Blackheads Removal - How To Remove Blackheads
What Are Blackheads
Blackheads are one of the most common forms of acne. Although people who have oily skin are more vulnerable to blackheads, anyone can get them. Unlike whiteheads, which create closed pores, blackheads have open surfaces, which creates an oxidation that’s dark in color. We all have pores and when those pores become blocked with debris, oil, or dead skin cells, that’s when you get a blackhead. The reason they look black is because all the oils in them become oxidised. It’s not the dirt that is black, it is just oxidised oil.
How Do Blackheads Form
Excess sebum production inside the skin's pores makes it difficult for the sebum to reach the surface of the skin resulting in blocked pores.
As the flow of oil clogs up, it mixes with accumulated dead skin cells that haven't exfoliated as efficiently as they should, narrowing the 'exit' of the pores so that the sebum cannot be secreted naturally.
If the pore is still slightly open, the combination of excess sebum and dead skin cells is exposed to oxygen, which oxidises the mixture and turns it black, forming a blackhead.
Excess sebum production can be caused by hormones, diet, ingredients in cosmetics products, medical conditions and medication.
Quickfire Blackhead Facts
- Some factors can increase the chance of developing blackheads.
- Age and hormonal changes are an important factor. Like other symptoms of acne, blackheads are most common during puberty, when the change in hormone levels triggers a spike in sebum production. However, they can appear at any age.
- Androgen, the male sex hormone, triggers greater secretion of sebum and a higher turnover of skin cells around puberty. Both boys and girls experience higher levels of androgens during adolescence.
- After puberty, hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, and the use of birth control pills can also bring on blackheads in women.
- Overproduction of skin cells by the body can cause blackheads.
- The blocking or covering pores by cosmetics and clothing.
- Heavy sweating, shaving and other activities that open the hair follicles.
- High humidity and grease in the immediate environment. Some health conditions, such as stress, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- medications that encourage rapid skin cell turnover
- Contrary to popular belief, poor hygiene does not directly cause blackheads. Excessive scrubbing in an attempt to remove them can make them worse.
Blackheads Vs Whiteheads Vs Spots
Blackheads are open comedones (clogged pores) which look like tiny black dots. These black dots are essentially blocked sebum that has become oxidized, causing it to turn black. Whiteheads are closed comedones, referred to as such because they’re covered (closed) with a thin layer of skin. Because of this skin covering, the sebum cannot reach the surface which causes its flesh-toned, bumpy appearance.
Spots form when the hair follicle is completely sealed, blocking the sebum and dirt in the hair follicle from reaching the surface. As a result, the size of the spot may increase. If the pore is clogged but not sealed, the sebum and dead skin cells in the pore can reach the skin's surface. When it comes in contact with air (oxidisation), the sebum turns black forming a blackhead.
How to remove blackheads
Good news: there are safe ways to remove blackheads at home — but it must be done properly to avoid irritation, scarring, or even infection. Squeezing blackheads out with your fingers might be one of the more satisfying ways to remove them, but it's not a good idea. Squeezing blackheads can traumatize the skin, introduce bacteria and damage the pore,which can spread debris and bacteria deeper into the tissue.
Try any blackhead-removal technique after a warm shower or steaming the skin. This helps to soften the skin and the material that has collected in the pores. It's also important to gently cleanse the area before and after extraction.
The Image A.D.S blackhead tool kit is designed to gently press out blackheads and to push out anything blocking the pore. The small loop on the end of a metal rod gently retracts the skin around the blackhead, bringing the contents to the surface. Unlike squeezing, the comedone extractor does not compress the sides of the pore, so there is less risk of breaking the pore walls. Apply light pressure, and if nothing is coming up, don't keep trying (no matter how tempting it may be).