Ask A Skin Doctor: Dangers of Popping Acne Zits

acne zits

Dear Doctor

I had a zit here on the corner of my mouth, one of those very large ones that stay for a couple of weeks. I popped and I think I must have rubbed it raw or something when I was trying to get rid of it because I woke up one morning and it had turned into this.

I used Neutrogena Deep Clean makeup wipe and the Sea Breeze Clear Pore Astringent and also the Mario Badescu drying lotion overnight on it.

I’m not sure why it went from a large red bump to this huge, red, painful spot. It is also very dry and looks flaky under my makeup. Like I said its pretty painful when I move my mouth because of the spot it is in.

acne zits

Dear Patient

I am sorry because of what has happened and this shows us the dangers of popping acne zits. These dangers include:


Inflammation can develop in an acne lesion that was not inflamed as it becomes red, bigger and more painful.


Scars are more likely to develop in acne pimples which are popped because the infected material is pushed deep within the skin.


Popping acne zits can lead to infections where the zit becomes larger, painful and pus might even collect in it.

Death in the Danger Triangle of the Face

In some situations the infections can lead to death especially if they involve the danger triangle of the face. This base of this triangle extends from one angle of the mouth (where your zit is) to the other angle of the of your mouth. Its tip is at your nose.

Infections in this area can enter the bloodstream and go to the brain and cause the blood to clot in the Cavernous sinus which leads to death.

Because your infected acne zit is in the danger triangle of the face, consult your nearest doctor as soon as possible so that they can begin you on a course of antibiotics.

This is a medical and dermatological emergency and so I will not advise you on the treatment of acne as this infected lesion has to be treated urgently with prescription medications.

Dangers of popping pimples and acne zits

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