How to Remove a White Head
A white head occurs when oil, known as sebum, becomes trapped under the surface of your skin. The oil is noticeable in the pore, resulting in a raised pimple with a white tip. Embarrassing and almost impossible to pop, there's a right and a wrong way to remove a white head. Attempting to remove a white head in the incorrect manner could lead to infection, scarring and even more acne. By creating a clean environment and being gentle with your skin, you can rid yourself of your white heads.
Wash your hands and face with antibacterial soap. You may be tempted to use harsh cleansers and abrasive scrubs to get rid of your white heads, but they can irritate acne and make the swelling even worse, according to Ralph Coskey, M.D. and clinical professor of dermatology at Wayne State University School of Medicine.
Apply a warm compress to the white head. Hold a washcloth under moderately warm water to soak, then wring out the excess. Apply the compress to the white head. This allows the white head to soften for easier removal, as well as opening the pores for easier draining, according to "Cosmopolitan" magazine. Hold the compress over the white head for three to five minutes.
Wrap your index fingers in tissue or gauze, suggests acne.org. If you attempt to pop a white head with your bare fingers, you could be spreading germs and bacteria that make your acne even worse. The gauze protects your skin from your nails as well---which could tear the skin.
Apply gentle pressure with your wrapped fingers to the areas on either side of the white head. If the white head pops, quickly wipe away the discharge and wash your face with antibacterial soap. If the white head does not pop and you are feeling pain, stop immediately. Instead of popping the white head, apply a thin layer of acne medication containing benzoyl peroxide, as recommended by PubMed Health. This will dry the white head and aid in healing.
Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you don't see improvement within a week. Your white head may need to be drained via a lancet, which should never be used at home. Your white head may also be considered milia, which are small deposits underneath the skin which need surgical removal. Never cut your skin on your own, because it could lead to dangerous infection and scarring.
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