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Acne is the worst, especially on days when you want to look your best. So, what do you do? Extract it yourself? Nope, that is a bad idea. Pimple popping or acne extraction seems very tempting but things can go awry, and several unwanted consequences can arise. Before you pop that zit, here are some important things you need to know
What Is Acne Extraction?
Acne extraction is a procedure where pimples and comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) are extracted using sterile tools with the help of a dermatologist or an aesthetician. It is a type of acne treatment where the clogged pores are cleansed, using proper instruments by trained personnel.A pimple is extracted by using an “acne extractor” that pulls out the solid or fluid that is inside the pimple by applying pressure and expelling the inside content.
Medical Acne Extraction – Step-By-Step Process
Pimple extraction is a simple and hygienic method of instantly removing the pimple.
Step 1 – The dermatologist (or aesthetician) checks for pimples and comedones that can be extracted safely without causing any damage to the skin.
Step 2 – The skin is prepped by steaming the face to open the pores for an easier extraction.
Step 3 – Special instruments are used to effectively remove the comedones/acne. These are meticulously sterilized and cleansed before each session in order to prevent any infections from developing.
Step 4 – The professional expert will then carefully stretch the specific area of skin using their fingers. He/she will then apply gentle pressure and use the designated tool to extract (squeeze) out the acne/comedone. Applying the right amount of pressure as well the direction of pressure is very important (most pores are at an angle). If the pressure or direction is incorrect, it can lead to scarring. Sometimes suction tools and chemical peels are used if the acne is deep-rooted; they help in loosening the debris and sebum inside the pore.
Step 5 – Once all the blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples are extracted, the skin is cleansed, toned, and moisturized using dermatologically approved skin care products.
Step 6 – The last step usually includes applying a sunscreen. It is recommended not to apply heavy makeup as the skin is sensitive from the extraction.
When Is Acne Extraction Effective?
Most types of acne can be resolved using this method. Acne extraction is generally effective on most types of pimples and comedones. This treatment is effective in severe cases of acne as well. Nodules, cysts, and bumpy pores (deeply embedded pimples) can be removed using chemical peels and injecting drugs. This brings impurities to the surface of the skin for an easier extraction.
How Much Does Acne Extraction Cost in India?
The cost of Acne extraction in India range between Rs. 1500 and Rs. 2500. Though the cost varies depending upon the experience of the dermatologist, type of skin, strength and depth of comedones or acne and underlying health conditions.
The Pros And Cons Of Acne Extraction
Extraction must be done with great care; any wrong steps might cause skin damage. We are going to look at the pros and cons of acne extraction, so you have a better idea of what you are getting into
- Acne extraction can clear up pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and bumpy skin (clogged pores).
- The environment and equipment are sterilized before the session begins, so as to prevent bacterial growth. This helps in preventing cystic acne breakouts.
- Pimple extraction helps reveal healthier and younger skin as thorough cleansing and exfoliation are performed before the extraction process. This helps remove dead skin build up, and it’s easier to see any ‘hidden’ pimples.
- The pores that can be infected and formed into an annoying pimple are prevented.
- The pores can get damaged, and that can lead to scarring if the extraction is not done by a specialist. Some scars can be permanent while others can take a long time to heal.
- If the equipment or the skin is unclean in any way, this can cause bacterial growth and lead to acne spreading near the affected area. Acne can worsen and take a longer time to heal.
- The pressure and direction are crucial to master. Too much pressure or misdirection while extracting can lead to bleeding and enlarged pores.
Why Should Only A Dermatologist Do It?
Acne extraction is a complex and daunting task to undertake. This is why it is best left for a dermatologist to take on. Here are few reasons why –
- Dermatologists have a deeper understanding of your skin. They have studied and undergone training for many years to become a skilled professional.
- Dermatologists have practical knowledge and can recommend the next steps you can undertake for a clearer skin. Sometimes there are acne cysts and nodules that need extra care while extracting. In such scenarios, the dermatologist can inject corticosteroid, a drug that gently pushes the cyst/nodule to the surface for an easier extraction. Corticosteroid can also be used to prevent blemishes. Only a practicing dermatologist has the license to prescribe and use such a drug.
- If the acne extraction treatment is not done by a dermatologist, it can backfire and lead to permanent acne scars, more noticeable acne, painful acne, and an infection.
Can Acne Extraction Be Performed At Home?
Acne extraction is not as easy as just “popping a pimple”. As already mentioned, there are certain precautions and techniques that must be followed before DIY-ing such an overwhelming task.
Such services are not possible to perform at home on your own. One can buy all the necessary tools, however, that does not guarantee perfect results. You can buy an eye laser machine but that does not mean you can perform eye laser surgery on your own eyes.
What To Expect During An Acne Extraction Procedure?
Acne extraction procedure is a simple and safe way to extract pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Along with ridding your skin from such impurities, acne extraction also helps with de-clogging and removes debris and dirt from pores.
The procedure includes certain mandatory steps –
1. Using sterile and clean equipment – All equipment/tools must be sterile before any session. The gloves worn by the “extractor” must be of medical standard. Hygiene must be maintained to prevent infection or bacterial growth.
2. Pore opening – Before the extraction begins, the skin must be cleansed, and pores should be opened. Trying to de-clog closed pores can be painful and lead to bruising. Steaming and exfoliating are simple ways to open the pores.
3. Applying pressure – Different comedones need different amounts of pressure. For example, whiteheads are more difficult to extract than blackheads. Certain pores are aligned at different angles, and not all pores are perpendicular. Proper tactics and maneuvres need to be applied for acne extraction. Specialized devices are used in case there are comedones that are deep inside the skin’s layers and need “extra” help to be removed.
4. Last step – Once the comedones are extracted, the last simple step is to close the pores. Ice cubes/ cold air are used to close the pores. Sunscreen must be applied before stepping out for a couple of days post the treatment.
What To Expect Post The Acne Extraction Treatment?
After most acne extraction procedure, the patient can carry on with the rest of the day as there is no downtime. Some may experience redness and blotchy skin, but that fades within a few hours. You can use cooling gel or aloe vera gel post the treatment to treat inflammation and redness, if any. If you have very sensitive skin, it is advisable to mention this to your dermatologist as they can provide cooling relief post-treatment.
Benefits Of Acne Extraction With A Dermatologist
There are plenty of benefits you can enjoy post acne extraction (provided they are professional treated), such as:
- The dermatologist/ aesthetician are trained in the art of pimple and comedone extraction. The skin in analysed and prepped before each session. This ensures the skin is thoroughly taken care of.
- When handled by a skilled dermatologist, acne extraction shows instant results, and there is no major downtime.
- Professional acne extraction is performed under sterile conditions, so there are no chances of bacterial spread. The practitioner wears medical gloves as an extra precaution.
- Dermatologists have the license to recommend and use special drugs and creams to prevent blemishes and scarring.
- If the comedone or pimple has deep roots, strong drugs are injected to push the comedone to the surface for an easier extraction.
- It is a quick fix for those who are inflicted by acne regularly.
- You can visit your dermatologist on a monthly basis. This helps in preventing and maintaining healthy, acne-free skin.
Picking and popping pimples might seem appealing, but it has several drawbacks. Put your face (literally!) in the hands of medical professionals if you want to spare your skin from a lifetime of acne scars. Book an appointment with a dermatologist or an aesthetician for acne extraction and step out looking your best.