Blackheads, zits, pimples… they are the worst nightmare of any teen on the eve of prom, or a bride nearing her wedding and are a nuisance to anyone who wishes for clean, flawless skin. If you are like most, your go-to treatment for this common, yet pesky skin problem is to pop it. Turns out, according to Sandra Lee, a dermatologist more commonly referred to as “Dr. Pimple Popper” and other skin experts featured on Allure, this is the last thing you should do to remedy the problem at least not in the traditional way. Read below to learn more about what you “shouldn’t” do to get rid of blackheads:

1. Don’t Pop Them Too Early

We just mentioned that you shouldn’t pop a blackhead at will. Dr. Lee says her mantra is “Know when you pop and know when you stop.” The good doctor explains that popping a blackhead at the wrong time can lead to all kinds of issues, perhaps the most severe being scarring. This is, of course, the last thing you want. Therefore, in order to ensure you do the least damage possible, you need to wait until the pimple has a head. In other words, when it’s still a red zit situated deep under your skin, don’t force it up. You can apply warm compresses to move the process along though.

2. Don’t Use Your Fingers

Saying “don’t pop zits” is something most dermatologists say but know you and everyone else will likely ignore. Therefore, since Dr. Lee knows popping will happen, she recommends you use a tool, not your fingers to complete the task. This will prevent infection from your fingernails and also will reduce the trauma on the surrounding skin. One tool she recommends is a comedone extractor. Use it by rotating it around the blackhead, pushing around it, not on the blackhead itself.

3. Don’t Keep Messing With it

It is just human nature to mess with a zit, even after it’s been popped. Dr. Lee says this is a big no, no. Instead, once you have popped the pimple, treat it will any antibiotic cream, peroxide or topical acne treatment and then leave it alone. If you keep touching it, the risk of infection to the area and eventual scarring increases. Remember, the less you touch it, the quicker it will calm down, the redness will go away and you will begin to look like your amazingly beautiful self once again.