How to Treat Blackheads at Home
Blackheads, also known as open comedones, occur when a pore becomes clogged with dead skin cells, excess oil and sometimes bacteria, and opens to the skin's surface. A common symptom of acne, blackheads are not considered a serious health threat, but they may cause pain and permanent scars. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, more than 17 million people in the United States struggle with acne and blackheads. Individuals with mild to moderate cases can typically treat the problem at home with natural remedies and over-the-counter products. For severe cases, consult your doctor or dermatologist before attempting to treat blackheads at home.
Wash your face or other problem areas with a gentle, water-based cleanser once or twice daily to remove excess oil and dirt. Avoid milky cleansers, cold creams, astringents, facial scrubs, masks and products that contain oil, as they can irritate the affected skin.
Apply over-the-counter acne lotions that contain benzoyl peroxide. Products containing benzoyl peroxide help unplug the pores, and this will reduce blackheads over time. Use according to the label instructions for the best results.
Combine 3 drops tea tree oil with 4 tbsp. water, and apply directly to blackheads up to three times daily. A study published in 2007 in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology found that a 5 percent tea tree oil solution worked better than placebo for treating mild to moderate acne.
Perform a facial steam once a week to help unclog pores and facilitate the removal of blackheads. Placing 2 quarts boiling water in a large, heat-proof bowl on a table or counter. Make a tent over your head with a towel, and hang your head over the pot for at least five minutes, allowing the steam to penetrate your pores.
Remove blackheads after a facial steam by gently pressing the area around the blemishes with the fleshy part of your fingertip. Remove the dirt and oil with a tissue, and continue until all blackheads are removed. Rinse your face with cold water to close the pores, and follow with a light moisturizer.
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