Blackheads - What Is It?Blackheads, a precursor or fist stage of acne are those annoying and seemingly endless little deposits embedded in the pores of skin, usually on the face around the nose or areas where oily deposits accumulate. In fact, blackheads typically develop when the skin produces too much oil.
Blackheads are typically yellowish or dark in color in contrast to whiteheads which are white in colour. The difference is one of oxidization. For blackheads, excess oil is produced and gets occluded or closed off in the pores which, when exposed to air, turns it darker in colour. Whiteheads however have a thin layer of skin covering them, preventing air from reaching them, thus leaving them white in appearance.
There are many reasons for blackheads but most come down to oily skin. Blackheads typically appear more frequently with the onset of puberty when hormone production increases in the body, resulting in stimulation of the oil gland, also known as sebaceous glands. Black heads are medically known as open comedo or comedones.
What Are The Symptoms Of Blackheads?There are more causes of blackheads than there are symptoms. Puberty is a causal factor and blackheads are not gender specific, occuring in both males and females. With the onset of puberty, hormones run rampant due to DHT or dihydrotestosterone, resulting in overstimulation of the oil gland.
There are however, exacerbating circumstances and chief amongst them is make up. Too much make up clogs pores as can overuse of moisturizers, foundations or sun protection creams and oils.
While cleansing plays an important role in decreasing blackheads, overcleaning can actually increase blackheads as irritated skin will actually stimulate oil production, clogging the pores and increasing the incidence of acne.
Remedies For BlackheadsA regular, moderate cleansing regimen is the first line of defense against blackheads and acne. A simple rule of thumb is what goes on the face in the morning should come off in the evening.
Decreasing use of oil-based make up and skin treatments and decreasing usage of harsh abrasive on the face in combination with moisturizing with a damp warm cloth every evening is a proactive means of fighting blackheads.
Over the counter solutions such as beta hydroxol acid or benzoly peroxide help with controlling and removing blackheads as do blackhead removers or extractors available at most pharmacies. For extractors and removers, stainless steel is ideal as it is easier to clean and to sterilize.
Home Remedies For BlackheadsPopular home remedies for blackheads include applying toothpaste to the area before going to bed. It is important to note this should be a paste, not a gel.
Massaging the face with lemon peel before washing with lukewarm water may also help alleviate blackheads. As may washing your face, twice daily with warm, salty water.
Lemon or lime juice mixed with rosewater and cleansed with a cotton ball is another popular home remedy.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily can help, as can a reduction in oily foods. Vitamin B5 and zinc supplements are beneficial as well.
A home prepared oatmeal mask is another popular home remeday and mildy entertaining as well. Mix ground oatmeal with honey until it becomes a paste, spread onto the face and allow to dry before thoroughly rinsing with warm water.