needle image by Henryk Olszewski from

Red spots associated with acne are caused by your body’s immune response to a bacterial infection. When a pore becomes clogged, resulting in a blackhead or whitehead, acne-causing bacteria can proliferate, triggering an immune response and red spots. Popping a blackhead or whitehead can often make this problem worse, because it is easy to introduce bacteria into a clogged pore. For this reason, it is best to avoid popping blackheads or whiteheads. However, if you do need to remove an unsightly blackhead or whitehead, you can minimize your chances of infecting the pore with the right preparation.

Wash your hands thoroughly. The goal is to create as sterile an environment as possible, so spend at least 30 seconds, paying special attention to your fingertips.

Wash your face with mild facial cleanser. Splash warm water on your face, and lightly wash using only your fingers. Do not scrub, or spend more than 15 seconds cleaning your face. You can easily irritate your skin this way, making redness more likely.

Pat your face dry with a towel. While your face finishes drying on its own, disinfect the needle with the rubbing alcohol.

Gently prick the surface of the whitehead or blackhead with the needle. Stop immediately if blood appears.

Wrap your fingers in tissues. Gently squeeze the whitehead or blackhead from the sides. If the clogged pore does not pop right away, do not force the issue--you will likely irritate the skin and create more redness.

About the Author

Fred Samsa

Fred Samsa has been writing articles related to the arts, entertainment and home improvement since 2003. His work has appeared in numerous museum publications, including program content for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and he was awarded a Presidential Fellowship in 2005. He holds a Master of Arts in art from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Brown University.