blackheads are the mildest forms of acne and also the most
common. More than 60% of people get them at one point or
another. Whiteheads (closed comedones) can have multiple
causes, but they generally form from a buildup of excess
skin oil, dead cells and/or other sediment creating a
blockage at the exit of your pore. This whitish "plug" of
gunk can then darken into a blackhead (open comedone) as the
melanin in your sebum becomes oxidized from air exposure.
this sort are painless, and may not even cause the skin to
become raised. They usually aren't hard to treat, but it can
be difficult to prevent them from returning - sometimes
right in the same spots (especially on problem areas like
and blackheads are less severe than other forms of acne, there are many
treatment options that work. If you're gentle, simply
pinching the area may be enough to "pop loose the cork" of
the comedone. Obviously, you don't want to do this unless a
comedone is right at your skin's surface and ready to
emerge, otherwise the resulting inflammation may worsen the
blemish, causing it to become a pustule.
serious pustules or cysts, whiteheads and blackheads are
often caused at the skin-level by dirt, dead skin cells and
bacteria, in addition to excess oil and swollen pores. As
such, this is a case when cleansers are actually
helpful for once. Cleansing regularly and maintaining good
hygiene is a smart way to avoid most of these blemishes.
is also very helpful here, whether by chemicals such as
salicylic acid or using granular scrubs (I recommend the
later). Exfoliating properly will help keep that top layer
of dead skin cells from building up, and can also dislodge pesky comedones that are plugging your pores.
A variety of
natural supplements can be effective. Supplements that
target oil regulation, such as those based on vitamin B5 or
vitamin A, can be helpful, particularly in prevention, since
your swollen pores will contract as excess oil diminishes,
leaving less space for dirt and dead cells to pool up.
Antioxidants can also aid in eliminating toxins from the
skin that might otherwise be expelled through your pores.
peels and medicated pads can all work to eliminate comedones
and prevent new ones from forming, provided they are used on
a regular basis. The fact is, most treatments work fairly
well when it comes to treating these mild cases of acne.
Even simple changes to your diet or drinking more water may
be enough to help.
or blackheads, it's important to remember that you don't
need to go overboard. These skin conditions should be
treated gently. Strong spot treatments are usually
overkill, as are cleansers and lotions that are similarly
drying. You shouldn't be nuking your skin to get rid of
minor comedones. Any harsh chemicals that leave your skin
irritated can seriously work against you, as they will cause
your pores to become inflamed and dilated, practically
guaranteeing more acne in the near future.
Also beware of
products that leave a residue on your skin. This
includes cheap soaps, many creams and moisturizers,
sunscreens and even non-acne products like makeup or hair
gel. Since comedones are caused at the skin-level, you need
to be aware of products that directly contribute to them by
clogging your pores, and you may not even realize that your
bar soap is leaving a filmy residue behind. Always rinse
well and try to avoid using too many skin products if you
suffer from whiteheads or blackheads.