Acne Magazine

All About Acne and How to Treat This Skin Condition

Remedies for Blackheads

What is a Blackhead Anyway?

Blackheads are notorious for being difficult to remove.  Why? They are usually really embedded in the pore, and removing them often requires a special blackhead removal tool (often called an extractor), or the skillful hands of a trained esthetician who can properly remove it using their fingers.

If you force a blackhead out or remove it incorrectly, you could end up with an inflamed pore which can look worse than the blackhead you were trying to remove.  You can also end up with a small scar that will be difficult to get rid of, or a permanently or semi-permanently enlarged pore that is difficult to close up again.

Blackheads most commonly appear on the face. They can also appear in the ears, on the back, neck and other areas of the body with active oil glands.  They most often appear on the nose. This is because your nose is part of the notorious “T zone”, which is the T shaped area of the face where oil glands most actively produce sebum.

Sebum traps the dirt and debris in the pores, which are numerous on the nose, and are usually larger there and on the sides of the nose than the pores on the rest of the face.  When the dirt becomes trapped, it lodges in the pore and creates the “blackhead” appearance of a black, slightly enlarged pore.

There Are a Couple of Remedies to Remove Blackheads – Using the Extraction Method, or Acid to Dissolve the Debris

One of the best ways to remove a blackhead (this is the only way to remedy it) is to either dissolve it with a few acidic mask treatments, which we’ll get in to in a moment, or to have it professionally removed.

This means removal can happen via the hands of someone trained, or you can buy a professional extraction tool and get the job done on your own, with very careful instruction.  When purchasing an extraction tool, I would recommend you visit a site that offers several of them and also that offers reviews by real customers.

Of course, Amazon qualifies as a good one to visit since they offer several skin care and beauty products and people often leave feedback on the site. There is also Drugstore.com and Beauty.com which offer customer reviews of products so customers can make better decisions based off other’s experiences.

Remember, you don’t have to buy the most expensive tool to get good results. You just have to buy a high quality extraction tool, one that has gotten good results for others. This also doesn’t mean you should go cheap – this often is a bad idea.

Using an Acid-Based Skin Peel is Also one of the Good Blackhead Remedies Out There

One of the ways you can remove or diminish blackheads without forced removal is to purchase an at-home acid peel. Preferably glycolic acid or a combination of glycolic acid and lactic acid. Glycolic acid is a bit more harsh than lactic, so I’ve found that the combination of the two is a good one.

Another good one is a salicylic acid peel. You’ve probably heard of this acid because it is actually used in a lot of acne products for topical skin care.  It is great for acne because it gently helps keep the pores clean of debris, dirt and bacteria by lightly exfoliating the dead stuff away in a non-mechanical way.

Doing acidic peels once a week should help to diminish your blackheads because it penetrates the skin layers, and can help open them up and break up the stuff in the pores that is causing the black appearance.

Not only can they help break up blackheads already in existence, but they can also help prevent new ones from forming by keeping the pores clear of the dirt the builds up.  Remember to cleanse with a gentle acne facial cleanser and then do your peel once your face is totally dry.

Lactic acid is great too because it helps to soften the face, making it appear more smooth and supple. It is also one of the more gentle acids to use on the face and may be used a bit more often than the deeper penetrating ones like glycolic acid.  I will warn you, these peels tend to burn and tingle when applied, especially the glycolic peel.

This means they are exfoliating the skin layers, revealing new skin layers, and helping to free up the pores of blackheads.  They also help create a smoother appearance, reducing the pore size if you do them often enough.  This helps to keep the pores tight and closed, avoiding the clogging that happens when they are too “open” all the time.

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  • February 3, 2012 at 11:35 pmArletha Mashiah

    Thanks for sharing your story. I? can relate, because I suffered with acne as a teen. It washorrible. In the end, I found that natural cures worked the best for me, and I tried all kinds of pills and potions that weren’t suitable for my type of acne.

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