How to Clear Black Heads on the Nose
White heads and black heads are a type of acne known as comedones. They appear when hair follicles become plugged up with skin oil called sebum and dead skin cells, and sometimes bacteria as well, according to MayoClinic.com. A comedone may be closed off at the surface, forming a white head. It may also be open at the surface, in which case the sebum darkens when it comes into contact with oxygen, forming a black head. Black heads often form on the nose, and are fairly easy but somewhat tedious to remove properly.
Massage an over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide face cleanser onto your nose. These products are best suited to clearing black heads because they offer four specific benefits: they disinfect the area, exfoliate dead skin cells, begin to break down comedones and help prevent the formation of new comedones, explains the American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD.
Open pores and help break down the blackheads with warm moisture. Holding your face in steam for a minute is a good option. Use a facial steamer or even just a pot of boiling water. You can also use a warm washcloth or even just a few splashes of warm water. Pat your skin dry.
Wipe down your comedone extractor with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth or piece of gauze to sanitize it. These tools are generally small pen-like devices with perpendicular loops at the end.
Position the loop at the end of your black head extractor around a black head. Gently press down with even pressure. This should cause the black head to squeeze up and out of the pore. Wipe the area with a clean cloth, then wipe the comedone extractor clean. Sanitize the tool with rubbing alcohol to avoid pressing bacteria into your skin with the next black head extraction.
Use a black head-extracting adhesive strip if you don't have a comedone extractor. These strips are pressed onto the nose and left on for a specified amount of time. Follow package instructions, as they vary among brands. Slowly peel the strip off your nose after the designated time, and your black heads will be pulled out of your pores.
See your dermatologist if you prefer to have your blackheads cleared professionally, which is always the safest option, or if you find your black heads difficult to treat at home. A dermatologist will perform a procedure called comedo extraction, which is similar to the use of a comedone extractor at home. Your doctor can also advise you on preventative measures.
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