Have you got an unsightly looking bump on your face? It is either a blackhead or a whitehead that appears when pores got clogged up with sebum. No plain makeup can cover the skin problem, and when the heavy one is applied, the pores get more clogged. When it seems that there’s no way out except for consulting with a dermatologist, many people discover that there is a new tool able to deal with the white- and blackheads – a comedone extractor. Dermatologists worldwide use it to remove acne.
Today there exist different types of extractors – each one with its specific purpose:
- Two heads: this instrument has two sides. One of them is a small spoon with a hole right in the middle. The hole is really small to fit over the pimple. After a gentle pressure that is applied to the area, the sebum gets trapped and it is pushed out from the skin. Tool’s other side is a lancet – small and sharp that punctures the whitehead for the sebum release. FYI, lancets are pretty dangerous and only a skin care specialists can operate them without harm.
- Cupped end (s): this is another type of extractor with a cupped end on one side or both sides of the instrument. The ends are spoon-like and are of different sizes for an easy and fast accommodation to different sizes of acne. In rare cases one end is angled to reach the most difficult areas (the side of the nose or crevices of the outer ear).
Read about Closed Comedones in this article: Closed Comedones: Causes of and Treatment
How to Use a Comedone Extractor
If getting the best results is your number one aim, you need to know everything about the comedone extraction procedure. In case you have doubts, for any reason, it’s better to make an appointment and have a professional consultation. So, here are the steps to be taken:
- Step 1: Wash your face
You need to work with an absolutely clean skin, so make sure you remove any makeup as well as other products on your face. Then pet the skin dry. Be gentle not to irritate the problem zones with a towel.
- Step 2: Boil water and bring your face close to the steam
The boiling water produces enough steam that is needed for proper and safe pores dilation. Remove the boiling water from the heat source and pour into a bowl. Take a towel, lower your face over the bowl and put the towel over your head and face like a tent. Wait for 5-8 minutes.
Warnings: protect your hands while removing and pouring the water. Never bring your face too close to the steam as it will burn your skin. If your skin begins to feel irritated, stop the procedure.
- Step 3: Disinfect the tool
Every time you use the comedone extractor, you have to work with a sterile tool only in order to prevent the introduction of bacteria to the skin. If this procedure is neglected, there’s a chance to make the problems get worse instead of treating them. Take the rubbing alcohol and soak the instrument into it for one minute before you start. While it’s inside, wash your hands and wear latex gloves: even when washed, hands still have many germs on and you need to prevent them from getting to your skin.
- Step 4: Place the tool
Use the end with a loop and place it around the blackhead or whitehead that must be extracted. To see everything you are doing in a proper way you should better use a magnifying mirror. If you haven’t got one yet, purchase it at the nearest department store.
- Step 5: Start pressing
When the acne is in the blackhead extractor, apply some pressure to force it out of the skin. It is highly important to press against the comedo’s base and from all the sides. Only then it will go out completely. It is common for a pimple to be deep down in the skin, so never stop the procedure after a small piece comes out! Keep pressing until no material comes from the area. Then swipe the loop over the comedo and remove it.
- Disinfect the tool
After steaming the skin you will surely want to remove more than one pimple. Remember that disinfecting the extractor is a must-do for every new comedo. Soak it into rubbing alcohol for another minute and repeat the process with the next acne (s). Keep pressing till all of them are removed.
A successful comedone extraction includes one more important procedure: you should clean your skin again to prevent pores infection. Make sure you have a high quality and reliable facial toner as well as a face moisturizer that matches your skin type.
Then wash the instrument in soapy water and put it aside till the next time. The first procedure may be tough. It takes practice to succeed. We hope that these step-by-step instructions will be pretty handy.
How Do Professionals Use It?
The procedure can be undertaken by a professional dermatologist, who removes:
- infective material;
- scarring risks, etc.
It is advisable to have the very 1st procedure performed by a specialist and then work on your own. Lack of experience and accuracy may lead to acne inflammation and potential scarring all over the skin.
A health care professional usually cleans the skin with spirits. When there’s open acne, the instrument is placed central to it. The applied pressure is firm and downward. The material that comes from the infected pore is removed with the paper towel. Whenever it comes to closed comedones, the area is firstly pierced with a sterile needle. What for? The procedure helps make the extraction less traumatic and more effective.
After a whitehead extractor is successfully used, a dermatologist injects the area with a special steroid that works reducing and stopping any sort of inflammation. When the treated areas are expansive, they are bandaged for infection prevention. These bandages remain for 24 hours, not less.
Bruising or pigment charges are common after-treatment signs. Though inflammation and soreness are always present, the healing process doesn’t take too much time. When discomfort and infection occur, a patient can contact his dermatologist for professional advice or examination.
Benefits of Comedone Extractor
Why choose this tool for acne and pimple removal? Its use brings more benefits than most acne sufferers can believe. Here are some of them:
- high quality: the instrument is usually made from a high quality stainless steel. The handle has a textured surface, so belongs to the type of no-slip hand devices;
- better than any other removal remedy or tool: patients with skin problems believe that plain pore strips can help them get rid of black- or whiteheads and remove inflammation. This is so not true. They may be easy to use, yet they aren’t effective for really serious acne conditions. Besides, people with sensitive skin report more harm than good. Strips have multiple limitations and are suited to treat noses, not cheeks, ears, foreheads or chins. At the same time, a special instrument can cleanse different affected parts of the face;
- different designs: such extractors are of different designs that ensure flexibility to reach the most difficult places and corners and extract the pimples easily;
- economy: the tools are economical as long as they can be effectively used over and over again, unlike strips;
- removal from hard-to-reach areas: it is not a problem, if you have a comedone extractor. Even the most stubborn blackheads around the nose are easily removed with a small instrument. This face area used to be regarded as hard-to-reach. Today it is out of the list;
- no more clogged pores: minimal efforts are applied to achieve success, and after a proper disinfection and the use of a protective bandage the pores aren’t clogged and the face looks clearer;
- sanitary: while there is an effective instrument at hand, there’s no need to go to a dermatologist every time the issue occurs. All imperfections are eliminated in a sanitary way. Besides, a regular use makes pores become smaller and prevent the occurrence of new pimples.
How to pick the best instrument for personal needs? First of all one should check the quality of material, and whether it is of the right size. FYI, different types are appropriate for quite different acne and pimple kinds and their triggers. Most specialists suggest purchasing the tool at a greater expense as it usually allows more features. However, we are sure that one of the main reasons why people spend more is that an expensive variant will surely last longer than a much cheaper extractor. Remember that any shifts in skin conditions may require purchasing of additional quite different instruments later on. At the same time the process of problem elimination will remain pretty much the same: wash – steam – disinfect – place – push – remove – disinfect.