How to Cure White Heads
Whiteheads are less noticeable than inflamed pimples and pustules, but you still know they're there. According to Harvard University Health Services, whiteheads -- known as "closed comedones" -- form when your pores become enlarged due to a congestion of dead skin and oil, rising to the surface of your skin in the form of small, flesh-colored bumps. The good news is that whiteheads and blackheads, which form when the plugged pores are open at the skin's surface, are the mildest form of acne. With the right skin care program, you may be able to treat whiteheads at home.
Wash your face twice daily and anytime after you perspire heavily. Acne isn't necessarily caused by poor hygiene, says the American Academy of Family Physicians; in fact, excessive cleansing can make whiteheads worse.
Use a mild, non-detergent, alcohol-free facial cleanser. But avoid exfoliating cleansers that "scrub" your face -- according to the American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD, this too can irritate your skin, causing more whiteheads to form.
Wash with your fingertips only. Don't use facial cleansing pads, washcloths or anything with a harsh texture on acne-prone skin.
Rinse your face with warm water -- never hot.
Pick an over-the-counter acne treatment with ingredients dermatologists know work. Benzoyl peroxide gets the vote from Harvard University Health Services and the Cleveland Clinic. This medication fights clogged pores, reducing whiteheads.
Wait after you wash. The AAD suggests putting five to 15 minutes between the time you cleanse your face and apply your topical acne treatment to avoid skin irritation.
Cover all ground. Apply your acne treatment on all areas of your face where you tend to get whiteheads -- not just on the individual lesions, advises the AAD.
Use only as directed. Applying acne topical acne treatment more frequently than you need to can actually cause your skin to clog up more, decreasing the time it takes for whiteheads to clear, says the AAD.
Choose oil-free liquid foundation and skincare products, such as sunscreens and moisturizers. Harvard University Health Services points out that plying your face with oily products leads to plugged pores -- and more whiteheads.
Be careful about what you use in your hair. Avoid using oily or greasy hair care products, says the AAD. These can migrate onto your skin and cause blocked pores.
Don't squeeze whiteheads. Although this may seem like the intuitive way to get rid of whiteheads, this actually makes any type of acne lesion worse, says the AAD, increasing your risk of infection -- and scarring.
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