The Dangers of Extracting at Home

Acne has never been a friend to any. It haunted many of us in our youth, and for some of us, it continues to follow us into our adulthood. This creates a lot of frustration that often results in several hours spent in front of a mirror, nit-picking at every pore and pimple present.  

While the frustration is valid and well-founded, we’re here to say that you need to leave extractions to the experts. As satisfying as it may be to do pore extractions on yourself and watch them disappear, you will be shocked to find that it does more damage than good.  

Credit: Orapin Joonkhajohn 

What are Pore Extractions? 

Pore extractions have been around for decades, initially starting as a treatment offered by dermatologists. It would involve the use of a sterile blade and comedone extractor – a long, pen-like tool. As the demand for this cleansing facial grew, many aestheticians picked up the skill of extraction in order to offer it as part of their luxury facial spa’s services. This, alongside the viral pimple popping videos like Dr Pimple Popper’s, contributed to the popularity of pore extraction treatments.

With this rise, many started to find ways to replicate this highly skilled treatment at home. From the use of pore strips and fingers, to purchasing their own comedone extractors.  

Despite the differences of each methods, they share one commonality – they do more unseen harm than visible good. 

Why you SHOULDN’T Extract At Home 

Though it is tempting to watch hard pellets or fluids emerge from your pores, the act of extracting can cause irreparable damage to the skin.  

Improper Tools & Technique 

Despite tools being readily available online, it does not make them the right or safe tool. After all, dentist drills are available online, but it doesn’t mean that you can safely do your own fillings. Similarly, metal comedone extractors – when used improperly – can dent the skin.

Furthermore, poor technique and unsanitary tools can push dirt and bacteria further into the skin. This causes infections and can even lead to more breakouts. In more extreme circumstances, poor extraction technique can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring. That’s not all – pressing the comedone extractor into your skin too aggressively can cause the skin to bruise and become inflamed.

Technique also plays an important part in efficiently conducting pore extractions. The pores on our skin have different depths and directions, some even come in clusters. Failing to identify them accordingly impacts the technique and ability to extract the contents of the pore.  

Lastly, many facial salons and spas have the help of equipment to make the job of pore extractions safe and effective. The effects of such equipment can never be replicated at home safely. For example, the Oxygen Jet used to loosen impurities clogging the pores produces 1kg of pressure. No hose or power wash at home can ever replicate the same effects with the same degree of safety and comfort.  

Bacterial Infections & Scarring 

When using comedone extractors or your fingers, they are often not sterilized. This almost guarantees bacterial infections of the extracted pores. To make matters worse, home-based extractions typically focus on popping pimples that are glowing red with a visible pus head. Such pimples (known as papules and pustules) are already red and large thanks to inflammation caused by p.acne bacteria.

P.acne bacteria feasts off sebum present in the pores. To create more “food” for themselves, they irritate the pore’s sebum gland to produce more oils. Over time, this causes the pore to be congested with pus. This pus exerts pressure onto the walls of the pore, causing it to lose its shape. At this stage, regardless of where and how well the extraction is done, a scar will be left behind

Thus, unsanitary tools and fingers introduce more bacterial infection, leading to the possibility of scarring and more constant breakouts. Additionally, using unsanitary tools to extract multiple pores can lead to cross-infection amongst the pores. This can cause uninflamed pores to evolve into the glowing red pimples you want to avoid in the first place.

We understand that popping pimples can be a cathartic process and it may seem to bring you one step closer to the flawless skin of your dreams. But as we’ve said before, pore extractions at home can bring about more unseen damage and side effects than their short-term visible benefits. Instead, we should visit a professional facial treatment in Singapore for consultation.

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