Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How do I stop one pimple from turning into multiple pimples?"

ZocdocAnswersHow do I stop one pimple from turning into multiple pimples?


Whenever I get one pimple and then pop it I end up with three or for more in the same area. Why does this happen? Should I not pop pimples or do I have acne and need some kind of medication?


The pimples that you are popping are not likely turning into multiple pimples. These pimples probably would have appeared on their own even without you popping the first one. It sounds more like you have acne that needs treatment. The good news is that there are great treatments (many of them that can be bought over the counter) that work great for mild acne. The first treatment we have is a benzoyl peroxide cream. This is a medication that acts to dry out the pores that cause acne, and kill the bacteria that are involved in causing pimples. It is cheap, easy to use, and has very few side effects. The down side to benzoyl peroxide creams and lotions is that they do not work in moderate or severe cases of acne. The second line agent is a cream called retin A, and antibiotics that can be taken by mouth. Retin A is a medication that drys out those pores. The antibiotics help to kill those bacteria responsible for the pimples. Both of these medications are by prescription. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor can help you decide on the best treatment for you. If your doctor is having trouble managing your acne, you can always get a referral to see a dermatologist.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.