Blackheads are created by the overproduction of sebum in the skin which blocks the hair follicle, much the same as a white head, however, in this case, the sebum oxidises which changes the colour to black. They are a very common skin complaint and can appear anywhere, although most people will get them on the nose, chin, face and back.
There are many products on the market that can help to get rid of blackheads, and also claim to stop them from occurring. However, it is important to remember that this form of low-grade acne needs to be treated differently for each individual. If you are concerned about these, seek personalised advice from a reputable expert.
As tempting as it may be, it is important not to squeeze or pick your blackheads. By doing so, the area can get infected and the infection and/or the trauma of squeezing could cause scarring. You can buy over the counter products such as glycolic washes and these can work very well as a stand-alone treatment or combined with treatments that we carry out in our St. Albans clinic.
This is an effective treatment for acne and in particular, blackheads and whiteheads. Isolaz uses light energy and works with a gentle “vacuum” to remove excess dirt from the pores. The gentle vacuum temporarily opens the treated pores and carefully pulls out some of the debris inside the pore.
Once the pore has been emptied, this pain-free treatment then releases a blue light into the pore and onto the surrounding skin to kill the bacteria which is one of the causes of acne. It is recommended to have a course of 4-6 treatments, depending on the severity of your acne, for the best results. As with all acne treatments, ongoing treatment may be needed.
These AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) peels are often a very effective remedy against blackheads. They work by weakening the bonds between cells on the top layer of the skin, effectively removing that top layer of dead skin cells which can contribute to the blocked pores that cause blackheads. How often the treatment is done, will depend on your skin type.
But the AHA is not strong enough to deeply penetrate the skin, making it safe to do every 2-4 weeks typically. It’s worth keeping in mind that sometimes if there are underlying spots in your skin, glycolic can bring them to the surface more quickly than if they were to develop naturally; however, our clients who have acne will be on a skincare regime that will help them manage this if it occurs.
Much like glycolic, salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid – BHA) works on the top layer of your skin, working its way to softening and dissolving keratin, which is known to block pores and cause blackheads. In addition, salicylic acid is also part of the aspirin family, which means that you get the benefit of mild anti-inflammatory which may help your blemishes swiftly heal, feel less painful and reduce in size.
You should see results after just one salicylic acid treatment, but for best results, 3-6 treatments over a period of time are recommended. This will also help prevent blackheads in the future. Salicylic acid peels may be more drying than glycolic peels and therefore may be better suited to those with oily skin.
We understand that any level of acne can be stressful and can cause anxiety and a loss of self-confidence. We are here to help and offer a consultation with one of our medical teams to discuss your options and find the best course of treatment for you.
Blackheads and whiteheads occur when pores on the skin become clogged with dead skin cells, oil, or bacteria. The medical community calls these types of bumps sebaceous plugs or comedones. A blocked pore that stays open forms a blackhead.
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.
Yes, pores can become clogged with excess oil, dead skin, or dirt, or they can appear more prominent as a result of too much sun exposure when clogged. Oily skin can make clogged pores a more common phenomenon. This is because oily skin or skin with excess oil will mean blackheads form quicker and more often.
Treating blackheads especially stubborn blackheads can be done with a gentle cleanser. You can also treat acne-prone skin when you extract blackheads and cleanse the enlarged pores with glycolic acid, salicylic acid or lactic acid. Blackheads can also occur when a hair follicle becomes clogged with excess oil. A skin brush is a great way to remove dry skin dead skin cells and dirt from your skin’s surface.
You can unclog pores with chemical exfoliation, blackhead treatments or a skin brush. Chemical peels can help treat clogged pores using salicylic acid and glycolic acid. A chemical exfoliant can damage sensitive skin or dry skin if not administered correctly. That is why we suggest coming into the clinic for a professional consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.
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