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Home > About Blackheads
What are Blackheads?
Blackheads are one of the most common skin problems encountered by people especially to those in their teenage years. They occur throughout your life. Unfortunately, blackheads can't be cured, however with an appropriate skin care practice it can be controlled and even be prevented.
Blackheads are formed when there is an excess production in oil by the sebaceous glands. This overproduction enlarges the pores. More oil deposits accumulate in the pore thus causing it to be clogged as soon as it hardens. The black appearance of the blackheads is due to the oxidation of the exposed tip of the clogged oil in a pore. When blackheads are form the pore is continuously expanded and more oil and dirt are attracted to it. In most cases this leads to acne, so that is why blackheads are the primary cause of acne.1
What Are Whiteheads?
Whiteheads are the counterpart of the blackheads, wherein it is also an accumulation of oil or sebum on the pores.
Generally, whiteheads are white protrusions on the surface of the skin. It is also known as milia. Actually, it is a type of acne which is related to sebaceous gland activity. Sometimes it can also be caused by hormonal changes in the body. Hormones in the body have the ability to stimulate the oil production of the glands. This overproduction of oil will cause whiteheads. Unlike the blackheads, which turn into black due to oxidation, whiteheads are not burnt because the tip of the pore is closed and it is not exposed. It is also called comedowns due to its white or light yellow color. Most of the time, whiteheads are not inflamed or infected. However if this happens, it will result to pimples.2
Are Oil Then Bad?
Oil is a self-moisturizing agent of the skin. It has only a bad effect when there is overproduction and clogging in the pores.
Blackheads and Whiteheads: Similarity
Both of blackheads and whiteheads are....
Skin problems common to teenagers and adults. Teenagers and some adults in their early twenties even older adults especially for those with the oily type of skin.
Forms of acne. These are also forms of acne wherein each is considered to be a disorder of pilosebaceous units of the skin which includes the sebaceous glands or oil glands, hair follicles and the hair strand itself
Start deep in the sebaceous glands. It starts off to be deep in the skin like other forms of acne.3
Blackheads and Whiteheads: Difference
- Whiteheads are formed from a hair follicle which is not exposed to air.
Blackheads result from the oxidation of the clogged fragments in the hair follicle due to its open tip3
How to Prevent Blackheads and Whiteheads?
Do facial cleansing at least 2–3 times a day
Exfoliate your skin at least once a week
Apply facial masks on your skin at least twice a week. This aids in skin nourishment
Try to get some sunshine. Some says this is a myth but you got nothing to lose, appropriate sunlight is good for you. Do this at around 6:00 – 9:00 am
Keep your hair neat. Hair contact to the skin can irritate, especially for oily hair.
Apply benzoyl peroxide to serve as a blackhead fighter.
For a more natural approach, try to apply lemon juice.4
How to Get Rid of Blackheads?
The following are 8 easy steps to get rid of blackheads:
Wash your face frequently with a mild cleanser. Do this when you feel your face is getting oily.
Don't apply make – up when not necessary. If there is a need for wearing make –up, choose the appropriate product for your type of skin.
Don't use bar soaps as a facial cleanser.
Always use a clean towel to wipe your face. If possible have a separate towel for your face and body.
Avoid oily food. This adds to the oiliness of the skin.
Keep your bedding and especially pillowcases clean. The oil from hair can go to the pillowcases and in your face.
Do some hot steaming to your face to widen the pores thus allowing the blackheads to be removed easily.
Always maintain a clean face.
To have an effective regimen, try to identify the cause of your blackheads. Each skin type is different; sometimes treatment should be very specific.5
How to Get Rid of Whiteheads?
The following are 8 tips for getting rid of whiteheads:
Wash your face twice to thrice a day or when the need arises
Always moisturize. Whiteheads are easily formed on dry skin
Keep your hands off your face. This can contribute to the spread of bacteria in your face and might lead to infection
Drink lots of water. In the morning, try to drink a glass of water with honey to allow detoxification of body impurities
Eat healthy. This will aid in keeping your system healthy
Minimize using oil based skin products
Apply makeup moderately
Steam your face. This can soften the skin which allows easy removal of whiteheads.6
Yes, these are not life-threatening problems. However, if left untreated, it can cause acne that can lead to acne scars. You do not want that to happen. There is no measure to predict the severity of the effect brought by blackheads and whiteheads. So try to mediate it right away to avoid worsening the condition.
If you notice the treatment for blackheads and whiteheads is almost the same. This is because both came from the same origin. Always remember that treating these doesn’t happen overnight. Practice to maintain a regimen and you will be skin problem free in no time. However for severe cases, consult an expert. Don't end up frustrated when all else failed. Each skin type is unique. Go to your dermatologist and ask for help. It's better safe than sorry.
References:1. Husain, S.(2008) Shahnaz Husain's Beauty Book.New Dehli: Orient Paperbacks.