If you see dark dots on your face along with zits, those are probably open comedones, popularly known as blackheads. Don't try to pull those black things off from your pores using a tweezer or any sharp object as this might only worsen the condition.
Before giving out info on what you can do about your blackheads, what, first, are blackheads? These little black dots are actually open comedones signaling the excess production of skin oils. To further understand blackheads, a short background on how acne forms is needed.
When levels of hormones (androgen) change, they trigger oil glands to create more sebum or oil. These excess oils along with dead skin cells, bacteria, and other debris clog the pores. As a result, papules or bumps are formed. Those bumps that remain underneath the skin are whiteheads while those (blackheads) whose upper parts are exposed through the pores tend to darken, resulting into a blackish appearance. Furthermore, blackheads are a milder kind of acne that needs to be properly addressed so as to avoid future zits or inflammation.
Now, how do you remove these stubborn blackheads? In actuality, several treatments are now available in the market. For blackheads that are not accompanied by swelling, these tips might help:
- Facial scrubs with exfoliants - These might do the work although you should be careful since excessive scrubbing and washing might do more harm than good.
- Pore strips – These are sticky strips that you can put on your nose or on your face for ten minutes to pull off those stubborn blackheads. Just be really careful when pulling them off since too much force might cause skin irritation.
- Blackhead remover – Your dermatologist can actually remove the blackheads by using a very sharp tool. These tools can be bought from any beauty store and the procedure can be done at home but it's better to let an expert do the work.
- Salicylic Acid – Acne medications with salicylic acid are good blackhead removers. This chemical unclogs the pores, “cutting” away dead skin cells and excess oils.
- Benzoyl Peroxide – This medication targets the acne-causing bacteria that multiplies quickly when excess oils are produced.
- Facial Masks – Masks can exfoliate your skin and unclog pores. Moreover, some masks have ingredients that can tighten enlarged pores that are more prone to blackheads.
If your blackheads are accompanied by zits or inflammation, it's best to go to a dermatologist to get a prescription treatment. Medications containing Retinoin can be prescribed if your acne doesn't respond to homemade or over-the-counter acne treatments . Other medications such as strong antibiotics and oral birth pills can help if your acne is really severe and if your dermatologist gives you the go signal.
Never squeeze out your blackheads as this habit can only push the stubborn stuff deeper into your pores. This habit also puts you at a greater risk of having infections and scars.
Stubborn blackheads and acne should not stop you from living a normal and happy life. If you want expert advice regarding the proper removal of blackheads, you should consult your dermatologist.
Kat Daez writes for Intelligraph Corporation, an online media company. She currently writes articles about acne and its various medications. If you want to read more information about how to get rid of blackheads, check out http://www.acnerecovery.com .