Blackheads: What They Are and How to Treat Them

Blackheads: What They Are and How to Treat Them
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Blackheads are a very common skin condition that particularly affects the nose, chin, neck, back and chest . Sometimes even the buttocks and ears . The underlying causes can be different and, generally – even if they can come at any age – they affect adolescents. 

If one thing is certain, it is that they are unsightly and can cause discomfort in those who wear them. What to do to avoid blackheads? What occurs if they don’t take off, too? We answer this and other curiosities.

They are small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin of the face, back, chest, even on the ears, the color of which is due to the oxidation of melanin. What to do to avoid blackheads? What occurs if they don’t take off, too? Let’s explore the causes of this skin condition that mostly affects young people even if it is not rare in adults, especially in particular situations such as pregnancy.

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What Are Blackheads

Blackheads are a type of comedone . We know that comedones appear when skin pores become clogged, trapping dead skin cells and sebum. And they actually stem from clogged hair follicles . Small black spots might be seen on the skin as a result.

They are part of mild acne, but can also appear in the absence of other signs of the latter, therefore pimples and pustules. Because they are black it is easy to say: they contain an oxidized version of melanin, the dark pigment that is known to be produced by skin cells. 

Specifically, when pores become clogged, dead skin cells in the open pore react with oxygen in the air and turn black. Although they are one of the symptoms of acne, they differ from pimples in that they appear as open, non-inflamed pores. They are therefore not infected, and do not cause pain like pimples .

There Are Different Types of Comedones. as Reported on Wikipedia, at Least 4:

  • Open comedones , the classic “blackheads”
  • Closed comedones, also called “whiteheads”, the so-called “millet grains”
  • Macrocomedones, greater than a millimetre
  • Microcomedones, not visible to the naked eye

Where Do Blackheads Come From

The areas of the body most affected by blackheads are usually:

  • The face, chin and nose in greater percentage
  • Chest
  • The neck
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • The ears

Causes of Blackheads

What’s inside a blackhead is simple: they originate from an accumulation of fat , keratin, melanin, hair and bacteria ( Propionibacterium acnes ) in the follicular ostium, which is thus blocked. Acne-prone people are more likely to have them, but genetic predisposition and hormones also play a role. 

They affect almost everyone during their lifetime although they are more common among adolescents. They are also experienced by 10-20% of the adult population. 

The most common cause is overproduction of the sebaceous glands, which can occur during hormonal changes such as puberty, menstruation and pregnancy. 

The blockage or coverage of the pores by cosmetics or clothing can also contribute to their formation; excessive sweating; shaving and other related activities that open hair follicles; the humidity in the surrounding environment; the stress; polycystic ovary syndrome; premenstrual syndrome and the use of certain medications.

 But also an incorrect cleansing of the face and a high-calorie or high-fat diet. Very large , gigantic black points have the same causes.

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Black Dots, What to Do

To squeeze them or not to squeeze them? What to do when you have blackheads? Although the first impulse is to crush them, it is often not the best solution. 

This is because it can happen that by squeezing them, all their content does not come out and that part of this is pushed even further, creating a painful irritation. It could also happen that more bacteria get inside them, causing the formation of giant blackheads . 

Finally, it could cause scarring. So while you can remove blackheads at home, you may be doing more harm than good. What comes out of blackheads? As we said, what comes out when squeezing a blackhead is a buildup of sebum, dead skin cells, acne-causing bacteria, keratin, and melanin.

How to Get Rid of Blackheads

How to remove blackheads on nose, chin, back and anywhere else they come out? Removing blackheads requires a series of measures aimed at preventing their appearance, a series of good habits to be implemented such as,

for example, periodically carrying out a deep cleansing of the face or a scrub, not using comedogenic products and treating any underlying problems, treating nutrition, avoid stress. Periodically carry out a mask for blackheads (for example the black mask ) and/or apply the classic plasters . 

Finally, it may be useful to watch a video on YouTube dedicated to squeezing blackheads .

Watching a video on blackheads can be useful for understanding the exact technique for removing them at home even if, as always, do-it-yourself is not recommended: it is better to contact a specialist, a beautician or a dermatologist. It is possible to use dermo-aesthetic treatments, pharmacological therapy or alternative non-pharmacological remedies. In addition to certain natural remedies . One above all, the clay-based face masks.

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What Happens if You Don’t Remove Blackheads?

Blackheads can sometimes spontaneously regress by disappearing on their own. That depends on how big and deep they are. This usually happens to those that are more on the surface. Those more rooted in the skin, on the other hand, hardly go away on their own, and may require the intervention of a dermatologist or a beautician.

How to Get a Deep Blackhead Out?

Source: Pexels

Removing deep , embarrassing blackheads is a job for the dermatologist or beautician. Useful in this case is the use of tweezers for blackheads , a metal tool equipped with a rigid ring at its end which exerts uniform pressure on them capable of removing them permanently, or avoiding the possibility that they return to that point . 

In most cases, these tweezers are made of stainless steel, as they are hypoallergenic and easy to disinfect. It is one of the best tools for removing deep blackheads, and can also be used at home. 

It is easily available in specialized beauty shops and in pharmacies and prepharmacies. Beyond this solution, how to get rid of blackheads without squeezing them ? You can use plasters and special masks, or the aspirator.

How to Prevent Blackheads

If they are due to hormonal causes it is unlikely that they will not come. However, washing your face daily with warm water and a delicate cleanser, moisturizing it with a cream suitable for your skin type, using “non-comedogenic” products, removing make-up well every night and not touching any pimples already present on your face may be the correct behavior to follow to avoid its appearance in a massive way. 

In short, take care of your skin with a daily routine to avoid incurring, if not in blackheads, in their possible proliferation.

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