While adolescence is a memorable time for most of us, some of us experience the trauma of drastic hormonal changes that show up on our skin. A skin prone to blackheads and pimples causes much stress to teenagers. Sometimes, picking on acne and blackheads can create further festering issues and damage the skin.
“Blackheads should never be extracted manually by the patient as this could further complicate the situation, resulting in swelling, redness and scars,” says Dr Vijay Aithal, dermatologist and cosmetologist.
Skin ailments cause a loss of self-esteem and confidence. Patients should be counselled not to pick on acne to avoid scarring. If acne is treated well in time and properly, the patient’s skin is flawless by the end of it all.
“Blackheads and acne issues start around puberty and last till about 25 to 30 years of age. Some people who continue to have such issues, are said to suffer from adult acne. And in some cases, there is genetic predisposition to get acne. Using oily creams and hair gels may cause comedones or blackheads,” says Dr Sachith Abraham, consultant dermatologist and head, Manipal Hospital.
What causes this condition?
Blackheads arise as a result of clogged pores (the openings of hair follicles). There is very minimal infection by organisms, and hence redness and pus formation are not seen. They are mainly seen on the face, chest and back where hair follicles are associated with oil producing glands (sebaceous glands).
What are blackheads?
Blackheads or open comedones arise as a result of irritation of the hair follicles (the canal holding the hair shaft). Cleansing the face about three times a day with a good cleanser/ soap will prevent the debris from accumulating, thereby keeping the follicles clean. Also, early black heads could be removed with a comedone extractor by a professional.
How to address blackheads
- Do not pick on the acne
- Consultation with a dermatologist is required and he may prescribe creams for the comedones or consider manual extraction of the blackheads. The aim of these treatments is to avoid scarring.
- Cinnamon and honey are a wonderful combination for getting rid of blackheads. The anti-bacterial agents in the honey help keep the blackhead causing bacteria away.
- Applying ‘Bentonite clay’ does an amazing job of drawing out oils or other impurities locked in pores. When you apply the mask, your skin drinks in all the minerals while the clay simultaneously draws out the blackheads.
- Lemon juice is the perfect astringent substance needed to get the job done. However, it can lighten skin temporarily and make it sensitive to the sun so stock up on sunscreen if you plan on using this method in summer. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting the lemon juice with water first.
- Egg whites form an easy mask that can be used to temporarily tighten pores, thus reducing chances of future blackheads, while removing current blackheads.
- Honey is known to have antibacterial properties and the lactic acid in milk helps in keeping skin soft and supple. When mixed, they act as an adhesive which helps pull out blackheads.
- Wash your face daily with salt water
- Clean your face daily with rose water.
- Apply tomato juice for 20 minutes on the face.
- Apply aloe vera juice on the cheeks and nose in order to get rid of black heads. A sensible skin care regimen and a positive attitude can help people get healthier skin.