Many mistake blackheads (medically known as comedones) to be dirt. The blacktip is not dirt, it is oil which has oxidized. Blackheads are a problem that most adults face. It is a reflection of one’s diet, physical and mental state, and –most importantly-cleansing habits.

skin problems and how to deal with them: Blackheads

Blackheads are visibly enlarged pores filled with plugs of dead skin cells, dried sebum secretion, bacteria debris, and colored pigments from makeup and skincare products in the hair follicle. The hair follicles are literally forced open by the blackheads which clog the pores.

Blackheads are caused by over-active sebaceous glands that produce an excess of sebum. Our pores produce sebaceous secretions through the oil glands to lubricate the hair and the surface of the skin. The oil emulsifies itself with the water from sweat to form a protective layer known as a sebum film. This film, which gives our skin a natural supple look, is what bonds our surface cells together.

When there is excessive production of sebum, it will form lumps under the skin with the already existing grease and dirt blocking the exit of the pores. This hardens in the plug, the top of which when oxidized with air turns black, thus forming the blackhead.

Excessive perspiration may also contribute to the formation of blackheads. The evaporation of the sweat will leave behind dumps of debris which block the flow of sebum to the skin’s surface. The sebum accumulates, increases in amount, and eventually hardens, thus forming blackheads. Sebum may sometimes fester and cause a sore bump or spot. If this spot becomes infected it may even erupt to form a pustule or pus-filled spot. The infected pus can spread if it is not seen promptly.

Severe cases may lead to serious outbreaks of acne and other complications. Those with oily skin are especially susceptible to blackheads, which have a tendency to appear on the nose, inner cheek, chin, T-zone, shoulder, chest, and back.

Cure for blackheads

Blackheads cannot be totally avoided or permanently remedied. The situation, however, can be improved by the following:

  • Diet and health: eat plenty of fresh fruits and raw green vegetables. Also drink a lot of water, twelve to fifteen glasses a day. This combination detoxifies the body, rids it of impurities, and cleans the skin. Regular exercise and fresh air will also create better circulation to the skin’s surface, which will boost both the healing and bacteria-fighting processes of the skin.
  • Steamings: this thorough, deep cleansing method is highly beneficial. It cleanses the skin of all its surface dirt, stimulates circulation, and unclogs blocked pores. It also removes toxins from the body in the form of sweat. I strongly recommended this method twice a week for very oily skin; otherwise, a regular weekly clean-up should suffice. Steaming can be made more beneficial through the use of various herbs like chamomile and comfrey, or aromatherapy oils like lavender, tea tree, rosemary, patchouli, geranium, etc. blackheads will naturally be loosened after being exposed to steam, then extraction them. Always use a fresh piece of tissue when squeezing out each blackhead. Dab on a pore minimizer afterward and apply a suitable mask.
  • Scrubs and cleansers: a host of cleansers, scrubs, and exfoliating creams are available in the market, but according to most dermatologists, they are ineffective, despite what companies claim. They only remove surface oils, dirt, dead cells, and some makeup; they don’t do a more thorough cleansing. This is perhaps the real reason why professional bi-monthly facials and cleanups are still necessary.
  • Professional help: scarring, redness, and blotchiness can result if you are not in the hands of the right therapist. A well-trained aesthetician in the field will be less likely to cause damage to the skin. Most salons use steaming machines to aid in the extracting process. Some recommended the use of vacuum tubes. However, this method-which involves a sucking action is not very effective. It has a very superfluous cosmetic effect as what is removed is mainly dead skin cells and dirt. In the case of sensitive skin, even this may cause redness.
  • Natural tomato toner: a natural and easy way to remove blackheads is with tomatoes. Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C and potassium and are thus good for open pores, greasy skin, and blackheads. Mash a ripe tomato and strain through a sieve. Mix the pulp with some oatmeal and yogurt and you have a salmon-colored light toning mask. Apply for five to seven minutes on the face and wash off. The acid in the tomato cleans the skin and keeps it free from clogged pores.

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