feels like it needs a pick me up. It contains:

  • Hypochlorous Acid: Soothes the look of redness, cleanses, and nourishes the skin.
  • Water and Sodium Chloride: Act as the optimal delivery solution for hypochlorous acid.

Our body actually makes this naturally, so applying it to a breakout is beneficial because it helps the healing process even more.

Let this spray penetrate the skin and sit on it overnight. Then, watch it work its magic by calming the inflamed spot and shrinking it from the inside out.

#4 Apply A Linoleic Rich Oil

Were you aware of this fact?

Acne patients have also been shown to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipids.


This basically means that in people with acne, their sebum tends to be stickier and causes the clogs in the pores that create the breakouts. When you use a linoleic-rich oil on your face, it is super beneficial!

Linoleic oils tend to be thinner and better absorbed by the skin. So it makes sense that if you add the linoleic oil back to the skin, this makes your sebum less thick and prone to clogging.

This is why using a linoleic rich oil can help break up the clog causing a zit. Combine that with anti-bacterial treatments like applying a salt solution, and you’ve got the perfect combination to help unclog the pore and get rid of the infection.

Rosehip oil is one of my favorite all-around facial oils. I use Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil and it not only helps breakouts, but helps my PIE scars, fine lines, uneven texture, gives me a glow, and also makes my skin baby soft.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about other routes you can take to avoid when a pimple keeps coming back after popping. If you are looking for more solutions to get rid of acne and get glowing skin, check out my Get Rid of Acne Archives!

Best, Mia

This content is for informational purposes only, and what has worked for me personally based on my own opinions. I am not a professional/medical doctor, and you should always consult your doctor or dermatologist on what will work best for you. The information presented here is not legitimate, official advice from a professional. If you choose to rely on any information from this blog, you do so at your own risk. Please refer to the “Blog Disclaimer” tab in the menu bar to read more information and the official disclaimer statement.

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