Clogged Pores on Nose & Chin
Clogged pores are known clinically as comedones. Comedones are an annoying condition for many people, especially teenagers, and may even lead to acne. Comedones commonly occur on the nose and chin because the pores in these areas tend to be larger and therefore more easily clogged. Comedones can usually be treated with simple conservative measures at home, however, you may need to see a dermatologist if your comedones persist.
There are three types of comedones: whiteheads; blackheads and microcomedones. A whitehead, or closed comedo, is a clogged pore that does not contain an opening to the surface of the skin. This results in the formation of a white bump under the skin. A blackhead, or open comedo, is a clogged pore that contains an opening to the surface of the skin. They are black in color because when the oil in the pores is exposed to air, the contents of the pore turn black. Microcomedones are very small clogged pores and are not able to be seen.
Pores can become clogged due to several factors. The underlying cause is the overproduction of oil known as sebum from your pores. The cells inside your pore, known as keratinocytes, then become stuck together and form a plug, or comedo. This combination causes bacteria normally found in the pores to flourish and release inflammatory enzymes and chemicals that can lead to pimples.
The New Zealand Dermatological Society notes that comedones may be aggravated by skin that is very dry or oily, squeezing, excessive use of moisturizers, humid weather and certain chemicals such as propylene glycol, isopropyl myristate and dyes.
Clogged pores should be treated with a gentle cleanser as well as products that help to unclog them. The first step is to wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser twice a day, as well as after you work out. Avoid using harsh facial cleansers, toners, astringents, scrubs, masks or washcloths. These can irritate your skin and cause breakouts, notes The American Academy of Dermatology. Next apply a topical comedolytic product, which acts to unclog pores and also prevent pores from becoming clogged. These include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, resorcinol and sulfur. Apply a thin layer to your face one to two times daily. Continue to apply these products even if your pores are not clogged as a preventative measure.
Look for skin care products that are labeled oil-free and "non-comedogenic," meaning they will not clog pores. Also, be patient when waiting for your skin to improve. It generally takes about six to eight weeks for results to be noticeable.
When to See Your Doctor
See your dermatologist if your comedones do not resolve with at-home treatments. She may prescribe a stronger comedolytic topical medication such as a retinoid and may perform treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and comedone extraction.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you do not do chemical peels, microdermabrasion or comedone extraction at home. Attempting to do this on your own can lead to infection and scarring. Also, never squeeze or pick at your whiteheads or blackheads. This can cause scarring, which can be even harder to remove.
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