#64 Popping a big zit

You know you love it.

When those red bumpy mountains erupt out of the ground called Your Face, you suddenly notice them in the mirror and cast an evil eye. “Bastard, I’m gonna get you,” you say out loud with vengeance, startling the girls putting mascara on beside you at the bathroom sinks. “You’re all mine.”

Now there are five levels of Popping Zit Satisfaction so let’s break it down in China Town:

Level 1: Cheek Pain 101. I was stuck at this level for many years. It involves grunting, gritting your teeth, and squeezing that zit in the mirror, only to have … nothing happen. You probably didn’t wait till the zit ripened so now you’re just stuck with severe cheek pain and a bright red bullseye over the zit. This will come in handy when you try finding it again in two days.

Level 2: The Pop That Doesn’t Stop. You did it! You waited till the whitehead, waited till after the shower, used two fingers, and… went too far. Now you got a drippy pop but with it comes a tidal wave of blood. Your new nickname is Toilet Paper On Your Forehead For Half An Hour Guy.

Level 3: The Classic Pop. After many years you become a zit expert. For some people it’s years of bathroom practice, others take a course down at the Y, and some study in distant forest retreats under Zit Gurus. (Sort of like Pai Mei in Kill Bill, but for zits.) Either way, you’re in the zone now, and it’s time for the classic pop. Freshly washed face, two gently squeezing fingers, and a satisfying ooze. Congratulations!

Level 4: Share the love. I was at my friend Matt’s house a couple years back when I noticed his wife Sam just staring hard at my face. “What is it?,” I asked. And she said “I’ve been staring at that giant zit on your forehead for half an hour. I have to pop it. You have no choice in the matter.” This is when I first learned about Zit Obsessives — people who must pop any zit they see regardless of whose body it happens to be on. There isn’t much literature on ZO’s, but we do know that, for them, the big pop on someone else’s face leads to Total Zit Actualization.

Level 5: 3D Surround Sound. My friend Mike gave me a lecture once on Level 5 of Zit Popping. “It’s when you can actually hear the pop and it squirts all over your bathroom mirror.” Now what on earth makes somebody enjoy this level of zit popitude? Scientists are currently studying caveman brain stems to figure it out.

Sure, if you listen to your doctor, nurse, or guidance counselor they’ll tell you all the risks of popping zits. “You don’t need to do it,” they’ll start. “You look beautiful anyway.” Plus, it could scar, it could hurt, and it’s pretty gross besides. But there’s something so primal and deeply satisfying about this level of Disgusting Grooming that we’re here today to tell all the experts to just lay off.

We say pop ’em loud and pop ’em proud.


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Photos from: here, here, and here

58 thoughts on “#64 Popping a big zit

  1. YES! This is me all over. I hate the bloody white devils! But what I hate most are blackheads. My partner gets them on his back and when he least expects it… BAM! And it’s out!

    The worst places to squeeze are under your nose, in your nose and when you find one in your ear!!! EEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwOUCH. D:

    This post is so gross and so awesome. I just love it.

  2. Sometimes if they’re really swollen and hurt, popping them actually feels much much better.

    Tricks to know: wash both your face and hands beforehand. After you pop, put something antiseptic on there. Things that have worked for me: hydrogen peroxide (note: this fizzes and leaves a white mark sometimes), Neosporin, tea-tree oil. If you do it right, they go away and don’t come back.

  3. This is actually pretty gross. I guess it feels alright when popping certain zits. But still, I wouldn’t call this awesome. This ranks with the hair glob out of the shower drain.

  4. Wow, haha I never thought about this being on the awesome list because it is so gross (guilty!) but yes, actually satisfying. But I like blackheads the best- it doesn’t hurt having them and it doesn’t hurt popping them, but most of the time the stuff comes out so cleanly and there’s no risk of Level 2: The pop that won’t stop. So yeah! And I was actually told by a beauty therapist once that you get ear buds and squeeze blackheads to get them out, but fingers are so much easier to maneuver :P

  5. Oh yes, very awesome, especially if it pops all over the mirror. I can’t help it, I love it. I attack my boyfriend’s blackheads regularly.

  6. Yes! Totally awesome! I have come up over the ranks through the years. I am a ZO and blame it on a kid in 9th grade that sat in front of me in homeroom. His face and neck looked like a white zit factory. I had to sit behind him every morning and stare at the damn things. I wanted so bad to go nuts and pop every single one of them…..but alas, socially unacceptable in those days….Ha….and I suppose it still is. People please, POP THEM and prevent ZOs the agony of temptation.
    As a matter of fact, I find that any form of popping will satisfy the urge – even watching a splinter find its way to the surface and finally stick its head out into the air.
    Sick, I know, but still safer than a lot of other obsessions.

    1. Me, too! I can hardly stand to see big zits on someone else becuase I just want to have at ’em! I liken it to bubble wrap. Who doesn’t feel compelled to pop those dang bubbles? Other people’s zits fall into the same category. It’s a very normal compulsion, if you ask me. :) My boyfriend appreciates my monkey-like grooming of his hide!

  7. Wow, I love this post.I know this sounds crazy, but sometimes I day dream about different types of zits. The cheek zits, the forehead zits, the chin zits, the back zits. The deep, painful zits, the little quick-pop dots, the blackheads that seem to go on for years. I think my favorite is a deep cheek zit that takes days to ripen… but when it comes out there is a huge gush, you can hear it and feel it and you feel like you just had an orgasm. ;)

    I mean, I’d rather have a clear face but I don’t get sad when I see a zit!

  8. As soon as I saw the title, I thought back to this one time, I’ll never forget! When I was 11 and had a short stent with this one hard core foster bro’ who had one gynormous zit. (I don’t even remember his name!) He’d prepped it and called me in for the show-down in China town…something, “I for one” was not prepared for! He was a master of zit and gore- the “Pai Mei” sort…sound effects and all! Big zit filling spiralled across the mirror like a chow mein noodle…with a cherry on top! A real #5 on #64! Then he laughed, smiled and sang, “Pop-pop-Big Zit, Oh what a relief it is!”
    (I was hoping for reference to John Lennon’s fabulous song today, but expected something like this from you! When I read, “break it down in China Town…of course I thought…he’s going to say, Vancouver!;)

              1. (I hope this comes out right)Truth is,Magda, I think ur really young, so when ur 64, I don’t know where I’ll be! However; had Neil posed the question, I’m certain we’d all “Shout”-*YES!*

    1. “Big zit filling spiralled across the mirror like a chow mein noodle…with a cherry on top!”

      Wow! The imagery!

  9. I am a long time follower of this blog (and the comments section) but a first time poster myself. But this post was just too good to be true. I am definitely a Z0 and its nice to know that there are others out there like me! (I also love post #299). Thank you Neil for all the laughs!

  10. Now this is more like it. I like the entries that are awesome things we don’t usually think about. Like getting into a sun-heated car after being in an overly-air conditioned building. THAT is AWESOME.

  11. It just ruins everything when you get an ugly mark on your face for a couple of days until it fades.


  12. This just makes me grin, love it. :) My mom is a total Zit Obsessor, and it used to freak me out when she’d grab onto my face and attack it, but now I’ve found it can be seriously helpful…. and I’ve inherited her love of the pop

  13. Eeeewwwww… The most disgusting of the Awesome list! Still, I have a gross zit to share about! It was a huge one on my shoulder, and I poked a hole in it and squeezed the puss out of it. It was one that squirted all over the mirror. It hurt, but it wasn’t over yet! I had to continue squeezing puss from it for a week! So disgusting, but I had to share.

    Also, I think that people who have to pop zits are strange and gross. It creeps me out. Don’t like popping my own. Though, it is still nice to pop them to get rid of them.

    I have one at the corner of my mouth right now. Yuck!

    1. I do believe that what you popped was a cyst, not a zit. Good you got it out, hope you put some disinfectant or antiseptic applicant on it!

  14. While out for dinner with my partner he appears to be looking at me with adoration. I’m thrilled when he leans in for what I imagine is going to be a big smootch. Then he says, “You’ve a black head on your lip. Shall I pop it?” A ZO romantic moment!

  15. Ew gross.
    I’m only commenting on this so I can put a tick.

    Way to bring us all crashing back to earth after that touching story about Dads.

  16. I was eating a tuna sandwich when I was reading it. at first my stomach churned but then i was like meh..

  17. Really satisfying is when that big, red-ringed white head is finally ready and when you pop it, the pressure-discomfort is released for a feeling of “Ahhhhh” at the same time that you feel queasy from all of the disgusting gunk that spurts out. Now that’s the pleasure-pain principle… AWESOME!

  18. There’s another…it’s the one that just keeps growing and growing, yet nothing seems to be in there, and it changes colour from the countless times it’s been under attack! It’s the one that becomes a friendish-foe cuz it hangs around your face so long…so long your friends name it Leroy, Betty or Herb! (apologies to all Leroy’s, Betty’s and Herb’s).
    btw jdurley, is this post not deserving of a *tick*

  19. Best thing about having a teenage son!! – He’s gives me a little attitude, come here & I will punish you by obessing over a few zits on your face…now, be nice to Mumma or you know what will happen!!

  20. A slightly gross idea. I’m stuck on step 2 and always bleed. One time at lunch though, my one friends kept insisting that she should pop the zit on the back of my other friend’s head (they’re dating). They argued about it for about ten minutes and everyone else was saying “Please! We’re eating!”

  21. When I was pregnant with my second kid, I had zits all over my scalp. They weren’t easy to see, but they hurt like hell. I couldn’t touch my head without finding a new one. I made my husband pop them. He bitched about it, but he had no choice.

    I am probably a zit obsessive now. It seems unfair to have zits at 34. Popping them is the only good part.

  22. I get nasty pimples all the time, on my shoulders, and right around my bra-strap area too. So I guess you could say some of the more stubborn/hard to reach (For me at least, seeing as I don’t have a boyfriend/husband to do the dirty job for me- get the pun?) are on the shoulders/back. I even have some on my legs. There was a pimple that bugged me for days on my back, and when I finally got it… so gross, but so satisfying… Especially since that bugger had been driving me nuts for a while as it was.

  23. Haha! Doctor Oz says it’s even dangerous if the bacteria gets pushed inward instead of out…yet NOTHING can make me leave a blackhead alone on my face. You’re going down, comedone!

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