How to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads?

Blackheads and Whiteheads

What are Blackheads and Whiteheads? 

Blackheads and whiteheads are two types of skin blemishes that are caused due to the clogging of sebaceous glands. There are several factors that can cause this so you should never ignore these skin conditions.

The blackheads or the comedones are formed due to the clogging of the sebaceous glands by the excess sebum and dead skin cells (hyperkeratinization). 

The pores and the hair follicles get blocked and the sebaceous secretions accumulate beneath the skin. Thereby, enlarging the pores and forming them into blackheads. 

Whiteheads are formed when the pores and the follicles do not get clogged completely and some of the sebaceous secretions get extruded from them. Thus, they appear as whiteheads.

Whiteheads and blackheads are mostly found on the nose, chin, forehead and cheeks. The chemical reaction between keratinocytes and bacteria causes skin discolouration which makes these areas darker than other parts of the skin.

Blackheads and whiteheads can be treated and prevented in a variety of ways. The causes can be known to prevent them from appearing again.

Home Remedies to Treat Blackheads and Whiteheads

Blackheads and whiteheads are common skin diseases. These are a form of acne that occurs when your hair follicles or pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Blackheads are caused by a combination of oil, bacteria and oxygen. Whiteheads contain no bacteria but contain large amounts of oil and skin cells. 

Whether blackhead or whitehead, the treatment for these types of acne is similar. In addition, there are many home remedies for blackheads and whiteheads to try at home before you resort to the doctor.

Most of us rush to the dermatologist for some solution, but some face these conditions every day without even knowing how to fix them. If you are plagued by blackheads or whiteheads, you should try some of the home remedies listed below.

Home remedies can include lime juice, lemon juice, honey, yoghurt, sugar scrubs, clay masks, cucumber slices, mint leaves or parsley.

The two main ingredients are yoghurt and honey. People with sensitive skin should test these ingredients on a small patch on their face to see whether they cause irritation before using them on the entire face.

  1. Make a paste with one tablespoon each of baking soda and lemon juice. Apply to your face and neck and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Wash it off using cold water. 
  1. Gentle scrubbing can also help you get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. Try mixing two tablespoons of oatmeal with one tablespoon of granulated sugar and half a spoon of honey and lemon. Apply this mixture and gently rub on your face for a few minutes and then wash it off using cold water.
  1. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of rosewater or rose essential oil in a bowl. Apply the mixture to the affected area and let it dry for 10 minutes. Wash it off using cold water.

How to Get Rid of Blackheads?

Blackheads are open comedones, which means the pore is open and blackened. They can either appear on the surface or just beneath the surface of the skin. The blackening happens due to a chemical reaction between air, a protein called keratin, and a sticky substance secreted from sebaceous glands called sebum. Wondering how to get rid of blackheads? Here are some ways:

Benzoyl peroxide is not quite effective in treating blackheads, therefore, look out for products with salicylic acid instead. Salicylic acid is highly recommended for treating blackheads because it can break down the impurities that clog pores like excess oil and dead skin cells.

By using products with salicylic acid, you can also remove daily dirt, makeup and extra oil buildup.

You can also try out clay masks to help remove oils and toxins from the skin. Some clay masks contain sulfur, which is an essential ingredient that works towards breaking down the dead skin cells buildup. You can use clay masks twice a week as a basic process of your exfoliating treatment.

Chemical peels are your last option for treating blackheads as well as avail the anti-aging benefits of such peels like reduced age spots and fine lines. These chemical peels usually contain AHAs and BHAs, they target the skin by exfoliating it from within. Chemical peels can possibly shrink enlarged pores as well. 

How to Get Rid of Whiteheads?

Whiteheads are closed comedones or non-blackhead acne. These are similar to blackheads, but instead of being open to the surface, they are closed.

Using a Vitamin A cream can help in treating whiteheads because Vitamin A has the potential to decrease redness and inflammation while also promoting healthy cell growth. OTC creams containing Vitamin A can be directly applied to the affected areas twice a day but do not forget to use sunscreen or sunblock along with these creams because Vitamin A can increase skin sensitivity to the sun.

Tea tree oil is another go-to option for reducing whiteheads. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help clear up whiteheads. The oil may be available as an extract that you can directly apply to the face. Some skincare items such as cleansers, masks, spot treatment gels and serums also contain tea tree oil.

Benzoyl peroxide may not be effective for blackheads but it is quite a saviour when it comes to whiteheads. It helps get rid of bacteria and excess oil. It can immediately reduce inflammation in the affected area. Look out for products with at least 2% benzoyl peroxide and apply it to the affected area twice a day. Do not forget to wash your hands immediately after using products with benzoyl peroxide as it can bleach hair and clothing. 

Take Away

Blackheads and whiteheads are common skin concerns that many people face. Often confused as the same thing, whiteheads and blackheads are two types of acne that affect the oil glands on our faces. 

You can also use a derma roller to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads as it helps to unclog the pores and promotes blood circulation in the area, which helps to remove the trapped dirt as well as blackheads and whiteheads.

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