Tap to Read ➤

How to Use a Comedone Extractor

Smita Pandit
A comedo is a plug of sebum and keratin that clogs the sebaceous gland connected to a hair follicle. A comedone extractor is a tool that is used for removing blackheads and whiteheads. This story provides instructions for using this tool.
It must be noted that the removal of blackheads or whiteheads with a comedone extractor doesn't have an effect on the course of comedonal acne. However, following a regular skin care regimen and using non-comedogenic skin care products might prove beneficial.
Blackheads and whiteheads are medically referred to as open comedones and closed comedones respectively. A comedo is a mild type of acne that occurs when the skin pores or hair follicles become clogged with sebum, keratin, and bacteria. If the clogged hair follicle has a wide opening, it gets oxidized on being exposed to air. This gives rise to a blackhead.
When the hair follicle doesn't have an opening on the surface of the skin, the sebum gets trapped inside. It appears as a white bump, which is why it is referred to as a whitehead. Macrocomedones, which are comedones that are larger than 1 mm, mostly occur on the face. People who have oily, acne-prone skin are more likely to develop blackheads or whiteheads on the forehead, nose, chin, etc. These can be removed with the help of a comedone extractor.

Different Types of Comedone Extractors

Skin conditions such as acne and comedones often affect adolescents and young adults. This is attributed to the increased sebum production that occurs after the onset of puberty. Acne is a major cause of cosmetic concern for people in this age group. Though the affected individuals are always on a lookout for effective home remedies for these skin conditions, seeking the services of a dermatologist is the best option in severe cases. In some cases, using a blackhead/whitehead extractor can help.
Different types of comedo removers are available in the market. These include:
✦ Dual loop extractor
✦ Flat single loop extractor
✦ Single-loop blackhead extractor
✦ Loop extractor with a lancet
✦ Single curved loop extractor
✦ Straight/curved double spoon blackhead/whitehead remover
✦ Spoon-shaped extractor with single hole and curved lancet
✦ Small wire loop extractor
The double spoon extractors come with spoon-shaped ends that might have a single hole or multiple small holes. This type works well for removing blackheads. Some of the extractors have an angled loop that can help remove whiteheads and a flat side that can be used for pressing out the blackheads. In case of bigger blackheads/whiteheads, you could use an extractor that has a lancet. The lancet that is present on one of the ends can be used for gently popping the tip of the blackhead, whereas the other end has an extractor for removing the sebum and dead skin.
A fine loop extractor can be used on both whiteheads and blackheads. These small metal loops are used for applying pressure, so as to force the sebum out of the pore. You can also purchase a kit that contains many different extractors that can be used for removing blackheads/whiteheads of different sizes.

Instructions for Using a Comedo Removal Tool

Before you use this tool to remove the blackhead, you need to cleanse your skin with an exfoliating cleanser. Thereafter, rinse your face with cool water. Pat your skin dry. To remove the blackheads, you need to follow the instructions given below:
✦ First of all, you need to sterilize or disinfect the extractor. This can be done by soaking the blackhead removal tool in boiling water or rubbing alcohol for a couple of minutes.
✦ Steam your face before using the extractor. Dip a clean washcloth in warm water. Place this cloth over the part of the skin that contains blackheads/whiteheads. This will help in softening the skin and opening the clogged pores.
✦ If you have a kit that contains different types of extractors, you can use the extractor with a lancet to create a small opening. Use the loop end, depending on the size of the blemish. Use the smaller loop end for small blemishes, and the larger loop end for large blemishes. Thereafter, place the loop around the comedo.
✦ Now, apply a little pressure over the blackhead, so as to force the trapped sebum.
✦ Thereafter, apply some astringent on the area to close the pores. You can also apply an antiseptic cream after removing the blackheads.
✦ Clean the extractor with a disinfectant.
If you are using a spoon-ended extractor, you will need to use the one with a hole that is almost the same size as the comedo. The hole has to be placed right above the blackhead/whitehead. Thereafter, you need to apply pressure to push the trapped sebum, keratin, or dirt out.

Other Methods

You can also use pore strips for removing blackheads. Apply the side that is coated with an adhesive on wet skin. The sebum and dead skin will stick to the adhesive. Once the strip is dry, pull it off to remove the sebum and dead skin clogging the pore.
✦ People who have sensitive skin can use comedo remover guns that use vacuum suction extraction technique to remove the sebum and dead skin clogging the pore. This is a battery-operated tool. You must use it when the pores are open. So, use it after taking a shower.
Don't let your dreams of having a radiant, flawless skin get shattered due to unsightly blackheads or whiteheads. Though you can follow the aforementioned steps to remove these spots, you should be careful while extracting them. Do not apply a lot of pressure. Do not use this tool, if your skin is inflamed or affected by cystic acne. Under such circumstances, it would be best to consult a dermatologist.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dermatologist.