Acne is a very common skin inflammatory disorder that usually begins at puberty and can continue throughout life. The face, as well as the back, shoulders, upper arms, and chest, are most frequently affected.
There are many kinds of acne, of which blackheads are one.
One of the most misunderstood forms of acne is blackheads, as individuals appear to associate them with dirt under the skin. As a consequence, blackheads are often cleansed in the wrong way. Not only does this not eradicate the blackheads, but it can make them worse as well, and they can escalate into multiple skin infections.
This article will include guidance on how to remove blackheads. In order to help you recover smooth , clean skin, Nccmed has also sourced a variety of video content.
Important facts about blackhead removal:
Here are some key points about acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects as many as 50 million people in the United States (U.S.) each year.
Girls aged 14 to 17 years and boys aged 16 to 19 years are most commonly affected by acne, though it can occur at any age.
People should avoid popping, squeezing, or picking at blackheads.
Gentle cleansing with dedicated chemical soaps or lotions is the most effective way to clear blackheads.
What are blackheads?
Sometimes mistaken as trapped mud, tiny deposits of melanin , the pigment that darkens the skin, are actually blackheads. Often known as comedones, they are.
Due to being exposed to oxygen, the pigment has turned brown. This happens in the skin as a result of open pores.
The first move to extracting them is making the distinction between trapped dirt and blackheads.
In affected areas, individuals with blackheads should avoid cracking, pulling, rubbing, touching, or picking.
All acne is not handled in the same manner. A healthcare professional can prescribe over-the-counter ( OTC) or prescription drugs, depending on a specific situation, to treat blackheads. These can be applied topically, or to the skin directly.
For individuals affected by mild acne and blackheads, topically applied treatment can include the use of:
- benzoyl peroxide
- salicylic acid
Treatments may be purchased in the form of gels, lotions, cream, soaps, or pads.
In certain cases, extraction will be recommended by a healthcare provider in which blackheads with special instruments called comedone extractors will be manually extracted.
Here is a video showing how a comedone extractor operates by Dr. Lisa Benest, a dermatologist based in Los Angeles.
The use of oral contraceptives, low-dose corticosteroids, or spironolactone in some women can, even in mild cases, improve hormone-driven acne.
Steps for washing the face
Washing the face properly will save the need to visit a dermatologist for a person with blackheads.
For acne and blackheads, it is also the case that washing the skin at home is the safest first-line treatment. In order to keep the pores unclogged, good skin hygiene will help.
Over-scrubbing, however, can do more damage than good. Here are the steps to wash your face in a way that will not cause further blackheads and more infections of the skin to develop.
To prepare for cleansing, make sure you have the following:
- hand soap
- makeup removal solution for those who wear makeup
- a cream with moisturizing capabilities for people with dry skin
- mild cleanser that is marked soap-free
- foaming cleanser containing alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) for individuals with oily skin
- a cleansing solution that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide for acne-prone skin
- a face towel
Once you have the products tailored to your skin type, take the following steps each night:
- Wash your hands to keep them free of bacteria.
- Remove any makeup you may be wearing using makeup remover or wipes.
- Make sure water temperature is warm but moderate.
- Apply the type of cleanser best suited to your skin. Gently massage the cleanser in a circular motion and be sure to rotate your hands outwards from the center of your face for at least one minute.
- Focus on the nose and forehead, as these areas of the face are particularly prone to sebum, or oil, production.
- Be sure to cleanse the jawline and hairline.
- Rinse the cleanser from your face by splashing your face with warm water.
- Dab the face with a clean hand towel, patting the skin dry and being sure not to rub or push down too hard.
- Apply any prescribed or OTC lotions, creams or gels after this cleaning process.
- Repeat this process twice daily for the best results.
The above measures are seen in this helpful video by Physician’s Assistant Erin Jensen.
What to avoid
There are several techniques for inappropriately washing blackheads. When washing the face, individuals often do not take these steps.
Be sure to avoid:
- vigorous cleaning and scrubbing of the skin
- very hot or very cold water when washing
- the use of toners, exfoliants, astringents, strong soaps, or scrubbing pads, unless told otherwise
- popping, squeezing, rubbing, touching, or picking at affected areas
- sunburn or tanning
- the use of pore-clogging skin care products
Other measures of prevention
A gentle and well-considered method of facial cleaning is not the only way to hold blackheads at bay or, if they occur, reduce them.
Clear and healthy skin can also be maintained by the following measures:
- Shampoo the hair frequently.
- Remove all make-up in the evening before going to bed.
- Consider using oil-free skin care products, including sunscreen.
- A fragrance-free, water-based emollient is recommended for people with dry skin.
- Take care when shaving.
Talk to a healthcare provider to make sure you use items that are safe for your unique form of skin.
Risk factors for developing acne
As a result of the following causes, blackheads may grow into more serious acne:
- overactive oil glands
- hormonal status
- psychological issues such as stress
- certain medications
- pore-clogging skin care products
- pressure from sports helmets, sports equipment, tight-fitted collars, and other sources of rubbing
- exposure to pollution or humid temperature conditions
- squeezing or picking at skin lesions
- excessive or hard skin scrubbing
When attempting to extract blackheads, keep these variables in mind. If a factor such as stress is the cause, the best way to clear blackheads can always be to deal with the cause.
Blackheads do not cause significant health issues, but confidence and self-image may be affected. Cleaning them in the right way can also prevent more serious skin infections from forming.