Whiteheads: Causes & Symptoms
When you feel like your skin is not looking its best, there are often underlying issues that you need to address. Understanding what causes whiteheads can help you take the right step towards getting rid of them.
The term "whitehead" refers to a closed comedo, an open comedo is known as a blackhead. Whiteheads are often bigger than blackheads and do not have a visible opening.
In this article, we will look at what causes whiteheads, and what can be done to treat them.
The main cause of whiteheads is a type of bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (PA). These bacteria cause closed comedones (hair follicle clogs), which then form into whiteheads. The sebaceous glands surrounding the hair follicles will excrete oils to coat the area and prevent infection.
A whitehead will result in a raised bump on your skin filled with a cloudy and white substance. The blemish may look like a tiny pimple and can be tender to the touch. Whiteheads can take anywhere from 1–4 weeks to appear once bacteria get trapped in pores.
Top 10 Remedies to Treat Whiteheads
As your skin gets older, it is prone to whiteheads. Whiteheads can be a very embarrassing skin condition and a pain in the neck to treat.
Whiteheads are tiny but painful. They stay as a white dot on the skin and emerge as tiny blemishes on our faces. They make your face look dull and unclean and we become irritated with them very easily.
Whiteheads may appear on the face, oily areas like T-Zone and jawline. They can also appear on the neck and chest and sometimes spread to shoulders and back as well. If you suffer from a whitehead problem, you will know how hard it is to get rid of whiteheads.
There are several remedies that can be used to treat acne-prone skin. You can also try these remedies to treat whiteheads. Before using home remedies and natural remedies, you have to clean your face properly to reduce the chances of becoming infected.
- Clay Mask
Make a paste of clay powder and rose water. Apply this paste on your face for 10 minutes. You can also use cucumber juice or yoghurt with honey for this purpose instead of clay powder if your acne is too sensitive. This is one of the best ways to treat whiteheads. Just avoid applying this mask on open sores.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is a natural antibacterial agent. It can be used to treat all types of acne including whiteheads. While many people prefer using aloe vera directly on the face, it can result in various side effects including irritation and rashes. The best way is to use an anti-acne gel fortified with aloe vera gel and other anti-acne ingredients.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is widely popular for its anti-inflammatory properties. It may also have some antimicrobial traits as well, which means it can help clear up whiteheads effectively. The oil may be available as an extract you can directly pat onto the face. Certain skincare products such as cleansers, masks and spot treatment creams also contain tea tree oil.
- Retinoid Creams
Retinoids contain stronger versions of Vitamin A, which can provide anti-ageing benefits while unclogging pores. If OTC prescription based retinoids are not working for you, your dermatologist can prescribe a stronger topical prescription.
- Gentle Exfoliants
Exfoliants with or without salicylic acid can also help with whiteheads. These help in removing excess dead skin cells and sebum. The key is to choose the right exfoliant that will provide visible results without causing unnecessary irritation and dryness.
- Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is derived from a flowering plant and may heal whiteheads with its astringent, pore-opening properties. Witch hazel is highly popular to use in the astringent form. Simply wet a cotton ball with it and use it twice a day.
- Vitamin A Cream
Vitamin A is a nutrient with powerful antioxidant properties that can potentially decrease redness and inflammation while also promoting healthy cell growth. Some OTC creams that contain Vitamin A can be directly applied to the face once or twice per day to get rid of whiteheads.
- Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is a saviour when it comes to acne, pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. They can be used as a spot treatment and a full face treatment as well. It helps get rid of bacteria and excess oil. Always look for products with at least 2% benzoyl peroxide. Simply apply it to the affected area once a day. Gradually you can increase the frequency to two times per day. Also, wash your hands immediately after using the product as it has bleaching properties that might bleach hair and clothing.
- Salicylic Acid
Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid can also help decrease oil production in pores. It can dry out the surface of the skin to get rid of dead skin cells that clog the pores. Salicylic acid may be most beneficial as a preventive measure against whiteheads. You can use it once or thrice a day. It is available in acne toners and astringents, as well as creams or gels. Same face moisturizers also contain salicylic acid these days.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature and is considered an astringent which is capable of drying out pores. It helps reduce inflammation by shrinking the pores and has antibacterial, anti-microbial properties. Take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with some water and apple it to the affected area. Let it dry for 20 minutes and then wash it off.
Whiteheads are fluid-filled blemishes that are similar to blackheads. They are often found on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead. Their main difference is the fact that they contain non-blackhead-causing bacteria.
Try out some home remedies that we mentioned above & if you do not find them effective, you can look out for OTC remedies.