Is there anything more frustrating than discovering small black specks on your face? We have all been there – standing in the front of the mirror and looking closely at our pores now and then.
If your blackheads are a source of insecurity for you, the good news is that there are ways you can treat them. Before we dig into the treatment options, let’s first understand what blackheads are and where they come from.
What Are Blackheads?
Blackheads are tiny little bumps that are visible on your skin. They are usually a result of clogged hair follicles on your face. Also, they are commonly known as blackheads due to their black or dark appearance.
When our pores are clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells, they form blackheads. In contrast to whiteheads, blackheads contain open surfaces, the oxidation of which gives them a dark color. Blackheads are a type of mild acne that commonly occurs on the face.
However, it can also be seen on the back, neck, chest, shoulders, and arms. The Mighty Conqueror offers a wide assortment of skincare products that target your problem areas.
What Causes Blackheads?
Blackheads develop when a plug or clog forms in the opening of the hair follicles of your skin. A follicle contains a single hair as well as a sebaceous gland that releases oil. The oil, also known as sebum, is for moisture that protects your skin and keeps it soft.
Sometimes, the excessive oil and dead skin cells can collect in the opening of these follicles and create a bump known as comedones. A closed bump is known as a whitehead, whereas an open bump forms the blackhead. In addition, there are certain factors that can elevate your chances of forming blackheads and acne.
- Excessive production of oil or sebum
- The accumulation of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria on the skin surface
- Experiencing hormonal imbalances that lead to more oil generation during puberty, menstruation, or when using birth control pills
- Irritation of hair follicles – dead skin cells not shedding on a consistent basis
- Taking certain medication, like androgens, lithium, or corticosteroids
Also, some people believe that your diet can have an impact on acne. Sugary goods and dairy products might trigger acne in some people. However, research is yet to confirm if there is a strong connection.
How To Prevent Blackheads?
There are numerous different ways one can tackle comedone acne, such as blackheads. No matter what you try, it is important to be patient with your skin.
Also, remember that with any skincare regimen or treatment, consistency is the key. It can take a while for your skin to get better and display a visible difference. Here are some tips that can help you in preventing blackheads.
- Don’t Pick at Your Skin
Isn’t it tempting to try and extract the blackhead by squeezing hard with your fingers? However, it is best that you leave it alone. Also, remember that popping, squeezing, and picking the blackheads aren’t the best options. In fact, this approach can make matters worse.
We often have oil and bacteria on our hands. Every time you pick at or touch your skin, you are transferring all that dirt to your face. Thus, it can cause skin problems, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. Furthermore, frequent picking at your skin can lead to permanent scarring. Therefore, it is best to keep your hands off your face.
- Always Use Sunscreen and Pick the Right Makeup
If you truly want to put an end to these pesky blackheads, be very mindful of the products you choose to use on your face. Also, it is best to use non-comedogenic skin and makeup products. These are specifically designed for acne-prone skin, and they don’t clog your pores.
Thus, using these products can help in reducing the number of blackheads and preventing new ones from forming. In addition, we cannot stress enough the importance of using a good facial moisturizer with a strong SPF. Furthermore, try to stay away from products that feel heavy and oily on the skin. Look for formulations that have a thinner consistency.
- Exfoliate Properly
Exfoliating is an integral part of a good skincare routine but also something that people often overdo. Exfoliating your skin twice every week should be more than enough. Also, it is important to realize that exfoliation can often dry up your skin quickly.
Thus, if you do it excessively without proper technique, it can damage the protective layer of your skin and cause severe dryness. The worst part is that when our skin is dry, it generates more oil which leads to blackhead formation. Therefore, it is best to tread lightly with exfoliation.
How Can You Treat Blackheads?
- Over-The-Counter (OTC) Treatments
You can find many acne medications easily at the grocery and drug stores. These are available in the form of gels and creams. Also, you can apply these topical formulations directly onto your skin. They usually contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and resorcinol. These products work by drying off the excessive oil, killing bacteria, and encouraging the skin to shed the dead skin cells.
- Prescription Medications
In the case that OTC treatments fail to work on your acne, the dermatologist might prescribe some stronger medications. Medicines containing vitamin
A prevents the formation of plugs in your hair follicles. Also, they encourage a faster turnover of your skin cells. You can apply these formulations directly to your skin. In addition, these medications often include adapalene, tazarotene, or tretinoin.
- Chemical Peels
Chemical peels can also help remove the dead skin cells and unplug your pores. A peel involves the application of a chemical solution to your skin.
After some time, the outer layers of your skin start to peel off, revealing the softer, more supple skin underneath. Also, you can easily find mild peels over the counter. Stronger chemical peels, on the other hand, are performed by a skin care professional or dermatologist.
Any new skin treatment or regimen, including the ones for blackheads, can take a few weeks before any visible results. If you continue to see pre-existing and new blackheads over time, you might want to book an appointment with your practitioner or dermatologist. They have special tools for effective blackhead extraction.