How to Properly Extract Blemishes


The problem with extracting blemishes or pimples is that you see it and automatically want it off. When you pick at your pimples or incorrectly extract a blemish it can lead to enlarged pores, spreading of bacteria, and scarring. This method was taught to me by a medical esthetician with over 20 years experience. At the time I was battling some painful cystic acne and she showed me how to properly extract my blemishes. Today my face is cleared and I have no signs of scarring.


  1. Start with a bare face. It is important that your face is freshly cleansed and there is no makeup or residue on your face.
  2. Observe the blemish. What does it look like? This is extremely important. If the comedone is not ready to extract then you will do more harm than good. The comedone will take longer to heal, it is more likely to get infected, and you are more prone to scarring.
    • What does a ready comedone look like? It has come to a head. This means when you look at the blemish it should have a white pustule pocket at the top.
  3. Bring the heat. Get a clean face towel and saturate it with warm water. Make sure the towel stays clean. Apply it on top of your face or the area ready to be extracted. The towel should be comfortably warm on the skin. Leave on for approximately 15 minutes or until towel begins to cool.
  4. After removing the towel, use a sterilized lancet to gently poke a tiny hole where the blemish has come to a head. You should feel next to nothing. The lancet should not go any deeper than the tip of the white pustule.
  5. Using Q-Tips or cotton rounds (I know you will be tempted to use your fingers… DO NOT) you should gently begin to lightly press around the are that you want to extract. Wiggling the Q-Tips on the top and bottom and then on the sides. This is the skin on your face, be gentle!
  6.  Continue to lightly apply pressure all around the pustule until all of it is out. You will know you are finished when you see light colored blood. If the blood is dark, it is old and should be taken out until it is followed by light colored blood. Continue to be gentle.
  7. Immediately following the extraction, you should swipe the are once with salicylic acid (I use 20%, but anything 5% and up will work)
    • The pore may turn white, this is known as frosting. This means the acid has gone all the way down to the pore. Using this acid will ensure any acne-causing bacteria is killed as well as cauterize the bleeding.
  8. Do not apply anything else to the area. You want to make sure nothing else gets in that pore! Continue with your nightly routine on the rest of your face. Over the next few days, you will see the size of your blemish diminish drastically.


Wishing you beautiful skin,



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