So you want to know how to get rid of blackheads? First, understand that they are very common. Most people have had some blackheads at some time in their lives, usually on the nose. They are most often found in the T zone of forehead, nose and chin but they can also be found on other areas of the face and even on the back.
Blackheads are formed when a tiny hair follicle becomes clogged with excess sebum (the natural oil that keeps the skin soft) mixed with keratin and dead skin cells. This forms a waxy plug in the follicle. It is naturally a yellowish color but when exposed to the air it oxidizes, and the surface becomes dark brown.
How To Get Rid Of Blackheads
If you just have a few blackheads you can get rid of them using the following method.
First, wash your face with an anti blackhead face wash. Many of these contain benzoyl peroxide and small beads for exfoliating. This type of face wash can be used once per week. It will dissolve the top of the plug of sebum. This takes off the black layer so that you may think that the blackhead is gone, but it is not. It is just smaller, paler colored and not so noticeable. It will soon turn dark brown again like a cut apple that is exposed to the air.
Next, prepare a steam bath for the face. Just put hot water in a bowl and bend your face over it, without touching the water. Put a towel over your head so that the steam is focused on your face. Remain like this for 5 minutes to open up all of the pores.
Use one of the following methods to remove blackheads
1. A blackhead removing face mask. This will continue the work of dissolving the plug of sebum that is clogging the pore. It may contain salicylic acid and will probably need to be left on for 10-15 minutes.
2. A blackhead extractor. This should be sterilized in boiling water before and after use. Press its hole over the blackhead and the plug should pop out. Do not press too hard or you risk scarring the skin. Rotating the extractor can sometimes help with stubborn blackheads but again, be careful not to damage the skin.
3. Blackhead remover strips. These are adhesive strips that stick onto your nose or other affected areas. Make sure the skin is dry if you have just steamed. Follow directions on the package, but be aware that the adhesive can be an irritant if you have sensitive skin.
Do not squeeze the blackheads. The skin will have been softened by the steam and will be more sensitive than usual, so scarring is a real possibility.
After blackhead removal, apply an antiseptic liquid or wash. You can then close the pores by splashing plenty of cold water onto your face.
How To Get Rid Of Blackheads Permanently
The only way to get rid of blackheads for ever is removal of the follicle in which they form. This can be done as a laser acne treatment. Ask your dermatologist about it if you have persistent blackheads.
If blackheads return over and over in the same place, which is likely if you have very oily skin on the nose or elsewhere, they can cause the follicle to stretch. This creates open pores, leading eventually to a unsightly condition known as ‘strawberry nose’ where the skin of the nose looks like it is full of small holes. This also makes the nose look bigger than it really is.
You can see this condition on some older people who have had oily skin for most of their lives. If this runs in your family, it is worth thinking about how to get rid of blackheads so that they never come back, before this happens to you.