Acne extraction is a fast, efficient way to clear the skin. While most acne will respond to treatments, whether over-the-counter or prescription, some will not. When this happens, your doctor may recommend an acne extraction. This procedure involves physically removing the acne plug using specialized instruments in a sterile environment, like a doctor’s office.


When we have pimples, especially before big, important events, resisting the urge to pop them can be difficult. However, attempting at-home extraction can have a lasting impact – one that is more visible and painful than the original acne. If you’re interested in acne extraction, you should make an appointment with a dermatologist. Only a medical professional, like those who work at the Skin Care Center of Southern Illinois, can safely perform this procedure, minimizing trauma and allowing the skin to heal.


What to Expect from Acne Extraction

In most cases, your dermatologist will begin an acne extraction appointment by applying a local anesthetic to the treatment area. While extraction is not always painful, it can be very uncomfortable. It helps to communicate your level of pain tolerance to the doctor prior to the procedure. Your doctor may also exfoliate the skin prior to acne extraction.

The doctor will then use sterile tools to professionally extract the acne plug. In some cases, as with whiteheads, they may create a small opening in the pore in order to extract the sebum. With blackheads, your doctor may use an instrument to loosen the debris before beginning the extraction. By taking this step, the doctor will minimize potential damage to the surrounding skin. Once the plug has been removed, your doctor will sterilize the treatment site, clean the skin, and apply a bandage if necessary.

Acne extraction can also be used in cases of severe acne. For those experiencing cysts, the doctor may inject a corticosteroid immediately after the extraction to reduce the risk of scarring and speed healing.


Why You Should Avoid Home Extraction

For some patients, professional acne extraction is an entirely unknown concept. Many people pip at and pop their pimples at home, temporarily relieving the surface-level inflammation associated with whiteheads and blackheads. We understand how tempting it can be to do this – most people see at-home extraction as a quick and efficient way to get rid of a pimple.

In reality, at-home extraction can be dangerous. Incorrectly popping a pimple can lead to acne scarring. While treatable, this condition will eventually lead you to a dermatologist, anyway. Similarly, at-home pimple popping can introduce dangerous bacteria to an acne lesion. In squeezing a whitehead or blackhead, you could unknowingly force that bacteria deeper into the pore, creating an infection. Inflammatory and infected acne is both painful and distracting, and it will almost always require the help of a dermatologist to treat.

The safest acne extraction method is one that occurs in a medical office. Dermatologists use sterile instruments to expertly extract acne from the skin. If you can’t keep your hands off your skin, the resulting injury could be far worse than the original pimple. Waiting for a pimple to disappear can be difficult, but if you want fast relief, visit a dermatologist.


When to See a Doctor for Acne Extraction Treatment

If your breakouts have not responded to over-the-counter or prescription treatments, talk to your doctor about how acne extraction can help. Quick and relatively painless, this is a great option for people with large or otherwise distracting acne. Additionally, acne extractions can be helpful if a lesion appears just before an important event, like a job interview or wedding. If you choose this type of acne extraction, remember that the skin around the area will remain red for several hours following the procedure, but the treatment will immediately reduce the blemish’s appearance.

Scheduling a consultation at our Mt. Vernon clinic is the best way to understand how an acne extraction can help. Whether you have a last-minute pimple or haven’t been able to clear a whitehead, visiting a dermatologist can help you understand which acne treatment will work best. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.