How Comedone Extractors Work
What is a comedone?
Comedones, commonly known as blackheads or whiteheads, occur when a hair follicle becomes plugged with sebum (oil) or clogging of the skin pores. When the sebum is exposed to the environment or contaminants it can oxidize and turn black (blackheads). Comedones are frequently found on the forehead and chin of those with acne.
The comedone extractor tools removes dirt, oil and other contaminants from the skin. If these comedones are left untreated it can further the infection, stretch the pore out even more and in some cases, cause scarring or develop into a large sore.
When blackheads get infected seek professional help in removing them, especially when they break open. To avoid any complications make sure your comedone extractor tool is clean and sterilized.
Different Types of Comedones
Soft Closed Comedones
Soft closed comedones present as bumpiness on the skin's surface. They are not painful or red. The soft closed comedones develop when a plug of cellular debris and oil becomes trapped within the pore and are covered by a layer of dead skin cells. The oil plug itself remains liquid or soft.
Treatment: Treatment involves reducing excess oil and dead cells. Extract the soft closed comedone by exerting gentle pressure, coaxing the trapped oil plug to the surface. Keeping the skin clear of soft closed comedones can drastically reduce the development of inflamed acne breakouts.
Hard Closed Comedones
Hard closed comedones have very obvious whiteheads. Unlike pustules, these are not red or painful. They are especially common in the eye area. Hard closed comedones develop just as their soft counterparts, however, the impaction has hardened and is similar to a grain of sand. The white head is not pus, but rather a mass of dead cells and sebum.
Treatment: Extract the hard closed comedone by making a tiny incision on the lesion and carefully removing the sebaceous plug. Even without treatment, hard closed comedones can work their way to the surface over time.
An open comedone, or blackhead, is easy to identify by its dark brown to black surface coloring. A blackhead is an accumulation of dead skin cells and sebaceous matter within the follicle. It's top is not covered by a layer of dead skin cells, but instead, is exposed to air. The black coloring is not dirt. Air causes the oil to darken, much like a sliced apple turns brown when exposed to air.
Treatment: Blackheads can usually be extracted by applying gentle pressure to the breakout. Consistent, thorough cleansing reduces oiliness, which can help prevent the development of blackheads.
Although most acne sufferers have many microcomedones, they are too small to be seen with the naked eye. A microcomedones is the very beginning of an acne lesion. It occurs when the sebaceous duct and pore opening becomes blocked by excess sebum and dead skin cells. Every blemish begins as a microcomedones.
Treatment: Treatment is similar to that of soft closed comedones and involves reducing excess oil on the skin. Regular exfoliation helps avoid buildup of dead skin cells. Treating comedones at this level helps prevent larger acne breakouts from occurring.
NOTE: If you are not sure what you are doing, or you are not confident in safely extracting your comedones, then please seek the advice of a medical professional.