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Everything you need to know about Blackheads

Everything you need to know about Blackheads

Blackheads are one of the skin conditions which is faced by many people, especially younger women. It appears most frequently on the face, particularly on the nose and cheeks. The proper management of the blackheads can help to prevent the development of severe acne.                             

In this blog we will be outlining the following point: 

1. What are blackheads?
2. Facts about blackhead
3. What causes blackhead?
4. Factors that can escalate the chances of developing blackheads and acne
5. How to remove blackheads?
6. How to use a blackhead remover tool?
7. Home remedies to remove blackheads
8. How to remove blackheads from nose and face?
9. How to remove blackheads from cheeks?

1. What are blackheads?

When the hair follicles present on the skin get clogged, small bumps start to appear on the skin which is generally known as Blackheads. The surface looks black and dark that is why they are known as blackheads. These are also considered as a form of comedo (medical name)

These comedones (plural) usually occur when the pores present on the skin become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells and these dead skin cells react with the oxygen present in the air and turn black, forming a blackhead. Basically, these are the gentle form of mild acne that usually appears on face and nose but can also pop up on other parts of the body like:Neck, Arms, Back, Chest and Shoulders

2. Facts about blackheads:

  • Blackheads are usually confused with the trapped dirt, but these are composed of oxidized melanin and are not related to the cleanliness of the skin.
  • Swabbing and squeezing the blackheads can make them adverse.
  • Increased production of sebum leads to the appearance of blackheads.
  • Avoiding products containing alcohol and oil-based skincare products, tight clothes, humid environments can help in the reduction of blackheads.

3. What causes blackheads?

As we have read earlier that when there is a development of a clog in the hair follicle opening, it forms a blackhead. The sebaceous gland present in the follicle produces oil which is known as sebum. This sebum keeps the skin moistened and soft. When these hair follicle openings get clogged by this sebum and dead skin cells, they produce a bump which is known as comedo. When the skin over this bump opens, its exposure to air causes it to look dark and black and a blackhead is formed and when the skin over the bump remains closed, a whitehead is formed.

types-of-blackheads-derma

4. Factors that can escalate the chances of developing blackheads and acne:

  • Age and hormonal changes due to which there is an increase in oil production during puberty, menstruation or while taking birth control pills.
  • When the dead skin cells do not shed properly regularly, it causes irritation of the hair follicles that leads into the formation of blackheads.
  • Increase in the growth of Propionibacterium acnes on the skin surface.
  • Increase in the production of body oil.
  • Intake of certain drugs like lithium, corticosteroids or androgens. Androgens (male sex hormone) activates greater sebum secretion and higher the turnover of skin cells around puberty.

Other reasons:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Humid environments
  • Activities like shaving that causes the opening of the hair follicles.
  • Blocking or covering of the pores by clothing or cosmetics.
  • Health conditions like Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and stress etc can increase the chances of developing blackheads.

5. How to remove blackheads?

Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments:

There are a lot of medications that are available without a prescription at the pharmacies in the form of pads, gels, creams ointments that can be applied directly on the skin. These medications act by forcing the skin to shed the dead skin cells that clog the pore, by eliminating the bacteria and by drying the excess of the oil. 

These contain the following ingredients. Salicylic acid pads contain a chemical that loosens and exfoliates the blackhead, therefore it becomes easy to remove it when a person cleanses his/her face. 

Prescription medication:

The doctor may shift to some stronger prescription if the OTC treatment does not improve the condition. These medications are also applied directly to the skin:

Prescription medication generally includes:

  • Resorcinol
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Tretinoin
  • Tazarotene
  • Adapalene

These types of medication along with some antibiotics are helpful in the condition where the person is having blackheads, pimples and acne cysts.

Light and Laser Therapy:

Light and laser therapy mainly focuses on two points:

  • Eliminating the bacteria
  • Reducing oil production.

The light and laser beams reach below the surface of the skin without damaging the top layer, effectively treating the blackhead and also acne.

6. How to use a blackhead remover tool?

Blackhead remover tool or comedo extractors are available in most of the pharmacy stores and can also be purchased from internet retailers. These tools are metallic instruments having a small opening in a spatula-like tip, which is pressed over the blackhead and on pressing it produces enough side pressure on the skin and get rid of the oil or sebum that is clogging the pore. 

But this could not be the best option for removing it as the person is not fully trained in using the tool and sometimes he/she will be too aggressive and can produce more damage than benefit. Vacuum suction and pore strips are other options for removing the blackheads.

7. Home remedies to remove blackheads:

1. Water and baking soda:

A common kitchen item baking soda can help to remove it from the skin. Baking soda works as an emollient and it eliminates the dead skin cells, dirt and oil that causes the pores to clog. Also, baking soda neutralizes the pH imbalance of the skin.

Usage: Two tablespoons of water and two tablespoons of baking soda are mixed to form a paste. One should massage onto the face and should be rinsed with warm water. It could dry your skin but best face moisturizer should be used to prevent dryness. Using it for 2 days in a week gives improved results.

2. Green tea:

Green tea is a great antioxidant and it can help in decreasing the skin's oil production.

Usage: One teaspoon of water is mixed with one teaspoon of dry leaves of green tea and is massaged on the affected areas for three to four minutes. Then it is rinsed off and a moisturizer is applied.

3. Pore strips at home:

One of the popular blackhead-removing remedies is pore strips. One can make pore strips at home easily with honey and milk. Honey has antibacterial properties and milk contains lactic acid that helps to remove dead skin cells and excess oil.

Usage: One tablespoon of honey is mixed with one tablespoon of raw honey and microwave for about 10 seconds. After the mixture is cool, apply it to affected areas and place a cotton strip on it. Let it there for about 10-15 minutes, peel off the cotton gently and rinse with water and moisturize your face.

4. Kasturi turmeric:

Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Therefore it can help remove the blackheads. Kasturi turmeric is used to avoid any kind of staining on the skin.

Usage: One tablespoon of Kasturi turmeric is mixed with one tablespoon of coconut oil or water to form a paste. The paste is applied to the affected areas and let it be there for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing.

5. Exfoliation at home:

Honey, lemon juice and brown sugar mixture are useful in removing the blackheads present on the nose and chin.

Usage: One tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of brown sugar and two tablespoons of lemon are mixed. The mixture is applied to affected areas and should be massaged for about 5-7 minutes. Then it is rinsed off and moisturizer  is applied.

8. How to remove blackheads from nose and face?

The first thing people notice is your face and nose. It glows the brightest on the face and nose. Squeezing it from the nose and face is not the solution. 

Facewash for oily skin or exfoliant should be one containing salicylic acid and should be used twice a week. Exfoliation done frequently helps to remove all the dead cells.

9. How to remove blackheads from cheeks?

One of the best methods to remove blackheads from cheeks is to use Retinol containing cream which is a Vitamin A derivative. Retinol reduces the stickiness of the cells that clog the pore and also it speeds up the turn over rate of the cells. It should be applied in the night.

So these are the simple ways to prevent blackheads and also to get rid of blackheads. You can try these to remove it from your nose, face and cheeks.

You may also like:  Ultimate Guide To Blemished Skin

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