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I Popped A Pimple And Something Hard Came Out?

If you’re frantically googling, “I popped a pimple and something hard came out,” don’t panic. Your skin is probably icky right now, but you’re not experiencing a dire skin care situation.

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What Is The Hard Thing That Comes Out Of A Pimple?

More often than not, that hard thing that came out of your pimple is probably the dried version of the pus that usually comes out of your pimples.

Dead skin, bacteria, and oils can all clog your pores and cause pimples. Usually, they have a fluid-like consistency, and when you go to pop the pimple, you get that little squirt of moisture. But other times, that concoction of dead skin and oil can dry out underneath your skin, which leads to those “hard pimples.” It’s still all the same ingredients, just presented in a different way.

You might even be familiar with that middle-ground pimple, where the pus is sort of condensed and sticks together. Whether liquid-y, thick, or hard, pimples are all made of the same stuff (so if you’ve been googling“I popped a pimple and something hard came out”, you can breath a sigh of relief).

Why Does My Pimple Have Hard Pus?

Your pimple has hard pus for all the same reasons it has wet pus.

The oil resting on the surface of your skin is called “sebum,” and occasionally you have way more sebum than you actually need (especially as a teenager). That excess sebum is really good at helping dead skin and bacteria clog and infect your pores

So, yes, technically pimples are little infections along your skin. That’s why the skin around your pimple is probably red and inflamed. 

The little whitehead is that concoction of oil, dead skin, and bacteria building up and getting ready to pop (on its own or with your help).

What comes out of your pimple might be hard or fluid, that just depends on how those pimple ingredients combined. The harder the pimple, the more dead skin it contained.

Is It Dangerous To Have A Pimple With A Hard White Core?

Pimples with hard white cores aren’t dangerous, but they can be painful. If you have frequent, painful pimples, it’s probably worth it to see a dermatologist.

We often use the words “pimples” and “acne” interchangeably, but acne is actually a disease, and rampant pimples are just one symptom. Treating acne can help with those uncomfortable hard pimples (although, preventing them by using the best acne moisturizer possible or even just staying away from things that cause oily skin, like creatine).

Now, mistaking other skin conditions for hard pimples can be dangerous. Cysts, staphs, and skin cancer can all present themselves like hard pimples. You can spot the difference by observing whether the bumpy part of your skin feels more like a lesion or wound than a clog. If so, it’s probably not a pimple. Your skin may be infected and need a non-acne treatment.

How To Properly Pop A Pimple With Hard Substance

If you googled “I popped a pimple and something hard came out”, you made a mistake. You really shouldn’t “pop” your pimples to treat them (hard to resist, I know!). The best cure is to let them work themselves out. Remember, pimples are infections, and your body knows how to handle infections. Things like face powders won’t fix the problem.

If you must pop, pop with care and caution. Hard pimples work just like any other pimples when it comes to popping. Wait until you have a whitehead built up – that means the pimple is close to the surface of your skin, and less likely to scar if you pop it. Clean your hands, push the skin toward the pimple until it pops, then treat the area with rubbing alcohol and avoid touching it any more.

Some dermatologists recommend sterilizing a needle and using the needle to pop the pimple. You can also try a reverse motion to popping, pulling the skin away from the pimple so that the fluid drains internally. But I know that none of these methods feel as fun or as safe as regular old pimple popping…even if popping isn’t good for your skin.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.