Some people don't even know they have acne because it doesn't look like a blemish at all. Acne comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colours. Take blackheads, those pesky dark-colored spots filled with gunk. If you've ever tried to squeeze one, you're likely to have found yourself facing down an angry bump instead, and you'll have quickly regretted it.
So, what is the best way to get rid of this kind of acne on your skin?
Before we look at the causes and who is most likely to get blackheads, let's look at who is most likely to get them.
Blackheads are caused by a lot of different factors.
People who get blackheads have too much sebum (oil), dead skin, and possibly C. acnes (the bacteria that causes acne) stuck in their hair follicles, which makes it hard for them to clean. When these things are exposed to the air, they turn black.
Blackheads are called comedones in medicine. As acne starts to form, comedones start to form. When the follicle gets bigger and bigger, it can break open and spill its contents into the surrounding skin layer, which is called the dermis. This can cause an inflammatory response. This shows up on the skin as an inflammatory papule, which is more commonly known as a pimple. This is a lot more dangerous than a blackhead.
Enlarged pores can also be found in people who have had a lot of sun damage. Ostia (small openings) can look bigger and more dilated if there is less collagen in the dermis around the hair follicle. People with the condition Favre-Racouchot have large blackheads on parts of their skin that have been sunburned. This is a very extreme example of this, though.
Skin care: how to avoid getting blackheads
Getting rid of blackheads is the best way to do it.
If you already have blackheads, there are a few dermatologist-approved ways to get rid of them. Some of them are also good ways to keep them from coming back.
Make sure you use products that have Salicylic Acid in them.
A lot of research shows that salicylic acid can help with acne. Small double-blind and controlled studies show that people who used a 2 percent salicylic acid wash for two weeks had less acne lesions in 30 of the people who took part in the study.
Add a Retinoid to Your Routine.
Retinoids, which can be bought with a prescription (like Retin-A) or over the counter (Differin), are a good way to get rid of blackheads on the skin. Retinoids help keep the follicular ostia (where hair grows) from becoming blocked. They do this by promoting skin turnover and reducing the "stickiness" of the skin cells.
When you start using retinoid cream, comedones may get worse because cell turnover increases against a clogged opening, causing the pores to widen even more. If you keep getting help for your skin condition, the blocked ostia will start to get better, and with more skin turnover, they are less likely to get blocked again in the future.
You can also use retinoid to fight ageing and regenerate your skin.
Take a look at Alpha Hydroxy Acids.
Alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, can also be good for your skin. Salicylic acid is better at unclogging pores, though.
Choose an in-office treatment with your Dermatologist.
People who see a dermatologist can help them get rid of their dark spots on their skin. You can get in-office treatments that can help make your pores look less noticeable. Those are called laser treatments, and they don't hurt. They include nonablative resurfacing like Fraxel laser, Clear + Brilliant laser, and microneedling. While some people are happy with the results of a single treatment, others may need more than one to get the results they want.
Worst Ways to Get Blackheads Out of Your Skin
Some people want to use an exfoliating scrub right away to get rid of all their dead skin. People who use chemical exfoliators like AHAs should avoid over-exfoliating with a granule scrub like they might have been told to do as a teen, when they manually scrubbed the grains into their skin until it was red. Harsh scrubs can strip your natural oils and make your skin more oily, says a doctor at the hospital.
Fight the urge to pop any pimples that you see. If you squeeze your blackheads, you can cause the follicle to break open and cause an inflammatory lesion, or cyst, to form. As a result, you can turn your blackhead into something that's much more serious on your skin Keep in mind that the closer a blackhead is to the surface of your skin, the less risky it is to get rid of it.
Tech that says it can remove sebum from pores may sound good, but these products may do more harm than good, so be careful. This suction can be bad for the skin on your face. It can cause broken blood vessels, or telangiectasias, to appear, especially around your nose.
While it might be almost impossible not to try to remove that blackhead with your own two fingers, try your best not to do it.
Prevention is the best medicine. The best way to get rid of blackheads is to use a few effective ingredients, such as retinoids, which are both good for your skin and good for keeping new blackheads away. Take your skin to a dermatologist for help.