Will squeezing whiteheads cause scars? (photo)
Hi! I am 20 this year. I tend to squeeze white heads on my cheeks. I would like to know whether squeezing whiteheads can result in scarring?
Thanks for asking this question as I believe a lot of readers have a similar dilemma: To squeeze or not to squeeze?
From your photo, it appears that you do have whiteheads (also known as closed comedones). There is an area of redness on the lower part of the photo, it may be an acne eruption or due to excessive irritation to the skin from vigorous squeezing. There are shallow scars seen on your close-up photo as well.
It is important to refrain from squeezing any whiteheads, blackheads or pimples as it can definitely lead to scarring if you try to be over-enthusiastic about it. I do understand that you would like to get rid of these unsightly lesions but there are definitely other more efficient and safe methods.
From my experience, topical retinoids are effective in minimising whiteheads and blackheads as they unblock the pores, allowing oil stuck in the pores (whiteheads) to be released. This in turn leads to less pimples. Gentle chemical peels such as glycolic acid or mandelic acid can also be used depending on the individual's skin. In addition, topical retinoids and chemical peels can help to smoothen out shallow scars. For slightly deeper scars, there are other options such as subcision, picosecond fractional laser or carbon dioxide fractional laser. Do consult an experienced dermatologist for a proper individualised assessment.
Take care and try not to squeeze your whiteheads or pimples!
Dr Ker Khor Jia