Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Get Rid of Blackheads the Easy Way

How to Get Rid of Blackheads the Easy Way How to Get Rid of Blackheads the Easy Way

Overview

Blackheads are a type of unruptured acne lesion. They occur when plugged hair follicles open at the surface of the skin and turn dark. Despite their appearance, however, blackheads--also known as open comedones--are not caused by, or indicative of, the presence of dirt. An effective treatment for blackheads and other acne lesions consists of a regimen of cleansing and exfoliating, as recommended on the University of Maryland Medical Center website. This helps prevent the buildup of excess sebum and dead skin cells, two substances that clog pores. Manually "popping" or "squeezing" a blackhead is not generally advised. However, it is possible to safely remove comedones with a specially designed extractor, according to Paula Begoun, skin care expert and author of the "Beauty Bunch Blog." Comedone extractors are long, pencil-shaped devices with metal loops at one or both ends. They use pressure to release the contents of clogged pores gently.

Cleanse

Step 1

Wet your face with lukewarm water.

Step 2

Squeeze a drop of mild, water-soluble cleanser onto a washcloth. Massage it gently over your skin, using a circular motion. This will help exfoliate your skin, according to Begoun.

Step 3

Dry your skin with the towel, using a light patting motion. Rubbing can cause irritation. Make sure the treatment area is completely dry, as using the extractor on damp skin can cause tearing.

Extract

Step 1

Use a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to disinfect the comedone extractor.

Step 2

Hold the extractor parallel to your skin, then center the loop over the blackhead.

Step 3

Press down gently. The pressure should push out the contents of the blackhead.

Step 4

Cover the treated area with a thin layer of over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide cream. Benzoyl peroxide helps clear blocked follicles and reduces inflammation. Begoun recommends using a product with a concentration of 2.5 or 5 percent.

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