What Are Blackheads and How Do They Form?

behealthy January 27, 2012 1
What Are Blackheads and How Do They Form?
“What are blackheads? is a question that must be answered before any form of treatment is to be pursued. A blackhead is a form of acne lesion medically known as an open comedone. It is formed when a large opening in the skin (called a pore) becomes blocked with excess dead skin cells. These block a duct which leads to the Sebaceous gland. Because the duct is partially blocked, the oil that the gland secretes (sebum) builds up behind the surface of the skin. As it is a partial blockage, some of the sebum manages to push past the surface of the skin and in doing so it is oxidised. Oxidisation causes the oil and cellular matter to change colour and consistency into a dark solid mass. However, it is only the part of the plug that is accessible to the oxygen which changes colour. The sebum below the skin looks yellow or pale brown in colour. These lesions are not painful, but may last a long time.

Reasons for Blackheads

acne blackheadsThere are a wide variety of reasons somebody might incur blackheads. They range from genetic to environmental factors. The onset of hormonal changes in puberty is often the main catalyst for the presentation of blackheads. This can calm down over time as the body balances the hormones out or it can grow into a more severe case. Acne is quite a lot more common in adults than most people think. Sometimes an adult sufferer may have had no problems with acne or spots of any kind as a teenager.

It is hard to say conclusively why certain people ascertain the affliction whilst others don’t. Environmentally speaking, people who work around grease or fat in a kitchen for example, or who work in an environment where they sweat more, are often prone to blackheads. They can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the nose and chin. This is because the nose and chin are parts of the famous T-Zone; the area on the face which has the most sebaceous glands and is therefore more likely to over produce the blackhead causing sebum. Due to this, products such as make-up, sun cream and moisturisers that contain oil can frequently spark an eruption of acne symptoms. People with oily or combination skin should be especially careful when choosing these products to make sure they purchase water based products wherever possible. These will act to hydrate the skin without adding to any excess oil production.

Solutions for Treating Blackheads

As a person finds out what causes blackheads, they may progress to finding the correct solution for treating them. Out of all the lesions, they are notoriously one of the hardest to be rid of. This is often owing to the fact that the root of a blackhead can be buried deep under the surface of the skin. So if a blackhead extraction tool is being used, it may not be able to pull the whole body of the comedone out. This will likely lead to an infection, taking place within the follicle, making the situation worse. Another problem with the blackhead anchoring itself way down under the skin is that if a person tries to manually remove it, a certain amount of pressure must be placed on the surrounding skin. Dermatologists advise not to continue to try to remove a blackhead if it is especially stubborn as this may induce damage to the capillaries. It is also not recommended to squeeze blackheads for the same reason as well as the fear of cross-contamination. In conclusion to these facts, the best way to remove a blackhead immediately is to use either pore strips or another form of good removal tool.

The pore strips act as an adhesive to the impurities on the skin. When they are pulled off in a smooth yet sharp motion, the majority of blackheads can be seen on the strip. Others may have protruded further from the pore and be easier to remove by hand. Blackhead extractor tools are also a fast and effective way to be rid of blackheads on the spot but they must be used correctly or they could have an adverse effect and actually cause scarring rather than prevent it. There are many doctors who can perform the treatment if needed but on-going use of such apparatus’ is thought to eventually have a negative effect on the skin so should be used sparingly. Whenever using any of the methods above there are 2 rules to adhere to. Firstly make sure the skin is well steamed as this will not only open up pores, it will soften any mass contained within them. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, if a blackhead is particularly stubborn even after a good steaming – LEAVE IT ALONE. Irritation to the skin can encourage more production of oils.

Check the Ingredients!

Many people turn to pharmaceutical companies for facial cleanses or consummate skin treatment to alleviate the problem. Although there are thousands of these products around, ones with certain ingredients tend to have better success stories. Glycolic and salicylic acids, as well as benzoyl peroxide are excellent agents to use in removing blackheads and should be looked for when considering which cream or wash to use. This is because the certain properties in the acids actively break down the hardened sebum in blackhead while the benzoyl peroxide kills the acne causing bacteria as well as calming the production of the oils.

There are many home remedies too which can many people insist work just as well as the pharmaceutical options. These see the use of everyday household products such as potatoes, honey and lemon. It is thought that some of the enzymes within potatoes attract impurities and draw them to the surface whilst honey is a very good moisturiser for the skin. Citric acid in the lemon is already widely used in skin care treatments anyway for its ability to act in an alkaline way, balancing acid-alkaline levels and restoring the PH of the skin.

  1. black and white heads February 23, 2012 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Several solutions are available on internet to cure blackheads, but I prefer natural remedies like lemon and honey. Natural remedy is beneficial for skin care.

Leave A Response »

Captcha Captcha Reload