Getting rid of blackheads isn’t easy. And what causes blackheads?

Blackheads are a type of acne, and commonly attack teenagers when they least want it, as they’re going through later teenage years under the influence of newly developing hormones.

A blackhead is a pore in the skin that has accumulated an excess of oil, or what is technically called sebum, which then gathers bacteria and dead skin cells, and which eventually hardens to form a plug. As this mixture oxidises it gets darker, and this is what causes the black head.

Blackheads are just one version of acne.

Unfortunately blackheads are commonly found on the face, often the nose and the forehead and chin, these being the more oily areas of the face, and are therefore most visible and therefore distressing to the sufferer. Let’s consider a little more about what causes blackheads and what you can do about them.

Blackheads are commonly form in a pore, or follicle, that is a little wider than normal. They can also be known as open their gardens comedones. They are often accompanied by common acne, evidenced by raised skin lesions with filled with puss, or can simply be present on their own.

If you suffer from blackheads, then the good news is that as you get older they will normally go away. But if you are sufficiently worried about the effect on your looks, then there is a number of things you can do. As blackheads are a form of acne high quality acne medications will work on blackheads as they will work on acne, and it is worth starting on a good acne medication first.

Not all acne medications, even the best ones, are effective for everybody, and on occasions it may be necessary to try several before you find a medication that works for you.

However there is more that you can do than simply taking a quality acne medication. Following some simple steps at home can also help your to get rid of blackheads

1. Wash your face regularly, and other areas of the body which are subject to blackheads, without harsh scrubbing.

2. Avoid common cosmetics and skin care products as these contain ingredients which may make the problem worse, particularly mineral oil.

3. Don’t squeeze the blackheads. You may assume that squeezing them removes the offending material, however in some cases it can push it further back into the skin causing more problems and possibly even creating a cyst. This can also break the capillaries in your skin.

4. Change your pillow case regularly as the oil from your skin can get onto your pillow case and then back into your pores.

5. When washing your face use hot water or steam to widen the pores and help remove excess oil. For instance you can put your face over a pan of boiling water with a towel over your head.

And remember, if you are worried about your condition, it is always worth consulting with a doctor first. There are also various skin conditions which can cause the problem which should be investigated by a doctor as well.

And here’s an interesting take on what your acne is telling you.

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