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Let's Talk Blackheads: What are They, How To Prevent Them

Let's Talk Blackheads: What are They, How To Prevent Them

Blackheads are one of the most common skin issues seen in teenagers and even mature adults with a dedicated skincare routine. They can affect anyone, but they're especially stubborn on oily or blemish-prone skins. 

Most of us have had to deal with blackheads at some point in our lives. But, do you know what they are and how to prevent them? Luckily there are some things you can do to help reduce their appearance and prevent them from forming in the first place.

What Are Blackheads and What Causes Them?

Blackheads are a form of acne that forms when a pore becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The dark spots you see aren't dirt but are actually a reflection of irregular light off the clogged follicle.

The most common places for blackheads to appear are your face (especially the nose and chin), neck, back, and chest. Oil sebaceous glands are present on all parts of your body which produce an oily substance called sebum that keeps your skin hydrated and glossy.

Though it isn't common, you may sometimes find blackheads on your butt, thighs, ears, and armpits.

One of the primary causes of blackheads is an accumulation of oil on the skin's surface, which can be due to: 

  • Hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, or menopause)
  • Bad genetics
  • Poor diet
  • Using products that contain oils or fragrances
  • Stress
  • Environmental influences

How To Prevent Blackheads

There are a few things you can do to prevent blackheads from forming:
  • Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser.
  • Exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells.
  • Use an oil-free moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated.

Treating Blackheads At Home

If you want to do at-home skincare treatments, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them:
  • Use a gentle exfoliator to remove the built-up oil and skin cells.
  • Apply a face mask or spot treatment.
  • Steam your face to open up the pores.

Can You Squeeze Out Blackheads?

It's difficult to resist the urge to squeeze or pop blackheads. Attempting to remove blackheads by squeezing them can lead to issues, such as inflammation, scarring, incomplete removal of the blackhead, pushing it deeper into the skin, increasing the size due to extra oil or bacteria, and causing them to spread.

How To Get Rid of Deep Blackheads?

Blackheads are most commonly removed with a process called extraction.
Extraction is a manual process that should be performed by a professional. A small, sterile tool is used to gently press on the skin around the blackhead to loosen it from the pore. Then, the blackhead is carefully removed from the pore.
After extraction, it's crucial to treat the skin with a post-extraction skincare product, which will help soothe and protect the skin.

Bottom Line

Blackheads are a common skincare issue that can be frustrating to deal with, but there are things you can do to prevent them from forming and treatments you can do at home to get rid of them. If you have deep blackheads, it's best to visit a professional for extraction.

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