Definition of blackheads
Blackheads are medically termed as open comedones and can materialize on any skin types but oily skins are most affected. It is a yellowish or blackish bump or plug on the skin. It is the primary sign of acne vulgaris.
Formation, causes and occurrence of blackheads
Blackheads are formed when sebum is trapped in a pore. Blackheads are caused by overactive sebaceous glands. The excess secretion of oil expands and thickens the pores of the skin. The oil collects in the pores and hardens into a plug. The pores are then clogged with hardened sebum or oil and infected with bacteria. On oxidization, they turn black. The other causes of nose blackheads include:
Excessive use of cosmetic products
Poor dietary habits
Less amount of water content in body
Blackheads commonly occur on the chin, forehead and sides of the nostrils. The tip of the nose is another common location where blackheads make their ugly appearance. Blackheads not only appear on the face, but on the back, chest and other areas that are rich in sebaceous glands.
In contrast, a “whitehead” (commonly known as a closed comedo) is a follicle that is filled with the same material, sebum, but lacks a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidized, and remains white.
Hormonal treatments, including oral contraceptives, have long been recognized by dermatologists to be an effective treatment option for which those have blackheads.
Cleanse the face thoroughly with a good cleanser meant for oily skin such as a salicylic acid cleanser.
Drugs can also be used to cure blackhead. Some medicines which can be used are as adapalene.
Sunshine or ultra-violet light encourages skin peeling, and so helps to clear blocked pores. So sunbathing or use of sun-beds in moderation can be helpful.
Keep your hair away from your face. Greasy hair and skin go together, and hair can spread infection.
Surgery is also an option in treatment of blackhead removal. The surgery helps in making the scar so thin that it is not clearly visible. Also infection is not caused if you cures blackhead with surgery.
Blackhead Removal Tools
There are many tools used to remove blackheads. While selecting a tool, you must select one that is effective in blackhead removal and at the same time gentle to the skin. The use of these tools should not cause damage to the sensitive facial skin. The following are some generally used blackhead removal tools.
Metallic Spoon Extractor: These long and thin tools, which are usually made of stainless steel, possess spoon-like ends with small holes. This tool comes in different sizes and is used to gently press the blackhead with its spoon-like end. The pressure causes the extraction of the blackhead from the pore, though the hole in the tool. Sometimes, this tool is fitted with a lancet-like structure on one side, to open the head of the pore, which houses a stubborn blackhead.
Metallic Loop Extractor: This tool is almost like the metallic spoon extractor but lacks the spoon-like structure. Metallic loop extractor has small loops on both ends, which is more precise in extracting a targeted blackhead. Place the loop over the blackhead and apply pressure. The blackhead will come out of the pore instantly.
Suction Guns: This tool uses suction method to pull out the blackheads. The tube-like end of this tool is placed over the blackhead and the slide attached to the tool is drawn upwards. This creates suction, which is helpful in extracting a blackhead. This method is not as effective as others. It can give better results, if used after steaming the face for five minutes.
Blackhead Removal Strip: This is considered to be one of the best ways to remove blackheads. These strips contain glue which helps in the extraction of blackheads. Wet the concerned area of the skin and stick this strip on it. After ten minutes pull it off slowly. The blackheads are lifted out of the skin, along with the strip. However, this method of blackhead removal may cause rashes in people who have sensitive skin.
Blackhead Removing Scrub: There are blackhead removal scrubs available for the purpose of removing blackheads. The granules in such scrubs are found to be effective in removing acne. The important thing to remember while using such scrubs is that over scrubbing may cause problems in people with sensitive skin. In some cases, the pressure used for scrubbing may cause the blackhead to move deeper into the skin, which can lead to infections. However, if done in the right way, this is also a best way to remove blackheads.
Whichever may be the tool used for blackhead removal, you should know the right technique. Only those blackheads should be removed which have their heads popped out of the skin. If the blackheads are not ready for removal, your efforts to extract them may result in skin infections or scars. It is better to soften the blackheads by steaming, before extraction. Never use excess pressure while adopting any of the above said methods. This rule is applicable, even if you are squeezing the blackhead. All the above said tools are safe, if you know the right method of usage. If you don’t know the right technique of extraction, then go to your nearest parlor for regular facial treatments using the very latest techniques. This will prevent the buildup of oil and the formation of whiteheads and blackheads.
Home Remedy for Blackheads
An effective home remedy for blackheads would be to combine hot water, Epsom salt and iodine. Put 1 tsp Epsom salt and 4 drops iodine in 1/4 cup hot water. When the solution cools down, apply it on the affected area, with a cotton ball. After it dries, remove it with a clean cloth.
Make a paste of fresh fenugreek leaves, with water. Apply the paste on the affected area for about 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Use this remedy regularly for favorable results.
For removing blackheads, taking steam would be beneficial, as steam opens the blocked pores. After taking steam, rub the affected region with a towel for 1-2 minutes. Thereafter, splash it with cold water, closing all the open pores.
Another effective home remedy for blackhead removal comprises of a face wash, made of lime juice and milk. Add 1 tbsp fresh lime juice to a glass of boiled milk. Use this as a face wash regularly.
Make a paste of ground radish seeds, along with water. Apply the paste on the affected area and rinse it off with water, when it dries.
Yet another effective home remedy would be to make a paste of 5 gm red sandalwood and 5 gm turmeric, along with some milk. Apply this paste on the affected area and rinse off, after it dries.
Mix almond powder with some rose water, to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area and keep it on till it dries. Thereafter, wash it off with warm water.
Mix salt, lemon and honey, in equal quantities, and make a scrub. Yogurt can also be added to the mixture. Massage the affected area with this scrub for about 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse off and pat dry.
Application of warm honey on the affected area, as a pack, would be beneficial. After the honey dries, wash the face with water.
Combine equal amounts of groundnut oil and fresh lime juice. Apply this on the affected area and keep on for about 10-15 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
Egg white can also be used as a home remedy for blackheads. Beat the white portion of the egg and apply on the affected area. Wash off with water. While wiping the area, scrub it lightly with the towel.
Mix 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon powder in a bowl. Apply this on the affected area and leave overnight. Wash off the next morning, with lukewarm water.
The bottom line is that if you do have blackheads, or other acne for that matter, there are several ways you can make it go away a lot more quickly that it would on its own. Make sure you take care not to do further skin damage in the process. In order to prevent the blackheads from recurring, make it a habit to regularly cleanse your face. A good skin care regimen involves the use of a facial wash, toner and moisturizer. Also ensure you exercise, eat right and drink lots of water to have a blemish free skin. So the mantra is easy, keep your skin clean and clear and say goodbye to blackheads.
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