Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How Do Blackheads Form?

How Do Blackheads Form? How Do Blackheads Form?

Background

Blackheads are a type of acne so named because of the characteristic black spots that mark their presence on the epidermis. Blackheads, also called open comedones, typically appear in clusters and can be commonly seen on areas such as the nose, back and cheeks. Unlike other forms of acne, blackheads are not caused by a bacterial infection of the skin.

Formation

Blackheads are the beginning stages of the formation of acne breakouts upon the skin. Due to increased oil production in the sebaceous glands, the skin becomes oilier. Different factors can lead to the increased level of oil production, including hormone changes resulting from puberty. When you go through puberty, the levels of the hormone DHT fluctuate. DHT is responsible for the overproduction of oil on the skin's surface. The excess oil becomes stuck in the pores and results in the formation of blackheads.

It is not dirt that gives blackheads their color, but oils that darken once exposed to oxygen. The blackheads may start out yellow in color and then become blackened as time passes. Blackheads are called open comedones because the follicle is not completely closed up, like whiteheads (closed comedones). The excess oil keeps the pores open and gives the skin a rough appearance.

Treatment

Your hygiene regimen can also play a part in forming blackheads. Individuals who use oil-based skin care products and makeup are at risk for blocking their pores with excess oil. To get rid of the excess oil and dead skin cells, an oil-free exfoliating cleanser used each evening before bed can be effective. If blackheads do form, treatments include a topical acne formulas or a blackhead extractor, such as pore strips. The adhesive strips are placed on the affected areas and the excess oxidized oil is pulled away when removed from the skin.

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