Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Steps for Getting Rid of Blackheads

Steps for Getting Rid of Blackheads Steps for Getting Rid of Blackheads Steps for Getting Rid of Blackheads

Blackheads, like whiteheads, are a type of acne known as comedones. They form in hair follicles that become clogged with oil, dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria, according to MayoClinic.com. Blackheads result from clogged pores that are open at the skin's surface, permitting oxidization and darkening of the oil, while whiteheads are below the skin's surface.

Before Blackhead Extraction

Prior to removing blackheads, the affected skin should be cleansed and exfoliated. A cleansing agent made with benzoyl peroxide is an optimal choice because it both kills bacteria and strips away dead skin cells. Gently rub in a small amount on clean, dry skin. Don't use a benzoyl peroxide product more than twice a day, cautions that National Institutes of Health, which adds that some dryness, peeling, tingling or irritation can result as a side effect.

After cleansing, it's helpful to open your pores and begin to loosen clogs, notes 10acne.com. Steam is an effective way to do this. You can use a facial steamer, or even boil some water and hold your face over the steam. Splashing some warm water on your face can also help.

During Blackhead Extraction

You can extract your blackheads with one of two types of blackhead removers at home. One is an adhesive strip placed over affected skin, which pulls blackheads out when it is peeled off. Each brand has its own instructions, so follow package directions and warnings. The other type of blackhead remover is an extractor with a small hole at one end. Place the hole over a blackhead and gently press down. This forces the blackhead up and out of the skin. This type of blackhead remover should be sterilized with rubbing alcohol before use, periodically during use and after use.

A dermatologist can also remove blackheads or whiteheads in a similar manner with a procedure known as a comedo extraction. There is less risk of infection and scarring when blackhead extraction is performed by a trained medical professional, advises Skin Care Physicians, a site operated by the American Academy of Dermatology.

After Blackhead Extraction

To minimize the risk of infection, clean your face again after getting rid of your blackheads with an antibacterial agent. Consistent use can be effective at preventing more blackhead breakouts as well. Benzoyl peroxide is one option. If acne is an ongoing problem for you, discuss prescription antibacterial cleansers with your dermatologist. Clindamycin, erythromycin, azelaic acid, sodium sulfacetamide and stronger concentrations of benzoyl peroxide are all prescribed for this purpose, according to Skin Care Physicians. Oral antibiotics such as tetracycline are also sometimes used.

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