Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Are you addicted to picking at your skin? If so—please read this!

Please dont ever ever extract your skin like this!!!
I am not a fan of self-extracting. I can do it to myself—but I’m a trained professional! The kind of self extraction Im talking about is the kind other people do—especially my clients—and possibly you.

I have seen so many people over the years do horrible “picking” jobs with disastrous results—some causing permanent scaring. Im not suggesting no one should extract a blemish that is just asking for it. But please follow the advice here and in other blog posts (listed below) to understand how and why to do this self extraction properly. If youre not going to follow these instructions, or some facsimile of them, just dont do it! 

Extractions. As I’ve said, I do not recommend extracting your own skin; this is one skill better left to a professional. Since I know it’s futile to think you won’t pick at your skin (I have many clients who are addicted), I am including the following guidelines for you to follow. Please know this: your zit has a mind of its own, and it will always win. You’re trying to make something less noticeable, but after self-extracting you usually end up with the opposite effect. By using the following rules it is my hope that you will at least not scar or damage your skin. 

Rule #1: Always wrap your fingers in tissue. I want to emphasize the importance of this simple step. Even if you just washed your hands, you still want to protect against bacteria, not to mention your fingernails. Take a tissue, fold it in half, then tear it in half, and use the two folded halves to wrap around your index fingers. 

Rule #2: There must be a clear and defined head on the blemish or it is not extractable. Many blemishes are actually cysts underneath the surface that cannot be extracted. In trying to remove debris from one of these cyst-type spots, you will drive the infection further down into the skin, forcing it into the surrounding tissue. This will cause the blemish to get bigger, look redder, and take longer to go away. Scarring is a possible result from trying to extract these unextractable places. 

Rule #3: After one or two tries, leave it alone. If you’ve tried to extract a certain spot and after a few attempts the debris won’t budge, leave it alone. I think this is the hardest rule to follow. It requires self-discipline and control, something a lot of self-extractors don’t have too much of. If you continue to pick at a place relentlessly, you will most likely scar your skin. There is no way around this. Debris comes out when it’s ready. Pressing harder or going at it longer won’t change this fact; it will only cause harm to your skin. Comedos (common blackheads) by definition are open pores. Usually they will extract without giving you trouble. Still, if the debris doesn’t want to come out, follow Rule #3 and leave it alone. 

Rule #4: You must treat the places you’ve extracted.
At the very least, put a dot of a clay mask on any spots you’ve just picked at. This will help soothe the area and help fight bacterial infection. Please don’t leave these places as open, untreated wounds and just walk away. If you’re going to pick, you must do it correctly. If you can, leave the clay on for at least 5-10 minutes. Essential oil of geranium is antibacterial and can be applied directly to the spots as well. This might be a better alternative since you can apply the geranium (or most any essential oil) and leave it there vs. having to remove the dollop of clay after a while.

Here is what I really recommend. As your fingers are approaching your face warming up to do a fantastic picking job, change their direction and grab your clay mask instead. Put it on the spots you were going to extract and walk away from the mirror. You have just put something beneficial on your blemishes while not incurring any damage through picking. Congratulations! This is always the best course of action to follow. If your skin is in need of extractions, I recommend getting a facial and letting a professional do this delicate work.

For more information, see: