Acne Surgery

At OC MedDerm, surgeries are one of our core competencies. We are experts in using proper surgical techniques to treat active acne as well as acne scars. These procedures are all performed by well-trained physicians under sterile conditions to ensure safe practices. Having these procedures performed by expert dermatologists ensures the best possible medical and cosmetic outcomes.

What is acne surgery?

Acne surgery is the manual treatment of stubborn acne lesions. Certain types of acne such as cystic or large comedonal acne benefit from mini surgical procedures in conjunction with medical treatment. This helps prevent the formation of potential acne scarring.

Is acne surgery painful?

When performed correctly and by board-certified dermatologists, these procedures cause minimal discomfort. If needed, the affected area can be numbed with topical or injected local anesthesia in order for the procedure to be completed pain-free.

Drainage of cystic acne

Cystic acne, which often appears swollen, red, and painful, responds slowly or in a limited fashion to medication alone. In such cases, the large and infected cystic acne lesions are numbed with local anesthesia and then properly drained. This procedure allows the treated lesions to heal faster and decreases the likelihood of acne-related discoloration and scarring. This procedure is often accompanied by intralesional steroid injections within the already numbed and drined area to provide anti-inflammatory effects and promote a speeder recovery.

Why manual extraction?



The above photos represent before and after images of a patient treated with only prescribed topical cream and manual extraction at OC MedDerm.

In certain forms of acne, whiteheads and blackheads contain large, hard, and dried material that are embedded within the skin. If untreated, these lesions may become inflamed and eventually lead to scarring and discoloration. For this specific form of acne, it can be beneficial to manually remove the dried and accumulated contents of the lesions. By doing so, this provides the patient with a better cosmetic appearance and allows prevention of further skin damage secondary to acne. This would be performed in conjunction with medical treatment to prevent further development of similar lesions in the future. Delay in the treatment of acne may lead to significant discoloration and formation of icepick scars. Icepick scars are commonly caused by untreated acne and are far more complicated to treat than the active acne itself.

The above image demonstrates the various forms of acne scarring commonly seen with untreated acne.

How is manual extraction performed?

The skin is first cleaned thoroughly. Depending on the specific case, steam may be applied to the skin to soften the clogged pores. Subsequently, a tiny, sterile device is used to open each individual clogged pore in order to extract the large, firm material within the whiteheads and blackheads. This procedure should only be performed by an expert and under sterile conditions to prevent risk for any unwanted complications.

How many extraction sessions are needed?

Depending on the extent of the acne, patients may need anywhere from 1 to 4 sessions of manual extraction.


Microdermabrasion is another treatment that is offered at OC MedDerm. This is a well studied treatment that provides a method of unplugging acne pores with a handheld medical device. It uses a unique technique to scrub the skin with a crystal or diamond tip, which is followed by suctioning tiny clogged pores with a vacuum device. Microdermabrasion can be used intermittently and in conjunction with other acne treatments to speed up skin improvement. Microdermabrasion can also stimulate collagen formation within the skin, provide skin rejuvenation, and improve discoloration after multiple treatments. If performed properly and at correct intervals, microdermabrasion can improve the appearance of superficial acne scars over time. Facials are often recommended to be performed along with microdermabrasion for more extensive acne and acne scar treatment. Microdermabrasion and certain facials (under the supervision of our physicians) are safe procedures during pregnancy and are often utilized in order to avoid prescription drugs. Microdermabrasion should be avoided if the skin has inflamed, red, swollen, pus-filled, or tender lesions.

Contact Us!

If you are suffering from acne, feel free to Call us (949) 551-1113 to make an appointment to see our dermatologists. During your medical visit, our physicians will evaluate your skin, as well as overall health. After the exact type and cause of acne are diagnosed, your physician will thoroughly explain the variety of treatment options best suited to your specific needs and create an individualized regimen that suits you. Feel free to call us for an appointment to be evaluated and treated for your acne. At OC MedDerm we offer various kinds of acne treatments including facials, prescribed topical creams/solutions, chemical peels, laser and light therapy for acne, acne procedures (listed above), oral medications including, but not limited to Isotretinoin (previously called Accutane). If you have questions prior to your visit, please do not hesitate to click here to ask questions. We are looking forward to seeing you soon.

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