Pause before you pop -- you could make matters worse.

©iStockphoto.com/Catherine Yeulet

You wake up on the morning of the Big Event - maybe it's an important meeting, a hot first date or even your wedding day. You look in the mirror and gasp: A zit the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza has sprouted right in the middle of your forehead. Now you're faced with the question that has plagued humankind for centuries -- to pop or not to pop?

Unfortunately, the popping problem isn't restricted to teenagers -- adults get acne, too, and are just as tempted to pick and pop. Basically, you get acne when your oil glands make a lot of sebum, which combines with your dead skin cells to gunk up your pores. Bacteria love this oily stew and join in the party. Before you know it, you have a zit.

Factors like hormones, humidity and cosmetics can aggravate your skin and encourage a break out. So can stress, which explains the unerring appearance of that pimple when you need it the least.

So now you're stuck with a zit, and you have to decide what to do about it. In general, dermatologists will give you a loud, resounding "No!" when you ask if you should pop a pimple, and that applies to any kind of pimple, whether it's a cyst, blackhead or whitehead.

But let's face it -- sometimes you just can't help yourself. It's too tempting. The zit is just too big, too itchy or too gross to leave it alone. Sometimes you're so desperate, you don't care what the doctors say -- you're going to pop that pimple before it grows to Mount Everest proportions. If that's your mindset, read on to find out the better ways to zap that zit.