Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Prevent and Treat Blackheads

How to Prevent and Treat Blackheads How to Prevent and Treat Blackheads How to Prevent and Treat Blackheads

Overview

Blackheads are clogged sebaceous glands that form a black center. Sebaceous glands produce the oils that coat hair as it grows from the hair follicle. Although blackheads are associated with dirt, the actual cause of the black center is from the oil's exposure to air. Blackheads are different from a whitehead pimple in that the clogged area is opened. The clogged area allows bacteria to grow, which can lead to irritation and infection. Blackheads can be prevented and treated in several ways.

Step 1

Wash your face two to three times a day with mild soap and water. Use warm water when washing the face. Although blackheads are not dirt, the cleaning avoids bacterial infections. Avoid over-washing. Too much washing can actually worsen acne. However, proper hygiene can help prevent and treat blackheads.

Step 2

Use cosmetic products that are oil-free, water-based and are not made from animal fat. Oily products can create more oil on the face and clog the pores. Look for cosmetic labels listed as noncomedogenic, which means the product does not cause or worsen acne.

Step 3

Purchase over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide lotion or gel. There are some products with benzoyl peroxide that are only available through a prescription. However, some over-the-counter products contain 5 percent benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide dries up the skin and destroys bacterial cells on the face, improving acne conditions.

Step 4

Purchase a blackhead extractor. A blackhead extractor is an affordable device available at drugstores. You place the metal extractor directly over the blackhead to remove the clogged oil. This eliminates the blackhead.

Step 5

See a dermatologist for prescription creams or gels. If a dermatologist thinks the condition is exacerbated by bacteria or requires medical treatment, he may prescribe antibiotics or stronger medication than what is found at a drug store. Antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause acne. Retin-A (retinoids) are also used to treat acne and prevent it from re-occurring in patients who have severe acne.

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