Thursday, 16 February 2012

Dermatologist's Extraction Kit

I thought I'd start my series of skincare reviews with a tool rather than a product: the dermatology extraction kit, because this is what's made the biggest difference to my skin so far.
It consists of a handle with several interchangeable head pieces in a storage case. I picked this up on Ebay for about £10; there are cheaper ones out there with fewer ‘bits’ but since my skin is so stubborn when it comes to extraction, I wanted a good selection of attachments to experiment with.

1. It’s not a good idea to buy one of those and just stab at your face willy nilly; you could easily damage your skin if you go at it unprepared. Talking to a dermatologist is a good idea, failing that, there are quite a few videos on YouTube which demonstrate the correct way to use these kinds of tools safely and I'd recommend you check them out before trying this at home.

2. It’s also VITAL that you sterilise these tools in between uses. If you have acne, your skin is already infected and sore... the last thing you want to do is add even more germs!! I do it by soaking them in a mug of boiling water for ten minutes. You could also use alcohol, or those tablets that disinfect babies’ bottles.
Now on to the review!

These somewhat barbaric looking tools are basically just very sharp points which you can use to pierce a lesion (usually open comodogenes, also known as whiteheads, or zits) before you try to extract it. By doing this, much less force is needed, which means you do less damage to the surrounding skin when you squeeze, there's less swelling, it hurts less, and the lesion heals much quicker afterwards. Because they're so sharp, they don't hurt; you just find the 'head' of the spot and prick gently - you can feel when the skin breaks and you end up with a tiny neat hole instead of a horrible big split in the skin where you forced the spot out by brute force and ignorance!!  You can also use these sharp tools on smaller cystic acne. These are the zits that form so deep under the skin that they don’t form a proper ‘head’ like a regular zit does. Some of them can last for weeks, months even - and they really hurt! However, you need to be careful with this type of acne. Shine a strong light on the lesion. If it seems to be coming to a point somewhere, like maybe it’s trying to form a head, then make the hole at that point, but GENTLY. If it doesn’t work the first time, it’s not ready and needs to be left alone. You can maybe try again a day or two later. Really big and deep cysts that don’t even try to form a head, shouldn’t be pierced at all and should be treated by a doctor, probably with antibiotics.


The strange looking things on the left are for extracting closed comodogenes; or 'blackheads'. You’re supposed to put the hole over the blackhead (suitably prepared for extraction by steaming or a long hot shower) and press, so that the round part pushes out the blackhead. Many people swear by this, however my blackheads tend to be deep and hard to remove, so I have had little success with these tools - since pressing hard enough to extract the blackhead would result in the metal part literally cutting into my skin. On the right of the picture is a loop shaped tool intended for whiteheads. You use it for removing the, uh, contents of the zit once you’ve pierced it (nice). It works quite well, however I honestly found it more effective to use my fingers and a tissue. If you have very long nails, though, it’s very hard to do this, which is where this tool would be extra handy! 



Finally there are these weird looking things here. I have no idea what they're for, so if anyone knows, please feel free to educate me. They look like tools an ancient egyptian might use for scooping out mummies’ brains through their nose :-p

Overall, this has proven a very useful set of tools for me, even though I only really use the sharp tools and occasionally the loop, it’s been worth the money I spent.  Along with the treatment products I’ve been using, it's stopped my cystic acne in its’ tracks. I used to get the really big, deep cysts, but timely use of this kit has allowed me to get rid of those while they’re still small. It’s also let me get rid of any zits as and when they’ve appeared; I could have done this without any tools but it’s quicker and easier this way and seems to take less time to heal afterwards.



Please note although I am a Biologist, and I do know a thing or two about skin and germs, I am not certified as a dermatologist. This is not official dermatology advice, it’s just what I’ve learned works for me.

15 comments:

  1. I am 31 years old and I am still STILL getting acne. I am going to look into this, the tools do look a bit on the scary side but you have to use it carefully. Great blog, hope you'll stop by and perhaps we can follow each other?

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    1. Thanks! They do look scary but they're worth trying, they've been such a help. I'll check your blog out tomorrow and will follow for sure ^-^

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  2. Wow...do you know how scary that kit looks at first glance?? I felt like a clueless man right there!

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    1. It looks like a medieval torture kit doesn't it! It's been worth facing the fear though, so useful :)

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  3. hi there, dropping a hello from the blog hop! great blog.. love the nails!

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    1. Hi right back! Thanks so much :)
      I'll be visiting all the hoppers' blogs tomorrow and leaving comments everywhere... looking forward to reading everyone's posts!

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  4. These look serious! I recognize a few but most are new to me. Very interesting tools I want to look into!

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    1. Lol yes they do look a bit bizarre, I never knew there were so many different tools for this sort of thing. It's been good learning though :)

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  5. Hi Opalline! I love the name! I'm glad you visited my blog because I'd never have found yours otherwise! I love it!
    I SERIOUSLY want this kit. I'm searching on ebay as I type. I love gadgets and instruments, especially as I am a scientist too - well sort of!

    kuki xx

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    1. Hi Kuki!
      Thanks so much for the follow back! I'm glad you like my blog :)
      Did you find a kit? I found mine by searching for the keyword 'blackhead'. (Such a horrible word!)
      Opal x

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  6. These tools should be sterilized prior to any procedure. Those sharp ones…I look a bit scary though. I'd probably cringe if I saw that in a dental office. Hahaha! How about you, do you feel the same?

    Tobi Fistcher

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    1. You're absolutely right, they should always be sterilised. I use boiling water but alcohol or sterilising solution (for babies' bottles etc) is good too. And yes they do look scary! But they're not as bad as they look and they're so sharp that they don't hurt either (and they work!).

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  7. Those tools looks barbaric to me lol. I couldn't believe that is what the dermatologist uses to extract pimples.

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  8. They have a tool called an extractor. It is better than your fingers in that you won't cut your face with fingernails.

    I've gotten one at walmart. They are little tools with a loop on the end of them.

    Henderson Dermatologist

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  9. Dermatologist in delhi will take care of your skin related related issues. You just need to mention your troubles and get the best services from the our experts.

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