Black Heads : Causes , Symptoms and Treatments

What are blackheads? Blackheads are nothing, they are only an open (blackhead) or closed (whitehead) skin pore or hair follicle clogged with oil, dead skin cells, bacteria and dust.  Blackheads are the small or tiny bumps on the skin.  Blackheads are the mild type of acne, that mostly occurs on face especially on nose.

They also occur on –

  1. Chest
  2. Neck
  3. Shoulder
  4. Back

 

How do blackheads look like?

Blackheads are small, tiny, dark lesions that appear on the skin, often on the face, back and neck. They are a feature of mild acne, but they can appear without other signs of acne being present. They contain an oxidized version of melanin, the dark pigment made by cells in the skin.

Common questions regarding blackheads–

What is inside a blackhead?

Blackheads and whiteheads are both clogged with the same thing ie, dead cells : Dead skin cells (which your skin is always shedding), Propionibacterium acnes (a bacteria that lives on your skin), and sebum (an oily substance secreted by tiny glands inside your pores).

What happen if blackheads are not removed?

The pores can also become inflamed if the blackhead isn’t treated. Other conditions can occur as a consequence of the inflamed tissue if you pop pimples yourself. Scarring can occur if a pimple is recurring and you continuously pop it.

What is the black in a blackhead?

When you have blackheads, these large pores become clogged with a substance known as sebum. A chemical reaction with the sebum occurs under your skin. Melanin is oxidized and turns the clogged pores a black color.

Why do blackheads occurs?

Blackheads are a type of acne vulgaris, or hormonal acne. The most common cause is oil gland over-production, which can happen during hormonal shifts, such as puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. Blackheads can also form when hair follicles are irritated or when dead skin cells do not shed regularly.

Blackheads or whiteheads form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. Each follicle contains one hair and a sebacous gland that produces oil. This oil, called sebum, helps keep your skin soft. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump called a comedo. If the skin over the bump stays closed, the bump is called a whitehead. When the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black and a blackhead forms.

How to prevent blackheads?

To prevent blackheads, try tips such as:
  1. Wash your face when you get up, before bed, and after you sweat and many times in a day.
  2. Put  cleaners on your skin gently, using your fingertips.
  3. Use alcohol-free skin products.
  4. Avoid the sun since some acne medicine can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.
  5. Shampoo oily hair regularly.

Treatments for blackheads

Applying salicylic acid on areas of your face that have blackheads and whiteheads will help to remove them. Salicylic acid is the only acid that is oil-soluble, so it really works to break down and dissolve the oil in your clogged pores and help to remove them.

Sterilize a needle with alcohol and gently prick the skin where your pore is clogged. Then extract the whitehead the same way you would a blackhead. After using an over-the-counter astringent or acne medication, and washing your hands thoroughly, apply pressure to both sides of the clogged pore to extract the plug.

 At-home exfoliation. Brown sugar, honey, and lemon juice make up this exfoliation mixture that you can use on blackheads on your chin and nose. Dr. Dane recommends mixing together one tablespoon of brown sugar, two tablespoons of lemon, and one tablespoon of raw honey.