Blackheads are a type of acne and are actually clogged hair follicles that appear as dark or black bumps on your skin, normally found on the face, back and shoulders. They can develop into a pimple if the bacteria invades the hair follicle, causing inflammation and redness. Although blackheads can appear on any type of skin, normally they are more common in people with oily skin.
Despite what some people may think, blackheads do not normally form because of dirty skin, but because of a number of other factors including your body producing too much oil, hormonal changes due to puberty or menstruation, a reaction to certain drugs and an irritation of the follicles when the dead skin cells don’t shed properly. The formation of blackheads has nothing to do with the types of food that you eat.
So how do you get rid of them? Unfortunately the removal of blackheads isn’t something you should try at home. By trying to squeeze them out yourself you’re likely to infect the follicles with bacteria and cause pimples to form, making the problem even worse than it already was. So here are some of the most common ways to remove them safely.
- Try an over-the-counter medication that you can apply directly to your skin. These creams or pads contain benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol and salicylic acid which help to kill bacteria, dry out any excess oil and shed dead skin cells.
- If you have a severe case then your doctor may prescribe you a topical medication or the contraceptive pill which have both seen success in the removal of blackheads.
- Microdermabrasion is an exfoliating process where the top layers of your skin are gently buffed away taking with it the clogged hair follicles.
- Chemical peels are another process for getting rid of clogged hair follicles as well as the dead skin cells that can lead to blackheads. A chemical solution is applied to the skin and the top layers of skin peel away, leaving a smoother and softer surface.
- Laser therapy can reach the lower layers of your skin without harming the top layers to decrease oil production or kill the bacteria.
If you want to try and prevent them in the first place then ensure that you wash your face morning and night to get rid of any excess oil and makeup. Try using an antibacterial face wash that can kill the bacteria and an exfoliating scrub at least one a week that will remove any dead skin cells. When you choose a moisturiser make sure that it’s oil free so that you don’t make your problem worse.
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