Blackheads, whiteheads and pimples are forms of acne, which is the most common skin condition in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD. Blackheads develop when the openings of hair follicles become clogged and blocked with oil secretions, dead skin cells and bacteria. A number of remedies may help to prevent, treat and safely remove blackheads.
Gently washing your face once or twice a day with warm water and a mild cleanser will help to remove excess oil from your skin. This is vital for controlling blackheads and other forms of acne, according to the AAD. Facial scrubs and harsh astringents can irritate your skin and actually aggravate acne, warns the Mayo Clinic.
If you have oily hair, daily shampooing can minimize the chances of oil seeping into your skin and potentially causing more blackheads.
While acne is not generally caused by your diet, certain foods can sometimes make blackheads, whiteheads and pimples worse, according to the AAD. If you notice flareups after eating specific food items, remove them from your diet and see if fewer blackheads surface.
Greasy foods do not necessarily make the skin oilier, but they can leave oil on the face and worsen blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.
The use of acne lotions may dry up oil, destroy bacteria and accelerate the removal of dead skin cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. Over-the-counter acne lotions typically contain active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and sulfur, and can be very helpful in the treatment of mild acne. It may take up to eight weeks before you see noticeable improvement, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
In moderate to moderately severe cases of acne, your doctor may prescribe retinoic acid. This vitamin A derivative may help prevent blackheads and whiteheads, according to Womens Health.gov. Topical prescription medications include tretinoin or Retina-A and isotretinoin or Accutane.
Tape-like strips are available over-the-counter to safety remove blackheads. Glue-coated blackhead strips are placed on wet skin such over the nose, chin and other areas to strip away debris and dirt from the blackheads, according to Nose Cosmetics.com.
Various types of extractors are also available to remove blackheads. These spoon-shaped devices are placed on the blackhead to gently force dirt and other debris out of the skin.
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