It happened. You touched your faced and picked at your zits and pimples until the suckers popped open and bled. Whether you did it by accident or deliberately, you soon regret it: you didn’t think it possible, but the scar trying to heal left behind was even more offensive than the acne itself. We’re past the prevention stage: now’s the time to heal your picked acne so you can experience less scarring and more swiftly have healthy looking skin.

Don’t pick your acne further. It’s tempting; the damage has already been done, and maybe with a bit more picking, it won’t look AS bad… NO. It will. Stop. No more picking. Do not damage your skin further.

Keep your skin clean. Wash your face with gentle soaps and continue to use your facial acne treatments of choice. Unfortunately, you’re not just healing a scab. Even if you think you popped your pimples, there’s still pus and infection deep below the skin where you cannot see. You still have to treat this acne infection while treating your scabs. A cleansed face will also be less likely to get more infected, and will heal more quickly.

Soak the washcloth in warm water, and press it gently to the affected area for several minutes. This moistens the scab; a dried out scab is more likely to be picked at (they itch!), and it does not do its job of helping you heal as well as a moist scab will.

Apply antibiotic creams to picked acne and facial scabs. Neosporin works well, but any of your favorites will work, including tea tree oil (which is an antiseptic and helps both acne and small injuries). This will help your broken skin heal as it would any usual scrape or scab.

Finish treating your picked acne with a liquid bandage, which will be invisible against the face. This will prevent your scabs from dying out throughout the day (and so you do not need to constantly press warm washcloths to yourself). Common brands like Band-Aid sell liquid bandages for you to use.