Three Common Misconceptions About Extractions

Three common misconceptions about extractions // Photo credit: 6okean/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Most people are aware of the benefits of extractions, but many are still hesitant to receive them, as they fear leaving the spa with red and irritated skin. “To ease their concerns and build trust, talk to them about the type of lesions they are experiencing and why that type may or may not benefit from extractions,” says Shannon Esau, director of sales and education at Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals. “Talk to them about the importance of eliminating bacteria to allow the wound to heal.” Here’s a look at some of the most common misconceptions about extractions and how to deal with them:

MISCONCEPTION: Scrubbing the skin with mechanical exfoliants helps treat congested skin.
FACT: “The scrubbing may exasperate the condition and cause other concerns to surface,” says Candace Noonan, director of education at DermaConcepts/Environ Skin Care. “A trained therapist will instead use mild micro-exfoliators, such as kaolin, or acids, such as glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acids, to help soften the skin to ease the extraction process.”

MISCONCEPTION: Blackheads are dirt and indicate dirty skin.
FACT: “It is simply sebum that has oxidized and turned black from exposure to air,” says Noonan. “Recommending an improvement in diet, such as lowering intake of dairy, carbohydrates, and sugar, may ensure healthy, free-flowing sebum.”


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MISCONCEPTION: Skin will be red and irritated after extractions.
FACT: “Usually clients are concerned with their skin being red after extractions, and that the pain will be too much for them to tolerate,” says Dasha Saian, CEO of Saian Natural Clinical Skincare. “This is especially true for someone who has never had a facial treatment. Speak to your clients before the facial, and put them at ease by walking them through the process. In some acne cases, the first few extractions may be unpleasant, but you will need to communicate to the client that you’re now a team, and if he or she follows the homecare routine, the next extractions should be easier and less painful. There are a number of ways to reduce redness and slight inflammation after extractions—I love using cold globes and refrigerated masks.”

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