Dermatologists and well-trained estheticians know how to safely pop pimples. They will usually remove a pimple by popping it with a sterile needle, and removing the contents with an instrument called a comedone extractor.

Although it is safest to leave the pimple popping to the pros, it is not always practical or feasible to visit a dermatologist every time you have a breakout. Pimples can also be very hard to resist, and without thinking, we use our fingers to squeeze the pus out of that bright red zit on your cheek, chin, or nose.

However, if you are determined to do it for yourself at home, here is the best, most hygienic and safe way to pop your pimples.

7 Steps to Properly Popping a Pimple

1. Only pop a pimple that has a firm white head. If necessary, wait until the pus is close to the surface and ready to be drained.

2. To avoid spreading dirt or germs from your hands to your face, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water, soap, and a nail brush.

3. Sterilize a straight pin by holding it in the flame of a match or lighter. Once the pin is cool, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol. You will also want to swab the pimple with rubbing alcohol and pour some on your fingers to ensure everything is sterilized.

4. Dry the rubbing alcohol off your fingers and wrap them in a clean tissue.

5. Take the sterilized pin and hold it parallel to the surface of your skin, and gently pierce the very tip of the pimple head.

6. Softly squeeze around the white head of the pimple with your fingers or a cotton swab. If the pus does not come out easily, you should stop and leave the pimple as it is not ready to be popped.

7. Once you have squeezed out the pus, apply more alcohol or a very small amount of bacitracin ointment to the now-deflated blemish. This may sting but it is an important last step to clean the open pimple.

Remember, you should never try to squeeze and pop a pimple or blemish that does not have a head. This method is specifically for pimples that have a white head of pus.