What’s All The Fuss About “Popping” And Pus?

Joe MayDiseases

Online videos showing cyst lancing, zit popping, etc, have grown in popularity lately. Apparently, a lot of people like to watch pus come oozing out of skin from zits and more, as long as it’s somebody else’s.  Bio Recovery had some folks look into the how and whys of this phenomenon.

Why People Do It?

Why do people like these so much? It might be that there’s tension and release…with no danger. It might be because it is so disgusting – and we want to prove to ourselves that we can handle it. We get to experience disgust without any danger. It might be a certain lure of the forbidden.

It’s not appropriate to pop pimples or zits in public, so of course, we want to see people do it. Some people actually find these videos relaxing and use them to help them fall asleep.

Medical Professionals & “Popping Videos”

Some medical professionals even think that popping videos may be beneficial to people with dermatillomania (skin picking disorder) as they can watch videos instead of picking at their own skin. A few people have a, uh, a fetish for popping pimples and zits. Ahem.

Of course, other people can’t watch such a video without literally throwing up. In fact, it’s become such a phenomenon that you can get special lancing and popping tools to make your own videos. (Some of the videos are being made by surgeons, but most are ordinary people).

Good Or Bad Idea?

So, is it a good idea to make your own popping video? Probably…not. Videos that are made in a surgeon’s office are of medical procedures that are simply being filmed. First of all, popping pimples, although hard to resist, is actually bad for you.

You should actually do your best to resist the temptation to pop a pimple or zit, especially on your face, as you’re opening your skin, introducing bacteria from your fingers, and risking an infection that can make you very ill.

Pimples directly under your nose, between the nose and mouth, can even result in an infection going into your brain if popped. Popping acne pimples also makes potential scarring more likely and worse and, even if nothing worse happens, the bacteria from a pimple can hit another pore and, well, guess what happens then.

Needles or Pins?

Dermatologists pop problem pimples with a sterilized needle or pin. A lot of these video makers are using pins from their sewing kit or the like and not sterilizing them properly – which greatly increases the risk of infection.

Staph is a particularly bad risk and with the growth of MRSA (Otherwise known as “superbugs”) the risk of infection is only getting worse.


Squeezing sebaceous cysts and other under-skin cysts can be even more dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. (In general, cysts can be left alone unless they’re growing or becoming unsightly).

Cysts generally pop under the skin and don’t produce that satisfying pus anyway – and the pus can cause major scars or, again, an infection which could be antibiotic-resistant. Additionally, a lot of people are buying and using tools such as comedone extractors which can cause even more skin damage if not used correctly.


In other words, you should probably think of something else to post to YouTube if you’re tempted to post a video of yourself popping a pimple or, worse, a cyst, or lancing your own abscess (one man lanced his own tooth abscess, which is just a disaster waiting to happen).

Like, you know, your cat or kid doing something hilariously stupid. If you are one of those people who likes popping videos, then consider watching the ones posted by actual dermatologists (or veterinarians – some of these videos are of people popping cysts on animals) and not giving hits to the amateurs.

The more people watch, the more they will be encouraged to do something potentially dangerous to their skin – and their overall health.



Here’s why we’re so fascinated by pimple popping videos – Bustle.com

Science behind why videos popping pimples, cysts, and blackheads are so popular right now – Medicaldaily.com

Can popping pimples kill you? – Huffingtonpost.com

Skin Problems & Treatments – WebMD.com

13 things that can go wrong when you try to pop a zit – Bustle.com