Treatment of Blackheads
Blackheads are very common and tend to accumulate around the nose, cheeks and chin. These blemishes can be difficult to get rid of with standard treatments, so a targeted blackhead-specific approach is needed to banish these black spots from your face for good.
Blackheads occur when sebum (oil and dead skin cells) accumulate on the skin and clog your pores. The skin pigment is trapped in the pore, resulting in the black color. Contrary to popular belief, blackheads are not dirt. They do not occur because your skin is dirty. The most common cause is when your skin doesn't slough off dead skin cells fast enough or you produce too much oil.
Several over-the-counter acne treatments are effective on blackheads. For instance, salicylic acid is included in numerous cleansers, creams, lotions and toners. It works by getting rid of the top layer of skin so the oil has nothing to trap in your pores. Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid are also effective by peeling away the top layer of skin and revealing healthy new skin underneath at a faster rate. They also help to get rid of scarring faster.
With very stubborn blackheads, sometimes prescription treatments are the only things that will work. Topical retinoids are derived from vitamin A and work by opening up your pores so the oil and dead skin cells can be washed away. Topical antibiotics are then sometimes applied to eliminate bacteria and prevent further infection of the pores. In severe cases, oral antibiotics may be prescribed.
Treating your blackheads can give you a clearer complexion and improve your self-esteem. Treating and eliminating these clogged pores can also reduce your chances of scarring, permanently large pores and long-term hyperpigmentation.
Blackhead treatments, though generally safe, can cause a few side effects. Over-the-counter cleansers and creams can dry out your skin, leaving you red, flaky or itchy. Retinoids can make you sensitive to sunlight and suffer from very dry skin. Topical antibiotics can sometimes irritate the skin, though oral antibiotics are worse, sometimes resulting in yeast infections and stomach upset.
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