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The Science Behind Why You Absolutely Love To Pop Your Pimples

I don't know about you, but I love watching videos of people popping their pimples.

I can sit down for literally an hour just to watch clips of people draining the living hell out of gargantuan, rock-hard, swollen, infected abscesses, dripping puss like a damn water fountain.

I know. My ex-boyfriend thought I was nothing short of strange. He would even save his juiciest pimples for me to pop because he knew I just had to (that's relationship goals, by the way).

As idiosyncratic as this may be, I promise you, there really is a scientific justification behind this very gross, but very satisfying behavior.


In the simplest terms, it's basically the same sort of thrill you might get from riding a roller coaster or bungee jumping.

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According to Cosmopolitan, popping a pimple can actually make you feel like you're experiencing a real sense of danger, even in a totally harmless situation.

Taking care of a pimple — or just watching others do it online — heightens the senses in a new and exciting way.

And, in a way, when it comes to your own blemishes, there's definitely a sense of feeling like you have to take care of those little suckers.

Elite Daily spoke with psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman, who weighed in on why popping those sacks of puss feels so pressing and so good.


She says it's sort of like the phenomenon of “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

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Dr. Lieberman explains,

It makes us anxious to know that something is going to be happening in the future, and [we don't] have control over it.

So taking over control when something is about to ‘pop' or ‘happen,' makes us feel less helpless.

When you think about it, this really does make perfect sense.

In fact, when you pop a pimple, you're actually activating your brain's reward system, and you get hit with a rush of dopamine, which makes you feel good.


However, keep in mind what your body really endures when you pop a pimple.

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Picking at and popping blemishes can tear the skin and cause trauma and inflammation.

If you simply cannot help yourself, be sure to wash your hands and face before you pop (and after, ya nasty).

If your hands and face aren't clean when you go in for the kill, once the skin is open, you're only inviting more dirt into that open area.

I know you like to be gross, but it's just unnecessary to be that gross. Come on, now.

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Imani Brammer

Staff Writer

Imani Brammer is a writer, on-air talent and YouTuber, where she produces videos on how to navigate the nuances of adulthood. Subscribe to her channel at YouTube.com/ImaniBrammer.
Imani Brammer is a writer, on-air talent and YouTuber, where she produces videos on how to navigate the nuances of adulthood. Subscribe to her channel at YouTube.com/ImaniBrammer.

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