What Are Blackheads And How You Can Remove Them
Blackheads, as the name suggests, are the small black bumps that appear on the skin. Blackhead acne is one of the most common types of skin diseases, affecting over 45 million individuals in The United States alone. This article will help you understand blackheads better and will give an account of the measures you can take up to get rid of them at your home.
Why Do Blackheads Appear?
Blackheads can appear due to multiple reasons. The most common being clogged pores, debris getting trapped within the surface of the skin. Dead skin cells, excess oil (sebum), and dirt being caught in the skin causes the formation of blackheads.
Another reason for the formation of blackheads is due to bacteria. Propionibacterium acnes are of the most common types of blackheads that are caused due to bacteria. The blackheads are caused when the bacteria invade the pores and form a blockage in the hair foliage. The symptoms of blackheads caused by bacteria are redness, inflammation, and irritation.
Undergoing hormonal changes are also another cause of blackheads. Hormonal changes that we go through during our teen years, during menstruation, or due to birth control pills cause excess oil production in the body. The trapping of some of these oils beneath the skin causes blackheads.
Certain over-the-counter drugs are also known to cause blackheads. If you are someone under the medicines of corticosteroids, lithium, or androgens, they could be the reason for the formation of your blackheads.
How To Get Rid Of Blackheads?
Many acne treatments can be bought without the need for a prescription. These medications are available in the form of cream, gel, and pad form, which can be directly applied onto the face.
The over-the-counter acne treatments for blackheads usually include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and resorcinol. These ingredients kill acne-causing bacteria, dries the excess oil on the skin, and forcefully sheds dead skin cells, thus ridding your face of blackheads.
When over-the-counter medications do not work, doctors prescribe you to more potent drugs. The stronger medications contain Vitamin A that keeps the formation of plugs away from your hair follicles and promotes the rapid turnover of skin cells. These medications also contain tretinoin, tazarotene, or adapalene.
Manual Blackhead Removal
Manual blackhead removal is mostly done using tools such as the round loop that comes with a blackhead removal kit. Your blackheads will be extracted through the application of force using the device. These tools should not be used carelessly as they could cause more harm than good if you are an amateur.
Microdermabrasion is the process of sanding the top layer of the skin. Through sanding the skin, you can remove clogs that form blackheads. These blackhead extractor tools were mostly used by professional dermatologists previously; however, with recent developments in technology, there have been milder, safer versions of microdermabrasion blackhead extractor tools available in the market.
Chemical peels extract blackheads by directly removing the clogs. Chemical peels also remove dead skin cells that cause the formation of blackheads. Most chemical peels use strong chemicals and yield the best results when done by a dermatologist. Milder peels are also available to be used in the comfort of your homes.
Blackhead vacuums such as the Cleartsy is one of the best ways of getting rid of blackheads. Find the blackhead you wish to remove, place the blackhead vacuum on top of the blackhead and start the machine. Be sure to start from the lowest setting and work your way up to a level that best suits your skin. Blackhead vacuums are easy to use and get the job done quickly.
How To Prevent Blackheads?
Washing your face regularly is an easy yet effective way to deter blackheads. By washing your face you keep the oil contents in check, keep dirt away, and shed dead skin cells, most clogged pores consist of these three impurities getting trapped beneath the surface of the skin. By keeping controlling them, you stop the formation of clogged pores, thus preventing blackheads.
Steer clear of harsh skin cleanser as they could cause dry skin and inflammation of acne. Stick to gentler acne treating face scrubs. Acne treating face scrubs also comes with antibacterial properties, killing bacteria that could cause acne on your face.
Washing your face once when you wake up and once before bed is the best way to pace. However, be sure to wash your face after any form of travelling as we are most prone to carrying dirt on our face after travels.
Use Oil-Free Products
Any face product that contains oil will contribute to the formation of blackheads. Choose oil-free products or acne-treating products to prevent making your problem worse.
Exfoliation is the process of opening your pores. When your clogged pores are opened, it gives a chance for the impurities stuck within them to escape. Exfoliation will help subside your blackheads.
Steaming is an excellent form of exfoliation as it is gentle on the skin and has many additional benefits apart from being a unique form of acne treatment. You can steam using a facial steamer machine or by placing your face over steaming water.
There are also scrubs and face packs that exfoliate the skin. However, it is not recommended for those with sensitive skin, as most exfoliating treatments are harsh on the skin and could worsen the problem. Do not often exfoliate as it could cause dehydration of the skin.
Be mindful of two things after exfoliating:
- Always follow up with any exfoliation treatment with moisturizer.
- Always ice or rinse your face with cold water to close pores to prevent impurities from reclogging the pores.
Blackheads are ugly bumps on our skin and to attain flawless skin, we need to get rid of them. Using the information from the article, you should be able to pick a treatment to get rid of your blackheads or pick a prevention method to keep blackheads away.