While most acne responds to treatment or disappears on its own, waiting isn’t always an option. Perhaps a whitehead developed just hours before your wedding, or maybe blackheads appeared in the days before a school or staff picture. When this happens, it can be tempting to ‘pop’ the pimple on your own. In reality, doing this will likely worsen the lesion’s appearance, and it could even cause permanent damage. Rather than attempting acne extraction on your own, seeking the help of a dermatologist can both rid your skin of superficial lesions and prevent further harm.
When you make an appointment for an extraction by a dermatologist, a medical professional will use specially designed tools in a sterile environment. This ensures the procedure inflicts minimal trauma to the skin, allowing it the opportunity to safely heal after the procedure.
The Dangers of Home Extraction
Home pimple extraction can be difficult to avoid. People become frustrated with their breakouts and think that ‘popping’ or extracting the lesion is the fastest way to clear skin. Unfortunately, the damage that results from home extractions can be very serious. Many of our patients visit our office for help in scar reduction, and in many cases, those scars have been caused by attempted home pimple extractions. Additionally, while visible acne scars are the most common side effect, people may also develop bacterial infections and experience increased inflammation.
The safest method of popping a pimple is to visit a dermatologist. Only a professional can express acne in a safe, sterile, and practiced environment. It might not seem feasible to visit a doctor for a single breakout, but if the situation deserving – a wedding, a reunion, or a job interview – it may be worth the extra effort.
What to Expect During Acne Extraction
Visiting a dermatologist for acne extraction is the best way to quickly and safely remove a blemish, and if you live in the St. Louis area, our Chesterfield office is uniquely equipped to do the job. Our clinicians use sterile tools, which minimizes the risk of introducing additional bacteria into the pore. These bacteria can cause infections, which worsen inflammation and can become dangerous. We use specialized devices to extract with precision while loosening debris and sebum inside the pore.
During a professional extraction, a clinician will create a clear pathway, using a sterile needle or surgical blade, for the comedone to exit the skin. This minimizes potential damage and allows the debris to loosen. Once this pathway is clear, the doctor will use a special instrument to remove the plug, blockage, or pus. For severe acne, like that which is cystic, a dermatologist may inject a corticosteroid to speed healing and reduce the risk of scarring.
When to See a Doctor for Acne Extraction
Acne extraction is usually offered when over-the-counter treatments fail to clear the skin. If you have been using products to reduce the appearance of your acne to no avail, scheduling an extraction can expedite the process. This procedure is also recommended if acne appears just before an important event, like a wedding, picture, job interview, or party. While the area around your blemish will remain red for several hours, professional extraction can significantly reduce its appearance before an important day.
Getting a consultation at our Chesterfield clinic is the best way to determine whether professional acne extraction is right for you and what follow-up acne treatments are best to prevent future outbreaks.
*Results may vary per patient.