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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Acne Acne Arrow to Blackheads Blackheads

also in the How-To Library:
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Most people are familiar with blackheads. It seems that most of us get them at one time or another throughout our lives. Most often they appear on the chin, the tip of the nose, or other sensitive areas of the face that make them painful to remove if not done properly.

Blackheads resemble a pimple, only with a black point or head. Blackheads are a type of acne that often appear on the face, but they are also found on the back, shoulders and other areas of the body.

What causes blackheads?

Blackheads are caused by overactive oil glands, and so people who have oily skin are more susceptible. Pores become clogged when excess oil (sebum) collects in the pores and hardens.

The tip of the hardened oil protruding from the pore is the part that is seen and referred to as a blackhead. The pore remains open leaving a small amount of the hardened sebum exposed to air which causes it to turn black.

How to get rid of blackheads

diagram of what triggers a blackhead
A blackhead is not caused by dirt,
but is a discoloration of sebum
when it is exposed to air.

Mom was right when she said not to pick at a scab or other lesion on your skin. And, although it is very tempting to pick at blackheads, experts advise that the practice of getting rid of blackheads in this way may sometimes lead to infection and scarring.

For chronic blackheads, a professional dermatologist may suggest a light chemical peel.

Otherwise, very gentle squeezing of blackheads is recommended, along with the use of hot compresses, and facial scrubs that will gently remove blackheads without damaging healthy skin tissue around it.

Commercial exfoliating creams and other over-the-counter products are also available to treat blackheads.

Keep it clean

Proper care of your skin can help lessen the development of blackhead formation.

Keep your skin clean and rinse thoroughly after washing your face. Try to avoid wearing makeup every day since makeup can clog the pores, and remember to remove all traces of makeup before going to bed.

If you have oily skin, be sure to use a good astringent on your face to remove excess oil. Use a good cleanser and exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells. This will help prevent the build up of oil and keep pores clear.

More information about blackheads around the Web:

Basics behind Blackheads - AcneTalks guide offers up complete information on how to get rid of blackheads, with related causes, suggested over the counter treatment, and home care remedies with more on acne, skin cleansing tips.

How to Remove Blackheads - This wikiHow guide features tips and advice on steaming, removal tools, nose strips and facial scrubs with related articles on natural remedies and hot compresses.

8 quick natural remedies for blackheads - With ingredients found around the kitchen or medicine cabinet with related tips and instructions.


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