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Acne Concern



Blackheads

Photo: Removing Blackheads

What Are Blackheads?

Blackheads are a form of acne. They are usually found on the face, chest, back, and arms.

Like any type of acne, blackheads are the result of clogged pores. The reason that pores get clogged may vary -- sometimes, it's because of hormones, but it may also be the result of a bad skincare routine or overactive sebaceous glands.

We know that both blackheads and whiteheads occur when hair follicles become clogged and blocked because of sebum and dead skin cells. The difference is that with a whitehead, the pore stays closed -- all that gunk stays collected right beneath your top layer of skin and appears as a white bump.

On the other hand, a blackhead clogged pore has been stretched open, and the clogged pore has been exposed to the air -- oxygen. This causes the gunk to turn a dark color -- usually a blackish-gray, brown, or even a bluish hue. And it's why blackheads often look wider than normal pores, yet are flat unlike whiteheads.

How to get rid of Blackheads

Even though it may be extremely tempting to pop blackheads and push out the dark-colored debris, it's important to avoid this temptation. There are several skin treatments that can take care of blackheads without having to resort to blackhead removal using your fingers -- that method will almost certainly cause scars to appear.

Instead of popping, here are three treatments that should help with the appearance of blackheads:

A Skin Brush

Exfoliation is the name of the game when it comes to blackhead prevention, and a quality skin brush is perfect for this. The exfoliation an electronic brush provides will help slough off dead skin cells, and it will also help your cleanser penetrate deeper into the skin.


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Salicylic Acid

For pimples, benzoyl peroxide is king, but blackheads react much better to salicylic acid. That's because the latter is exfoliating, which again, is how your deep clean those pores and get the dirt out. Look for a serum or cream that contains 2 to 5 percent salicylic acid and apply it daily to see results.

A Regimented Skincare Routine

Everyone should have a skincare routine that they follow. It's important for keeping skin clear and dead skin cell-free, but it's also important for hydration. Flaky skin is part of what clogs pores, so you need provide adequate moisture to prevent that buildup of dead skin cells.

Start your routine with a gentle cleanser (exfoliate with your skin brush every other day). Next, apply your salicylic acid treatment and wait for it to dry. And lastly, put on a non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) moisturizer.

Not Touching Your Face

Finally, remember that it's oil and dirt that clogs pores in the first place, so if you want to keep blackheads at bay, a priority should be to keep your hands off your face. Your fingertips are oily, and touching your face to pick at acne -- or even just in passing -- can exacerbate blackheads.

Likewise, keep your hair away from your face as well as it will be rife with oils of its own that can also clog pores. Finally, consider changing your pillowcase more often. It's another place for oils to lurk.

By following all of these guidelines, you'll see a dramatic dip in the number of blackheads you have, and you can look forward to cleaner, smoother skin without clogged pores.

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Disclaimer: Articles not intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Diseases.