How to get rid of blackheads? Dr Kalpna Pindola explains.
Blackheads are annoying right? They look like speckles of dust on the skin and look unsightly under bright bathroom lights. A clear complexion with flawless skin is a common skin goal, so blackheads can make us feel self conscious too.
The good news is that everyone has faced this issue – and there are ways to get rid of blackheads, and to treat and prevent them.
What are blackheads?
If the bump over the clogged pore remains closed this is called a whitehead. A blackhead occurs when air gets in, like when an apple is cut open. The plug goes dark, which is why it’s called a “blackhead”.
Myth buster: They are certainly not trapped dirt.
Blackheads appear most often on the forehead, nose, and chin. The hormonal changes that happen during puberty cause extra oil production and more blackheads.
How to get rid of blackheads
Squeezing, picking, pulling, prodding is very tempting and also addictive, but it’s not a great idea. These can stretch the the pores making them wider. It also causes inflammation, hyperpigmentation and scarring of the skin.
Squeezing also introduces bacteria, oil and dirt from your hands into your pores, which can lead to more blackheads. So – as tempting as it is – just don’t.
Prevention and maintenance for clear pores can be achieved by:
1. Cleansing with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, which clears pores and fights bacteria, and zinc which helps repair the skin barrier
2. Gently exfoliating 1-2 times a week to remove the upper layer of skin. Don’t use harsh scrubs, peel of tape or alcohol wipes as they’ll damage the skin barrier and the alcohol wipes will dry the skin and then it will compensate by producing more oil
3. Using clay and sulphur masks help draw out excess oil
4. Direct treatments like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid serums on problem areas
5. Moisturising with an oil free moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated and help control the natural oil production
6. Look for oil free and non comedogenic products for your make up and sunscreen
7. Using regular creams at night with retinoids (Vitamin A) which help control oil.
2. Treatments for blackheads;
There are a number of ways to get rid of them temporarily at least but these should be done by a medical professional.
- extraction where appropriate using a comedone extractor
- chemical peels.
So blackheads, whilst annoying, can be managed with regular skincare.
If management of skin concerns like blackheads is something you would like to discuss, why not book in for a consultation at with Dr Pindolia?