How to Remove a Whitehead
Whiteheads are the result of bacteria and sebum trapped below the surface of the skin, according to Acne.org. The trapped oil swells, leaving you with a white pustule known as a whitehead. They can be an embarrassing part of your battle with acne. While preventing whiteheads from forming with good skin care practices is the most effective way to rid yourself of whiteheads, you can remove them successfully if you use the right tools, proper hygiene and a gentle touch.
Wash your hands carefully in antibacterial soap to get rid of any germs. Always wash your hands well before touching any acne-prone part of your body, especially your face. Germs, dirt and bacteria from your unwashed hands can make your acne much worse than before, notes the American Academy of Dermatology. Make sure your hands are clean before you touch your face.
Wet a washcloth with the hottest water that you can stand and wring out the excess. Fold the washcloth into a small square, and press it over the whitehead. The heat and steam will help to soften the trapped dirt and oil so it's easier to remove with the lancet. Leave the cloth on the whitehead for at least two minutes.
Remove the washcloth and gently apply pressure with clean hands near the whitehead. If the whitehead doesn't easily burst, leave the whitehead and apply an ointment containing benzoyl peroxide, recommended for acne by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.Never apply so much pressure that you feel pain or break the surface of the skin, which could leave you susceptible to infection.
Wipe away any secretion from the popped whitehead with a clean paper towel. You may need to hold a paper towel or washcloth on the area until the secretions stop. In the future, ensure that you cleanse your skin daily and exfoliate one or two times per week as part of your skin care regime. It'll help rid your skin of the excess dirt and oil that can cause whiteheads.
Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if your whiteheads are persistent or don't seem to heal. Your dermatologist can use a lancet to gently apply pressure and remove the whitehead in a sterile environment. Never use a lancet or any other tools to remove a whitehead at home, warns the AAD.
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