If you’ve experienced acne then you’re likely familiar with the art of extractions or you’ve possibly attempted them on your own. Be warned; home extractions often lead to more harm than good so leaving it up to the professionals is your best bet. Day to day, acne patches are amazing to help support your healing process by keeping your skin protected, moist, and drawing out edema. So, what are professional extractions? How do they differ from picking? Why should I keep my hands off of my face, you might ask?

Well, our hands carry loads of bacteria and transmit microorganisms between people, pets, inanimate objects, and our environments. This is exactly why frequent hand washing is so important. Many bacteria are harmless, although there are also many harmful microbes that can be spread by our hands including;

  • Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA)
  • Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Strep)
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Klebsiella
  • Enterobacter
  • Pseudomonas
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Candida

Hygiene aside, touching your face and attempting home extractions (aka picking) often causes more harm than good. Improper extractions can lead to spread of bacteria, damaging your follicle (aka pore) walls, inducing more inflammation, breakouts, and possibly post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, scarring, or both. All while prolonging your body’s healing process.

I recommend popping on a mighty patch to keep your skin clean, protected, and leave extractions to the professionals. Pro tip: Rather than using your patches on dry skin, apply your moisturizers underneath. Then, when you’re ready to remove them at the end of the day or in the morning, hop in the shower to cleanse and allow the mighty patch to get waterlogged so that it will easily slip off rather than peeling off the patch (and potentially your skin).

In terms of professional treatments, one of the best ways to control breakouts is to get regular facials with extractions. Do they hurt? Yes. Do they help? Yes. Continue reading to get the 411 on professional extractions.

What are extractions? 

An extraction is the process of clearing a clogged or compacted pore by manual or mechanical means. 

How do they help?

The benefits of facial extractions include an even, clear complexion, less congestion, better product absorption and efficacy, and less breakouts in the future. If performed successfully, the extraction may contribute to a reduction in inflamed acne lesions.

When is the best time to get extractions?

For females, it is best to remove the comedones at the time of ovulation, prior to the reduction of the size of the sebaceous orifice and epidermal barrier function, to counteract the onset of increased sebum production, prevent blockage of the pores and subsequent bacterial colonization and inflammation.

Sounds perfect, right? Ready to book a facial? Our Treatment Facial is customizable and is a great way to reset and remove what could become breakouts down the line. Click here to book with one of our estheticians and get on the path to acne management.




Steventon K. Expert opinion and review article: The timing of comedone extraction in the treatment of premenstrual acne–a proposed therapeutic approach. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Apr;33(2):99-104. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2010.00610.x. Epub 2010 Aug 30. PMID: 20807258.

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