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How to treat blackheads –  a comprehensive guide on how to improve and treat blackheads.

What is a blackhead?

The term “blackhead” refers to the appearance of the lesion, which is a small, black or dark-colored bump on the skin’s surface.

Blackheads are a type of acne lesions that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. The black color of blackheads is caused by the oxidation of the oil and dead skin cells in the clogged pore. Blackheads, scientifically known as open comedones When the clogged pore is exposed to air, the sebum and dead skin cells oxidize and turn black, giving blackheads their characteristic appearance.

There are several factors that can contribute to the formation of blackheads, including genetics, hormonal changes, and lifestyle habits such as diet and hygiene. For example:

  • Excess sebum production: Overactive sebaceous glands can produce excessive oil, leading to clogged pores and the formation of blackheads.
  • Hormonal fluctuations: Changes in hormones, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, or due to certain medications, can increase oil production and contribute to the development of blackheads.
  • Improper skincare routine: Failing to cleanse the skin properly or using harsh, comedogenic products can exacerbate blackhead formation. Knowing how to treat blackheads with skincare requires professional advice.
  • Dead skin cell buildup: Insufficient exfoliation can cause dead skin cells to accumulate, contributing to clogged pores and blackheads.
  • Genetics: A genetic predisposition to blackheads and acne may make some individuals more prone to these skin issues. Proper skincare for your genetics can help to solve this problem.

Methods on how to treat blackheads:

  • Professional extraction by a skincare therapist. 
  • Further prevention by using the correct at home products.
  • Doing regular in- clinic treatments. 
  • It is also important to avoid picking or squeezing blackheads, as this can lead to inflammation, infection, and scarring. 

Here are some basic at home products that tackle the task of how to treat blackheads: 

  • Cleansing the skin twice a day. Cleansers containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid can help to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells, which can help prevent blackheads from forming.
  • Exfoliators: By using an enzyme or chemical based exfoliator at least once a week can help to remove excess dead skin cells that will help to unclog pores. Salicylic and Glycolic based products are very effective. 

There are several active ingredients to look out for when buying products that can help to treat blackheads:

  • Salicylic acid: This beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) is a common ingredient in acne treatments because it can penetrate pores and dissolve the oil and dead skin cells that clog them. Salicylic acid is also an exfoliant, so it can help to remove dead skin cells and prevent them from clogging pores in the first place.
  • Glycolic acid: This alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) is another exfoliant that can help to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. It is also effective at reducing inflammation, which can help to reduce the appearance of blackheads.
  • Retinoids: These derivatives of vitamin A can help to increase cell turnover and prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce the appearance of blackheads and other types of acne.
  • Niacinamide: This form of vitamin B3 can help to regulate sebum production, which can help to prevent blackheads from forming. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce redness and irritation.

In conclusion, knowing how to treat blackheads can be effective when treated with a combination of proper skincare routine, lifestyle changes, and professional treatments. It’s essential to keep your skin clean, moisturized, and exfoliated regularly to prevent the accumulation of oil and dirt in the pores.