To physically remove non-inflamed acne blockages from the skin
Discomfort, scarring and infection. Speak to your healthcare provider for full details
Should only be conducted by a practitioner with a training level of aesthetician or higher. Speak to your healthcare provider for full details and other warnings
Comedone extraction is a type of acne treatment that is available in private clinics. It is a form of mechanical exfoliation, meaning that it physically removes acne blockages from the skin, through use of force.
As you may have seen on our ‘Causes’ page, most forms of acne start with tiny blockages in hair follicles known as comedones. Comedone extraction works by using a special tool known as a comedone extractor to physically remove the blockages from the follicles. This type of acne treatment can only be used on acne that has not become inflamed, such as whiteheads and blackheads.
Possible side effects of comedone removal include pain or discomfort, scarring and infection. Comedone extraction should only be conducted by a trusted professional. If comedone extraction is not done correctly there is a risk of pushing blockages deeper into the skin as well as a risk of skin damage and scarring.
As comedone extraction refers to the physical removal of blockages from the hair follicle the improvement to acne affected skin is instant. However, the procedure can be quite uncomfortable to undergo and would need to be repeated once a month to remove new blockages as they form.
Comedone extraction can be used as part of a wider acne treatment regime. These regimes involve using acne treatments and sometimes other products in an organised way with the aim of maximising the treatment’s effectiveness. It is important to remember that not all acne treatments can be used safely together and that you should seek the advice of your pharmacist or healthcare provider before starting or combining any treatments. Click here for an example of an acne treatment regime.
Please note that comedone extraction is not a suitable treatment for inflamed acne. If you have acne that has lasted for several weeks and is getting worse, is leaving scars or is affecting your mental health then you should arrange to visit your GP.