What are Blackheads?
Blackheads in the skin is a common problem, especially among those who have oily skin. They could appear on the forehead, nose, and chin. Blackheads are essentially acne. They are caused by an overproduction of sebum oil, which is used to lubricate the skin.
Blackheads are more commonly seen in teenagers, young adults and middle-aged adults. These black spots that appear on the skin are actually dead skin cells that have a high concentration of melanin.
What are the Causes of Blackheads?
The causes of blackheads are not fully known but studies point to the sebaceous glands, which produce an oily substance called sebum, located in hair follicles and pores. These glands over-produce this substance and when it mixes with the broken down dead skin cells, it turns into a sticky substance. As the human body is prone to oxidation, the sticky substance reacts with air, becomes darker and turns into a blackhead.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads?
Blackheads are a mild form of acne that appear as small black dots, usually around the nose, chin and forehead. They are tiny holes with a bit of skin in them. It normally appears on skin that has a lot of oil (sebaceous) glands, such as your nose.
Clay and charcoal masks can help to draw oils and toxins out of the face. This ultimately unclogs the pores that cause blackheads.
Salicylic acid is a popular OTC medication that can break down dead skin cells and extra oil before they can clog the pores.
Retinoid creams and lotions are made from Vitamin A, which helps the body in making new skin cells. This prevents clogging of skin pores. Since it makes the skin sensitive to harmful UV rays, you will need a prescription to buy retinoid creams.
With the help of specialized and advanced tools, doctors can remove blackheads easily. Extractions might be good for unclogging pores and clearing the skin but sometimes they make the pores shrink.
A chemical peel is usually done in order to improve the appearance of sun damage, blackheads and acne scars. This process can unclog pores and accelerate the growth of new skin cells. Salicylic acid, glycolic acid and retinoic acids are some common ingredients in chemical peel products. This process can cause inflammation, redness, infection, scarring, etc because it contains acids.
A skin brush can help you get rid of built-up debris that contributes to various skin problems including blackheads. Do not forget to hydrate your skin after using a skin brush. Many types of skin brushes are available but a dermatologist can tell you what kind will be suitable for your skin. It can make your skin conditions worse if not used properly.
Non Comedogenic products
Noncomedogenic products are oil-free products and therefore will not block your pores. This helps in preventing the chances of getting blackheads. You can find non-comedogenic cleansers, moisturizers, etc in all types of medical stores.
How to Prevent Blackheads?
Some preventive measures are given below that you can inculcate in order to prevent blackheads:
- Wash your face at least twice a day, especially when you get up and before going to bed.
- Always use alcohol-free and chemical-free skin products.
- Avoid touching your face frequently as it can transfer the dirt on your hands to your face.
- Change your pillowcases every month and sanitize your mask before reuse.
- Avoid eating processed and packed foods as they can disbalance the oil production in your body.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads Naturally at Home?
- Baking Soda: Mix baking soda with water and apply it all over your blackheads. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it off using lukewarm water.
- Green Tea: Mix dry green tea leaves with water and prepare a thick paste. Apply liberally on your blackheads and let it dry for 15-20 minutes before washing in lukewarm water.
- Egg and Honey: Mix egg whites and honey to make a paste and apply it on your blackheads. Let it dry for 15 minutes and then rinse it off using cold water.
- Turmeric powder: Turmeric powder and raw milk can do wonders in treating blackheads when mixed together. Apply it to the affected areas and wait for some time to witness surprising results.
Do Blackheads Go Away on their Own?
Most blackheads go away within a few days but this does not hold true for everyone. Untreated blackheads can become inflamed and other conditions can occur as a consequence of the inflamed tissue. These days, dermatologists use photo pneumatic therapy to treat deep blackheads. This process involves the combination of a hand-held vacuum and laser lights that helps the dermatologist to get deep into the clogged pores to remove dead skin cells and extra sebum.
Blackheads are easy to treat and prevent, provided you do not make skincare mistakes. First, keep your face clean at all times. Use a gentle cleanser daily to scrub your face for a few minutes. Using pore strips will also help in removing blackheads. As blackheads often appear around the nose, you can also use a facial mask that will open up pores and restrict further build-up of oil.