No matter how many times we are told not to pop a pimple, chances are we'd still do it. Perhaps we get impatient for its healing time that we'd risk having acne scars when we poke it. But apparently, there's real danger that comes from doing so. Not to be confused with the mystical Bermuda Triangle, the Danger Triangle of the Face is a real area on our face where it is most dangerous to pop a zit. To know more about it, we interviewed Dr. Vicki Belo to explain more about it.
What is the "Danger Triangle of the Face" and why is it called as such?
"The Danger Triangle of the Face includes in between the eyebrows, beside the nose down to the upper lip. You know there is a very thin lining between the nose and the brain. So, for people who get pimples on their nose or the side of the nose and they prick it, they run the risk of directly acquiring brain related infections like meningitis. When I was training in a hospital, there was this 16-year-old girl admitted to the ICU for meningitis, which was caused by pricking her acne on the side of her nose."
What are the potential dangers that may happen if we do pop a pimple in the area?
"Some of the potential dangers is when you pop a pimple some of the pus gets pushed back inside so what happens is that on the next day you have more pimples. It also scars, which can have a psychological impact when it is deep because that area is also one of the focal points of your face."
What do you suggest we do if we notice a pimple get infected in that area?
"The best way is to consult your dermatologist and have it removed by a specialist, because if not, it might get worse."
Please give us tips on how to handle a stubborn zit.
"So basically, a pimple is caused by four things: (1) oiliness; (2) bacteria; (3) skin that does not shed that is associated with oily skin because it gets stuck due to the oil; and (4) hormones. But the number one cause is oiliness. Unfortunately, [sometimes having oily face] is genetic, but there are things that can help dry it. For example, we have in our clinics the Belo Kojic Face Wash, Belo Rx Kojic Soap, or those with Salicylic Acid. You may also look for products and treatments with glycolic acid, like the Glycopeel cleaning in Belo, but make sure that you do not go overboard because it might cause burning or skin irritation (best to consult your doctor on the frequency). When there is no oil on the skin, there is no food for the bacteria to eat. The oil has free fatty acids which is used by bacteria to multiply in number. When there is more bacteria, there is more pus, which would lead to more breakouts and scarring.
"Hormones is easy to fix by sleeping properly, knowing when your period is, and eating healthy food like lettuce and a lot of vegetables because those clean out your system. Also, by taking in prebiotics and probiotics help you fight off bad bacteria and balance out the body environment (which includes your skin).
"I also prefer a kojic acid wash. Wash your face thoroughly but gently. Make sure that the under the jaw line the far corners of the face. Also use toner to help prepare and balance the face. I recommend using the Cebatrol Oil Control Pads by ZO that you use by patting on your face. There is also the Belo Essential Acne Pro, for those with moderate acne zits. It has anti-bacterial properties and doesn’t make the pimple swell. Also, pollution is another thing to watch out for. A matte sunblock (not spray) so I recommend them using the Belo Sunexpert Tinted Sunscreen."
So in essence, to avoid putting yourselves at risk with acne-induced health problems, it's best to keep your hands off those zits. Let it heal with proper treatments or consult a dermatologist if needed.