In medical terms a blackhead is referred to as an open comedo. It is a non-inflamed mark of acne that is black or dark brown in color on the pore’s surface. They are frequently mistaken for dirt that you can scrub off. However, that isn’t possible. What they are really are is a combination of acne-causing bacteria, sebum (excess oil) and dead skin that becomes dark in color when it comes into contact with the air. Blackheads are the first stage of the acne formation process. If they are not treated, they can spread and also form pimples, which are also referred to as pustules or papules.
Acne and blackheads typically develop during puberty as hormones rise up to the skin’s surface. This then causes more sebum (oil) to be produced by the sebaceous glands, which causes the skin’s surface to have an excessive amount of oil on it, which makes the skin oily and clogs the pores with acne-causing bacteria and sebum. The pores turn dark in color or black after these substances that are clogging the pores get exposed to air.
HOW TO TREAT AND MINIMIZE BLACKHEADS
1. Wash your skin two times a day using a gentle cleanser, once in the morning and then again at night. Use a facial cleanser that contain salicylic acid or alpha hydroxyl acids as there ingredients help in unclogging the pores. This will remove acne-causing bacteria, residue and oil buildup that if left unwashed would tend to cause acne.
2. Exfoliate your twice or three times a week in order to remove any dead skin cells that may contribute to clogging the pores of your skin. Apply the exfoliating products all over your face, using light, circular motions concentration on the problem areas of the face forehead, nose and cheeks. When you remove dead skin cells, acne-causing bacteria, oil and dead skin are removed from the pores. After the skin has been gently exfoliated, rejuvenated and new skin can surface, which will minimize formation of acne, oily skin and blackheads.
3. Once a week steam your face for a few minutes to cleanse your skin in deep. Steaming is very important to loosen debris that may be embedded into the skin. When steaming the face you wide the clogged pores and soften the skin in order to cleanse more easily the impurities, the traces of makeup, the dust, the sebaceous secretions as well as the dead skin cells.4. Use a Blackheads remover (a comedone extractor ) tools – help keep pores free of blackheads and blemishes. It will remove all clogged dark bumps with trapped sebum, bacteria and excess oils dislodging pore blockages leaving skin clear and smooth. This tool should be used immediately after steaming the face.
If you have just a small number of whiteheads don’t do anything – leave them the way they are because sometimes they will go away by themselves in a few days.5. A clay facial mask once a week will remove deeply embedded blackheads in your skin. Wet your skin and cleanse it as you normally would. Pat your skin dry, but leave it slightly moist. Apply the clay mask to your skin (make sure your hair is tied back to keep it from the clay). Allow the mask to dry for 15 minutes, and then rinse your face to wash the mask away. This at-home facial treatment is a great way to remove blackheads.
6. Try using a topical treatment that either your dermatologist has prescribed or an over-the-counter product. Topical treatments that are either benzoyl peroxide gel or salicylic acid cream fight blackheads from the pore root. The topical treatment should be applied after you have washed and moisturized your skin. Both ingredients are contained in the three-step skincare system from Proactive. Although it has mixed reviews, some people have had a lot of success using it.7. Always moisturize after cleansing. It is absolutely essential to do this. An oil-free moisturizer should be used so that you don’t get more acne, clog your pores or so your skin doesn’t get more oily or greasy. If you don’t moisturize on a regular basis, your skin will be more oily and you will break out more because more oil will be pulled to the surface of your skin, as you skin attempts to balance its pH levels. This will clog your pores with acne-causing bacteria and oil.8. Change diet: Remove fried foods from your diet. Replace those with leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.