What are Blackheads?
A comedo, a skin blemish where a pore becomes clogged with a dark, hard, cheesy keratin-filled substance forming a hard blackhead on the skin surface. It gets oxidized by air and appears black, hence the name blackhead.”
It is a type of acne, called “open comedones,” they pop up when a hair follicle fills up with oil and p. acnes bacteria, the primary bacteria responsible for causing acne. Many believed that dirt trapped in the skin is why blackheads are formed. but this is not true.
Clogged pores can look like blackheads, but is different. Dermatologist calls these clogged pores “sebaceous filaments. They look like blackheads as they can often appear on the nose, but they are not acne. Not like a blackhead, sebaceous filaments occurs when the oil lining the follicle in a pore causes it to look larger.
How to treat clogged pores and blackheads
Eradicating blackheads, you need to use products that are exfoliative in nature as well as a peeling agent, “to dissolve the plug causing the blackhead.
The more persistent blackheads cases might need the help of a dermatologist via prescription retinoid.
Treating sebaceous filaments is a little trickier. The appearance of blackheads depends on many factors as;
skincare regime, age factor, hormonal status, and hereditary factor. While genetic can determine your pore size-meaning you can’t exactly shrink them so much as make them appear smaller.
you can keep oil buildup under control using prescription retinoids or over-the-counter salicylic acid and glycolic acid “whether as a scrub, pad, or gel,” I recommend Organic exfoliators like sugar scrubs, sea salt scrubs, apricot scrubs e.t.c
The effects of pore-clearing scrubs and masks aren’t permanent. pores “will from time to time get clogged due to sebum secretion from the skin because that’s what pores do,” There’s a need for consistent use of scrubs for best result.
Blackheads can be a pain in the ass, putting effort to get rid of them and after you taught you’ve been free. Boom! They resurface back after a while.
They’re dark little dots, they seem impossible to get rid of, and they always appear at the T-zone of your face — on your forehead, cheek, under the lips, chin, back, and nose.
But why do they always seem to be on your nose and not the rest of your face? It all has to do with oil. Blackheads are more likely to form on the nose because the nose has lots of glands. “It has more than the rest of the face, which already has more oil glands than the rest of the body.”
Identifying a blackhead
They appear on the areas of the face especially on the nose with the highest secretion of sebum. It is a little black dots trapped with oxidized oil, dirt’s blocking the hair follicle on the skin pores. It has an unpleasant odor. A whitish semi-solid substance, they are very visible to the eyes when identified. Usually ugly at first glance and can be very annoying on the face. It also enlarges your pores on the skin.
When trying to get a blockage out of pores, you’re risking skin damage and infections. But like popping other kinds of pimples, blackheads are open pores, which makes them less risky to pop.
If you’re sure you’re dealing with a blocked hair follicle, there are safer ways to go about it to prevent you from hurting your skin.
How to extract a blackhead with your hands
After identifying a blackhead, you need to take caution, spend some time in a warm shower or bath.
Steaming your face enable your clogged pores;
to open up, soften your skin and get it real wet and to aid relax your pores.
Once you’re ready to set your pore-free, follow these steps:
1. Wash your hands.
In other to prevent the spread of infection on your dermis from germs and bacteria hidden on your nails. You must wash your hands clean, to avoid more problems on your skin.
2. Clean and steam your face.
This helps to soften the skin and ensure easy remover of blackheads from clogged pores. Other benefits of steaming your face. Steaming opens up your pores and makes them loosen up a bit.
3. Wear clean hand gloves:
You have to put on plastic or latex gloves to prevent germs and bacteria from infesting into the dermis. I recommend for hygiene purposes.
4. Apply pressure around the clogged pore.
You can use a tissue or soft towel as a barrier between your hands and the blackhead itself if needed. Remember that you’re trying to pop out an intact blockage made of dried oil and dead skin cells. You need to experiment with different levels of pressure and different finger positions. Don’t press so hard that you cut or bruise your skin.
5. Remove the blackhead/ pus out:
When you have removed the whitish substance from the clogged pores, apply some witch hazel toner to disinfect the area to heal fast.
If you’re not able to remove the blackheads via these steps, you need to give your skin some time to recover before trying again.
6. Cleanse the area with a mild astringent or toner.
Toners help to fight harmful bacteria and help keep your pores free of debris that caused your blackhead. We can also cleanse the face with healthy nature oil even suitable for acne and pimples because oil dissolves oil.
Leave difficult blackheads alone
You can feel blocked pores from the top of your skin when it near the dermis of the skin. Sometimes it protrudes like a needle with a sharp edge when touching with your hand.
Please as an advice don’t try to get out stubborn blackheads, I repeat don’t over-do it that you cause more damage. Most blackheads are close enough to the skin’s surface to attempt safe removal.
If you’ve tried to remove a blackhead that is difficult and the blockage won’t come out, leave it alone for a day or two. In most cases, your skin will clear the blockage on its own if you give it time.
When to see a dermatologist/aesthetician.
Stubborn blackheads, consider seeing an aesthetician or a dermatologist for an extraction. Some aestheticians off (extraction) facials that last about 30 min-1 hr. Be aware that most blackheads result in the overproduction of natural oils in your skin.
Find blackhead-clearing products online.
What to know about blackheads extractors
The professional tools used for whiteheads and blackheads are safe for extraction purposes. It’s known as comedone extractors. It’s made of stainless steel and has a small circle at the end. You’ll need some practice with comedone extractors to remove blackheads.
Often used by dermatologists, blackhead extractors are also available for at-home use.
but if you’re going down this route, it’s important to learn how to use them well, as incorrect use can cause soreness, redness, and scarring.
Other substitutes for comedone extractor is sharp objects like needles.
TYPES OF EXTRACTORS
We have two main types of blackhead extractor tools.
1. The first type has two heads. One side of the tool has a small spoon with a hole in the middle, designed to fit in over the blackhead. You apply gentle pressure to the area, you push out the trapped sebum and release from the skin.
This type of extractor also has a small, and very sharp, the lancet use for puncturing a whitehead so the sebum comes out.
Lancets are sharp and can be dangerous, which means they are best left to competent skin care specialists.
2. The other type of blackhead extractor has a cupped end on one or both sides of the tool. Each spoon-like end is a different size, to accommodate different-sized blackheads.
Sometimes one end of the extractor is also angled so it can reach difficult areas, such as the crevices of the outer ear or the side of the nose.
Manual extraction at home
If you can’t afford an aesthetician to work on you.
we’ve some simple DIY method you can apply to get these blackheads out. Manual extractions of blackheads are a common step in a professional facial.
Here’s my expert skin-care advice for DIY-extractions that’ll keep your pores clean and clear without harming the skin.
use the guidelines below to take matters into your own hands the right way. Required Items:
You’ll need a cellophane/plastic wrap, two washcloths, facial tissue, and a heavy moisturizer. Plan to perform manual extractions immediately after a shower or steaming your face for the best result. The heated skin will soften the hardened oil within the pores, making for easier extractions.
How to perform extractions:
If you’ve steamed, apply a thin coat of the heaviest moisturizer you have on to the area you’re looking to extract. This will seal up the pore and keep the heat trapped in the skin, which for extraction purposes, is important. Next, tear off a small piece of cellophane/plastic wrap and cover the area. Again apply a hot, damp washcloth to the area (on top of the plastic wrap) and apply a second hot washcloth direct over the first one. Hold it to the skin for five minutes. (The plastic wrap and washcloths help the skin to keep its heat longer.)
After five minutes, remove the washcloths and plastic wrap and keep the skin moist by applying a bit more moisturizer.
The next step is to wrap tissue over each of your forefingers and squeeze to remove blackheads or clogged pores.
At squeezing, avoid positioning the fingers too close to the blackhead or clogged pore, as this will make getting it out more challenging.
Widen your fingers out a bit so that the blackhead can be removed with ease from a deeper level of the skin. To avoid creating squeeze marks, go easy and move the position of your fingers.
Meaning, if the blackhead doesn’t come out after three tries, don’t do it any longer or you’ll risk harming the skin or damaging a capillary. When finished, wipe the skin with an alcohol-free toner and then apply a cooling gel mask or aloe vera gel to reduce any redness. Or, you can use a clay-based mask to purify the pores.
Once the pores are clean, it’s important to incorporate products into your routine that use acids, such as beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), to absorb into the pore lining and keep them cleaned out, as well as preventing the oil from filling back up.
Keep in mind that after some time they may re-suface again, so it’s important to either get regular monthly facials to get the pores cleaned or keep on top of them yourself.
HOW TO USE A BLACKHEAD EXTRACTOR
Before you pick up the tool, it’s important to verify you are working on a blackhead or clogged pores.
Steps for blackhead extraction:
1. Cleanse the skin with warm water to expand the pores and loosen the trapped sebum.
2. Place the tool over the blackhead and press careful on one side, moving the tool across the affected area.
3. Wipe away the sebum with a tissue.
4. Cleanse the area again to ensure the pore doesn’t become infected.
5. Disinfect the blackhead extractor by washing it in hot, soapy water.
HOME REMEDIES FOR BLACKHEADS
1. Clay mask
A facial mask is one skin saver for exfoliating and shedding off dead cells from the skin. It so mild, deep cleanses, calming and soothes the skin of dull appearance revealing more brighten and fresher skin. Here are facial masks for the fair complexion to make your skin glow. It helps clean the pores, leaving them smoother looking. I recommend using facial masks on a regular basis for the best results. But if you are dark in complexion you can also benefit from these natural masks for your complexion.
Examples are kaolin, bentonites, abrasive pastes, powders.
2. Pore Strips
This is available in stores like supermarkets, pharmaceutical. They are over-the-counter products with few bucks you can buy some and store at home for regular use. Pore strips can provide an instant remedy of some types of plugged pores. They’re applied to the T-zone most especially on the nose and allowed to stick on the skin for a few seconds and removed. At one glance on the strip, you will find some blackheads and whiteheads glued to it.
3. Baking Soda
One of my best quick home-based exfoliators is baking soda. It is a whitish powder substance with fine granules which is alkaline in nature. It so gentle when applied to wet skin. Rub in a circular motion for 5 minutes around the areas with blackheads and then rinse out with clean water. I love the effect on my skin after scrubbing. You feel so smooth, but one disadvantage I took cognizance of, after a few days your face look so rough with more of this whiteheads and blackhead all over your face. But with constant and regular use you can over this challenge. It a superb exfoliator and often used in microdermabrasion.
Other Remedies Includes;
4. Salicylic or Glycolic acid
An effective way to pull out sebum in clogged pores is by using beta- hydroxyl acids such as salicylic acid and glycolic acids (derived from sugar cane). It is a lipophilic and concentrates at the surface of the pore to dissolve the plugs. They help eliminates dead skin, sebum on the skin surface. Regular use will prevent the blackheads before they form and deep cleanse the pores.
Buy beauty products with retinoids. This vitamin A derivative is the best way to clear clogged pores and prevent blackheads from accumulating. Retinol formulations work on the receptors of the skin to improve the way rejuvenation of the skin to prevent acne formation. The dermis evens out and gets thicker while the outer dead layer of keratin material shed out.
Side effects can include skin peeling for first-time users but with frequent use, the skin appears more radiant and clearer.
Dermatologists and aestheticians are conversant with this procedure. It is a professional facial method of exfoliation. It comprises the use of chemical peel treatment and comedone extractions to help improve the texture of the skin and appearance.