Blackheads are a common skin issue that is not dangerous in any way but disturbs the appearance of the skin, which is why people search for efficient ways to remove them. With a little patience and basic skin care, blackheads can be both removed and prevented fairly easily.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads are a type of acne vulgaris, and they are also called open comedones. They are usually yellowish, brown or red, and they appear mostly on the face, especially on the forehead and on and around the nose.
Blackheads are not caused by poor hygiene alone, but irregular cleansing of the skin definitely contributes to the problem. This type of acne is caused by excess oil from the sebaceous glands in the skin, and they consist mostly of keratin and sebum that oxidizes, becoming dark and almost black. When squeezed through the tiny opening on the skin, blackheads look like a small plug that is lighter in color, but with black or dark brown top.
How to get rid of blackheads?
In order to prevent the blackheads from appearing in the first place, it is vital to maintain good personal hygiene. The face should be cleansed thoroughly twice a day, in order to remove any excess oils and potential dirt and debris.
It is also highly recommended to exfoliate regularly, preferably twice a week, using a gentle scrub or even a damp warm washcloth. This will clean the pores and prevent clogging of the sebum inside them.
Blackheads can easily be removed at home, even without commercially sold removal kits. Before removing them, the face should be steamed over a large bowl filled with hot water and with a towel placed over the head so the steam does not escape. After the steam loosens the plugs that make the blackheads, they can easily be removed by rubbing with a slightly rougher cotton towel.
After this, it is recommended to splash the face with cold water so the pores close again.
Another way to remove blackheads efficiently is to place a hot washcloth over the face and to leave it for five minutes. After this the face should be washed with a cleansing lotion, massaging the face gently with the fingertips.
Blackhead strips are a great remedy for blackheads, available in most drugstores. They contain a substance that helps to remove the plugs when the strip is pulled from the skin.
Some people squeeze or pop their blackheads, but this is not recommended because it can lead to an infection or damage the pores, that then become more prone to new blackheads.