Acne treatment Acne treatment

Tips to Remove Blackheads at Home

Tips to Remove Blackheads at Home Tips to Remove Blackheads at Home Tips to Remove Blackheads at Home

If you have the misfortune of struggling with acne, you're probably all too familiar with blackheads. Unlike whiteheads--traditional pimples--blackheads are small, dark and don't typically grow red and inflamed. According to Princeton University health services, both blackheads and whiteheads occur when oil and dead skin cells clog your pores. Clogged pores beneath the surface of your skin are whiteheads, while those on your skin's surface become blackheads. If prescription acne medication doesn't appeal you to, you can attempt to remove blackheads at home.


Your body regularly sheds dead skin cells. Although you can't see them, these dead skin cells remain on the surface of your skin and can contribute to blackheads. Gentle exfoliating with an exfoliating cleanser and warm washcloth removes the dead skin cells and helps prevent additional blackheads from forming.

Regular exfoliation also benefits existing blackheads. The heat and scrubbing motion of exfoliation helps loosen the material inside the blackhead. Cleansers that contain salicylic acid are a good choice since they exfoliate the skin while simultaneously removing the dirt and oil that cause blackheads to form.

Pore Strips

In an interview with "Marie Claire" magazine, cosmetic dermatologist David Herschthal notes that many individuals have had success using over-the-counter pore strips at home to treat stubborn blackheads.

Most pore strips contain a mild glue. Once applied to the skin, the glue adheres to everything it touches--including the oil and dead skin contained within blackheads. As soon as you remove the pore strip, the contents of your blackheads come away with the strip. Keep in mind that pore strips don't prevent new blackheads from forming, they merely remove the existing blackheads.


Like exfoliation, hot steam loosens the material within your blackheads while simultaneously widening your pores--allowing you to more easily extract the blackheads at home. Valerie Ann Wormwood, author of "The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy," recommends steaming your face for 10 minutes by leaning over a bowl of hot, steamy water. Wormwoods notes that placing a towel over your head helps prevent steam from escaping, furthering the effectiveness of the treatment.

After 10 minutes, your pores should be wide enough to allow you to carefully squeeze out the blackhead material. Since squeezing acne can introduce additional bacteria into the area, always wash your hands well before extracting blackheads. You may even wish to wear sterile gloves. Squeeze gently, as harsh squeezing may cause scarring.

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