Waking up to a new string of acne on your face is never a great start to the morning. They linger, both on your body and within your mind throughout the week.
Similar to traditional acne, blackheads present themselves as small bumps on your face and body, most notably on the chin or nose. If you’re not sure whether you have a blackhead, take note of the color – these are dark, almost black dots that come as a result of blocked-up hair follicles. Over time, blackhead removal will prove unnecessary as it will eventually fade away. However, some can take several months and even years before completely clearing up.
For a preventative blackhead strategy, regular skin exfoliation is highly suggested as an addition to your daily routine. Firstly though, it’s important to know the specific causes of blackheads.
Causes of Blackheads
When a plug forms within the opening of a hair follicle, dirty oils, and dead skin can coalesce inside the opening and bring about a blackhead, also referred to as a comedo. Whiteheads come about when the skin over the opening remains closed, while blackheads are the result of the follicle’s opened to nature and exposure to air.
A clogged hair follicle is a typical case for newly sprouted blackheads, though your chances of developing them can vary according to a number of driving factors. For example, some people produce more body oil as a result of genetics, increasing their chances of clogged follicles and the blackheads which follow. Sometimes irritated hair follicles can form blackheads if dead skin isn’t being regularly shed from your skin as well.
Another cause could be specific drugs, such as steroids, which are known to render skin susceptible to heavy acne. Of course, varying hormone levels such as teenage puberty, birth control side effects, and menstruation are known to make blackhead or acne arrival more likely.
Lastly, though researchers aren’t exactly supportive of the theory, many people place their faith in the role which eating and drinking may play in causing acne or blackheads. Pepperoni pizza, dairy products, and even carbs, for example, are foods popularly rumored to spike your oil levels and likelihood for blackheads.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads
When searching for blackhead removal strategies, there are lists of both natural and medical routes to try out.
Many have turned to home remedies and used ingredients around the house, such as the use of baking soda in exfoliation. A common application here is to mix the baking soda with water, forming a paste to dab onto those pesky blackheads. Rubbing the paste into the affected area and rinsing it with water is suggested at a rate of twice per week.
Rubbing slices of tomato onto blackheads or acne is another, more unique remedy to try. Their denseness in vitamins A and C lets them absorb oils, shrink pores, and clear oily faces of their excess grease in a gentle manner.
Acne products or Microdermabrasion
Lastly, there are plenty of options with over-the-counter treatments, prescription medications, and more specialized procedures like microdermabrasion and light therapy. Acne products containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be found at the local grocery store and prescriptions such as Accutane are optimal for more severe cases. Meanwhile, microdermabrasion sands the top layers of your skin to remove blackhead clogs, and light therapy sends small light beams into affected areas to trim down oil production levels.
In the end, preventative care is crucial in warding off the need for blackhead extraction and removal. Washing your face on a daily basis, avoiding oily foods, and making sure to exfoliate are the preceding steps necessary to keep blackheads from arising in the first place.