Extractions, when done correctly, can clear closed comedones (AKA those tiny, flesh-colored bumps that never come to a head, yet never really go away), remove whiteheads and blackheads, and give your skin a newer, fresher foundation for your skincare products to penetrate.
You will no longer have blackheads, and your skin will look smoother, especially if the blackheads were large and obvious. Done regularly, extractions can also help reduce breakouts. That's because removing small pore blockages prevents them from turning into larger, inflamed pimples.
"Because blackheads are hard and trapped inside pores they can't be 'scrubbed away' or washed off," Sarkar said. "Most often, they need extraction." But even if they're extracted, they could keep coming back because your nose — with all of its glands — will continue to excrete oil.
Extraction is the best way to deal with all types of acne. Blackheads, whiteheads and pimples are easily cleared using this process. Most times your pores are clogged when oil mixes with dirt. Extraction helps clear the pores, making your skin to function well and absorb the different products you use.
When to do it again
Extractions aren't a one-off thing. Pores tend to clog up again, meaning you may need regular treatments. Shainhouse, who practices at Beverly Hills' SkinSafe Dermatology and Skin Care, advises limiting extractions to once or twice a month.
“Squeezing, picking, pulling, prodding—all of that can stretch the elastic around the pores, which makes them wider and larger, and they won't bounce back into shape. Ultimately, your pores will look larger and become increasingly more visible.
There's a huge chance you will end up damaging your skin further. This will result in raw, infected skin and possibly scarring. Extractions are very different from picking and are OK as long as they are done correctly. Prepping your skin for extractions is a very important step to prevent damage to the skin.
Scarring is not normal so if you have actual scars after extractions, your extractions were not done properly and you should find someone else. Just be careful to not confuse scars with dark marks because dark marks are a normal side effect of any trauma to the skin and they are temporary.
When performed by a dermatologist, acne extraction is a safe way to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. Another technique that dermatologists use allows them to get rid of a deep, painful acne cyst or nodule.
“If the pore is not completely cleared during extractions, you may notice an acne flare after the facial as the residual contents come to the surface naturally,” she explains. "If any heavy products are applied to the skin during the facial, it may block the pores and create new pimples,” Dr. Zeichner adds.
You May Need a Little Downtime
After extracting, your facialist will apply products to soothe your skin and minimize the redness, but some areas may take extra time to calm down. Avoid applying makeup for the rest of the day if possible, and if you must wash your face, stick to a gentle cleanser for the time being.
Pore strips are unlikely to cause any real damage. However, they may cause redness and skin irritation, especially for those with skin disorders like rosacea or psoriasis, or for patients using prescription acne medications.
If you've ever had blackheads on your face, then you've probably noticed holes on your skin after they're removed. These are just enlarged pores, and they should heal on their own. However, if this is taking too long, then you might have a scar or loose pores. This sounds bad, but don't worry!
“We commonly perform chemical peels with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or lactic acid in addition to microdermabrasion to remove sticky skin cells and unblock pores, thus reducing acne formation,” he said.
In some cases, picking at your skin can release dopamine, the feel-good hormone. When people watch extraction videos of other people's skin, it brings a cathartic rush of satisfaction.
After you remove a blackhead, your pore will appear smaller. That's because the dirt and oil have been removed. Swipe a toner, such as witch hazel, over the area to kill any bacteria you may have spread and to condition your pores. You may want to avoid directly touching the area while your skin heals.
It can be very tempting — and satisfying — to squeeze out or pop blackheads. However, squeezing out blackheads can create several problems: You may not remove the entire blackhead. You may even push the blackhead further into your skin, which can cause painful irritation.
According to board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, pore strips can temporarily remove the top layers of dead skin cells and blackheads by using an adhesive. However, King noted that pore strips won't prevent the buildup of either over time.
Are Pore Vacuums Effective at Clearing Pores and Blackheads? “Pore vacuums certainly can be an effective tool in helping to regularly clear pore congestion, however they're not essential component to a skincare routine,” says Dr. Reszko.
Now for the good news: If your skin is on the normal or oily side, dermatologists say that you can benefit from using pore strips to treat blackheads. "Oily skin does best with pore strips since there are more blackheads to address," says Dr. Patel.
Generally, when there is severe crowding, protrusion or a bad bite, extractions are recommended. If there is severe crowding and the person is in the late mixed or permanent dental developmental stage, removal of teeth will help in the proper alignment or the eruption of teeth that are blocked out.
A really good facial clears out your pores and tightens your skin. This reduces wrinkles, and often removes them completely, making you look much younger in the process. And if you're someone who wears a lot of makeup, it's a good idea to get a facial every so often to help keep your skin and your pores clean.
By dislodging the buildup caused by oil and dirt, extractions help to clear pores giving you a clean canvas for your products. When your skin is freshly extracted, all the products you use at home and during the rest of your facial are more effective. That means clear skin, faster.
I don't have a scientific answer for you on this; but, in my opinion, it's because the oil and clogging in some people's pores acts as a sort of “spackle” visually. It makes the pores look more level and not as deep. When the microdermabrasion removes that clog, it reveals the pore more.
You'll want to ensure you avoid complications and heal in time — a blemish takes about five to seven days to heal after an extraction.