Blackheads are small, dark lesions that appear on the skin, often on the face and neck. They are a mild acne feature, but they can occur without other signs of acne being present. These blackheads are small bumps that appear on the skin due to clogged hair follicles. These bumps are called blackheads because its surface looks dark or black. Blackheads are a mild type of acne found on the face. However, it may appear on the back, neck, chest, arms, shoulders.
CAUSES OF BLACKHEADS
Skin pores naturally produce some oil to keep the skin moisturized and healthy. Skin follicles typically contain one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil. Blackheads are caused when these pores get clogged with excess oil, dead skin, and bacteria.
Oxidation rather than poor hygiene or dirt causes blackheads to be black. A blackhead may look like dirt stuck in pores. But the pore is congested with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when it’s exposed to the air.
Some, but not all, skin products might increase comedones by blocking pores, and greasy hair products (like pomades) can worsen acne. Skin products that claim not to clog pores may be labeled noncomedogenic or non-acnegenic.
Some factors can increase the chance of developing blackheads.
Age and hormonal changes are an essential factor. Like other acne symptoms, blackheads are most common during puberty, when the change in hormone levels triggers a spike in sebum production. However, they can appear at any age.
Androgen, the male sex hormone, triggers the greater secretion of sebum and a higher turnover of skin cells around puberty. Both boys and girls experience higher levels of androgen during adolescence.
After puberty, hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, and the use of birth control pills can also bring on blackheads in women.
Overproduction of skin cells by the body can cause blackheads.
Facts About Blackheads
Blackheads are made of oxidized melanin and not trapped dirt.
Squeezing or scrubbing at blackheads can make them worse.
To reduce blackheads, avoid oil-based skincare products, humid environments, tight clothes, and skin products that contain alcohol.
They tend to increase when hormone leads to increased sebum production, an oily substance, by the glands under the skin.
REMEDIES FOR BLACKHEADS
To start getting rid of blackheads, you need a blackhead treatment that can do all of the following:
Reestablish, as best as possible, a regular flow of oil out of the pore lining.
Minimize and absorb excess oil. Exfoliate built-up dead skin that isn’t shedding naturally.
Unfortunately, many products that promise to eliminate blackheads aren’t capable of doing any of the above. They often contain ingredients that make matters worse!
The secret to solving any stubborn skin problem is to avoid products that can make them worse and consistently use the right products. Here’s what you can do to help diminish your blackheads:
Use a gentle, water-soluble cleanser and a soft washcloth or soft-bristled cleansing brush for a bit of extra cleansing to be sure you get all your makeup off, and the surface of the skin is clean, but keep in mind over-cleansing can compound skin’s problems. Blackhead cleansers or scrubs that make skin feel squeaky clean, tight, or dry may seem like they’re getting rid of the oil, but as those of us with oily skin know too well, it’s back again with a vengeance.
Avoid overly emollient or greasy moisturizers in blackhead-prone areas as they can clog prone. Use a well-formulated, completely non-abrasive, liquid exfoliant for blackheads (with salicylic acid, also called BHA), which can help shed built-up dead skin that would usually mix with oil in the pore and risk turning into a blackhead.
BHA is also incredibly useful in smoothing out those stubborn, tiny, hard, white bumps that occur primarily on your cheekbones, but can show up blackheads on the nose too, and is suitable even for those with milia-prone skin.
Absorb excess oil. Those with oily skin and congested pores can benefit from an oil removing blackhead product or a non-irritating, absorbent blackhead removal mask. It’s one more way to improve your odds against big blackheads.