How to Get a Hard Black Head to Soften Up
Blackheads occur when pores are visibly clogged with dirt and oil. Medline Plus notes that they are sometimes referred to as open comedones. Before you attempt to remove a blackhead, softening it can go a long way in preparing it for removal for less damage to the surrounding skin.
Fill a pot with water and set it on the stove on high. Watch the pot carefully until it begins to simmer. Remove the pot once the water reaches a simmer.
Place the pot on a pot holder on a surface like your coffee table, and drape a towel over your head and the pot, creating a steam tent.
Stay inside your steam tent for five minutes, allowing the steam to circulate under the towel. The heat and moisture from the steam will soften hardened blockages in your follicles, according to the book, How to Wash Your Face. It also helps to open pores for easier extraction of the blackhead.
Press on the area of skin next to the blackhead with clean fingers. If the blackhead still feels small and hard, wet a washcloth with the warmest water your skin can stand and hold the washcloth over the blackhead for three minutes. This should soften it sufficiently so you can use a lancet too to remove the blackhead.
Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if softening the blackhead doesn't seem to make it easier to remove. Some blackheads will need to be professionally extracted in an office setting. Forcing hardened blackheads out could lead to scarring or more acne, and your dermatologist can often remove the blemish quickly and easily, while offering ides for preventing blackheads in the future.
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