DIY skincare has been a popular form of self-care in recent years, and while some mask recipes are harmless, other at-home treatments are the opposite. Acne extractions are one such treatment, although they originated in dermatologist practices. They can be incredibly effective, but only at the hands of professionals.
What Are Acne Extractions?
Acne extraction is a procedure usually done in a doctor’s or dermatologist’s office or at a spa. These extractions are what they precisely sound like—a professional uses a small, sterile tool to push or extract the fluids or solid contents inside of a breakout, like a whitehead, blackhead, cyst, milia, etc.
These tools are often made of metal and have small loops, hooks, or bladed tips to facilitate the extraction. The most common instrument for acne extractions that dermatologists use is comedone extractors, which can easily apply pressure to the breakout so that the contents come out.
To extract a pimple, the dermatologist or aesthetician uses their fingers to pull the skin tight, then uses one of their sterile tools to remove the built-up contents (dead skin, sebum, dirt) inside the pimple. Because your dermatologist will know what type of breakout is on your skin, they will know the right tool to use in that extraction process and the right amount of pressure to apply so as not to traumatize the skin to the point of permanent scarring.
Acne extraction is most effective on a type of pimple called comedones, AKA blackheads or whiteheads. Blackheads are essentially a clogged pore that’s been exposed to air and has thus darkened in color. Whiteheads are their closed and lighter counterparts because they are clogged but have not been exposed to oxygen. Comedones make the skin appear rough or bumpy in texture, and acne extractions can dislodge the underlying contents to smooth out the skin.
If you’ve tried multiple avenues to clear up your acne and have had disappointing results, acne extractions can be your pathway to clear skin!
Benefits & Risks
Acne extractions in a professional and sterile environment are a safe and effective procedure. They can quickly clear up acne and even help prevent future acne breakouts over time if you receive acne extractions alongside facials and other skin treatments.
However, facials with extractions every month will cost you time and money, which is a factor to consider before committing to these procedures at your dermatologist’s office or medspa. More importantly, the risk of acne extractions lies in their handling and method. Improper and unprofessional extractions will most likely result in:
- Acne that gets worse
- A bacterial infection of the skin
The best way to prevent these serious risks is to see a medical professional for all acne extractions, either dermatologists or aestheticians.
Should I Perform Acne Extractions At Home?
No! Comedone extractors and other tools are sold for consumers to use at home, but we highly advise patients not to use these tools or even pop their pimples at home with their fingers. Like we stated before, acne extractions are risky in the hands of non-professionals, and that’s including you!
It can be challenging to fight the urge to pop your zits, especially if you buy the toolsets now sold practically everywhere, with little to no warnings attached. Picking your skin and squeezing your pimples comes with more risks than potential benefits because you don’t have the training and expertise professionals do with acne extractions. Most patients don’t know when to stop during at-home extractions. It can be addicting to pop your pimples, clouding your judgment, and scarring your skin.
Spare your skin the scarring and recurring pimples and consult with a dermatologist if you’re interested in acne extractions. Our team at the Miami Center for Dermatology will be able to see if your particular acne will respond well to extractions and then recommend the right facial or treatment for you. We have a large selection of facials with extractions for you to choose from, so book your consultation today!