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Why is it dangerous to squeeze a pimple or a boil?

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Quick Answer

The reason it is bad to squeeze a pimple or a boil is because squeezing the pimple or boil can release the bacteria contained within it, which can make it easily spread to other parts of the skin, according to dermatologist Zakiya Rice of Emory University School of Medicine. Improper tampering with a pimple or boil increases the risk of infection near the site of the blemish, as noted by Summit Medical Group.

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Full Answer

Pimples and boils are two completely different types of skin blemishes. Pimples are caused by different factors such as hormonal changes, stress and improper skin hygiene, while boils are caused by a specific bacteria called Staphylococcus, according to the Kids Health website and Summit Medical Group. Despite being different blemishes, both pimples and boils contain liquid bacteria that should not be spread.

Many people think that squeezing pimples or boils to release the bacteria will make the blemish go away, but in fact releasing the bacteria results in an increased risk of creating more pimples or boils, according to Zakiya Rice, MD. Poking and prodding at boils can actually push the Staph infection deeper into the skin, and proper draining of boils and pimples should be done by well-trained dermatologists using a sterile needle and extractor.

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