Blackheads That Pop But Keep Coming Back
Open comedones refer to pore blockages in your skin also known as blackheads. Blackheads are made up of bacteria, dead skin cells and sebum that have become exposed to air and turn a brown or black color. Removing blackheads through squeezing will eliminate the blockage; however, in some cases, the blackhead may return.
Formation of blackheads depends on three factors, one of them being excess skin oil production. Skin oil, or sebum, is responsible for keeping your skin moisturized, but when production increases, it mixes readily with shedding skin cells and bacteria. Excess oil production has been linked to hormone surges, heredity or medication therapies, according to MayoClinic.com. Although more common in adolescence, blackheads can appear at any age, especially in persons with extremely oily skin.
Removing the blockage from a visible blackhead may seem to be the only way to control this problem, but this is not true. The true answer to blackhead removal lies within your daily hygiene regimen. Mild to moderate formations of blackheads respond well to daily cleansing with an over-the-counter cleanser containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, states DermNetNZ. These cleansers provide oxygenation to the pore, killing bacteria and forcing the clog to dissolve.
Once you have eliminated problematic blackheads, preventing their return becomes a crucial part of your personal skin care technique. The first step that one should always follow is the use of oil-free products. Oil free products are labeled as water based and have been thoroughly tested, ensuring they do not promote comedone formation. According to DermNetNZ, products to avoid include oil based cosmetics, moisturizers and products containing petroleum as a base ingredient. It is also imperative to remove all cosmetics before going to bed at night, as well as cleansing your skin first thing in the morning before cosmetics are applied.
To squeeze or not to squeeze is the question when it comes to blackheads. Up until now you have been popping blackheads only to have them return in full force. According to MayoClinic.com, picking and squeezing of blackheads increases your risk of infection and scarring by damaging the surrounding skin. You are also allowing bacteria from your hands to enter your pores and you may be pushing some of the original blockage deeper. This can only mean that leftover bacteria and dead skin are going to mix with additional oils, prompting the return of your stubborn blackhead.
In some cases, blackhead formation may be so severe that medical intervention is required through a licensed dermatologist. Treatment options offered through medical expertise include the use of strong creams called retinoids. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and are intended to clear your pores and smooth your skin's surface. Once the clog is removed, retinoids prevent further blockages from forming as long as you are using them as directed, according to MayoClinic.com. Antibiotics are rarely given as treatment since they seem to have little effect on blackhead formation.
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