Blackheads are non-inflammatory, small subcutaneous nodules, which are formed as a result of blocking the hair follicles, so-called skin pores, a mixture of sebum, dead, exfoliated epidermal cells and dirt.
As they are located deeper than the open comedones and therefore have no access to air, they take the form of white lumps under the skin.
The cause of closed comedones is the excessive production of sebum by sebaceous glands. The formation of this type of changes is also facilitated by abnormal pore structure and impaired exfoliation of the epidermis cells.
Blackheads on the face are often also the result of improper care and the use of ill-chosen cosmetics, for example, those with comedogenic properties (clogging pores).
Most often, the problem of closed comedones concerns people with oily skin or mixed skin problem. Changes usually appear within the so-called T zone (nose and forehead). However, it happens that we are dealing with blackheads on the back or the chest.
Blackheads open or closed – how to recognize?
There are two types of comedones, namely:
- closed comedones – they form where the skin pores are plugged with a layer of dead skin cells); it’s so-called white comedones, which have the form of clearly visible and palpable lumps under the skin, filled with creamy horny fat mass;
- Open comedones – they are created where the skin pores are unblocked; they are so-called blackheads, in the form of black spots, with a smooth surface. They owe their color to the oxidation reaction of tallow components, i.e., fatty acids, and keratin.
Blackheads, both open and closed, are mild skin lesions. However, their base (especially blackheads closed) may lead to the development of local inflammation, a formation of purulent papules or pustules. It is due to bacterial superinfections because the lipids present in sebum are an excellent medium for these microorganisms.
Facial cleansing – a treatment for closed comedones
Skin with a tendency to blackheads requires proper care, in which facial cleansing plays a key role.
Cleansing the skin should be done twice a day, in the morning and the evening, using a properly selected preparation. If we are struggling with blackheads on the face, it is important that their consistency is light and fat-free.
A preparation in the form of gel, foam or micellar liquid will work. It allows you to get rid of make-up remnants, excess sebum, dirt, and other impurities.
For this treatment, you can also use a facial brush that will not only cleanse the skin more thoroughly but also slightly peel off the skin and improve skin microcirculation. A convenient solution is to choose a face wash gel with a brush.
If the cleansing preparation requires rinsing, use lukewarm water for this purpose.
Then the skin should be wiped with a tonic (non-alcoholic), which will restore its proper pH, optimal for maintaining the bacterial flora on the surface of the physiological skin.
How to choose a good cream for blackheads?
The next step in skin care with blackheads is the application of an appropriate cream, with a light, non-greasy consistency, without the content of comedogenic ingredients:
- by day, creams containing moisturizing and soothing ingredients, such as urea, allantoin, panthenol, green tea, as well as UV filters, will work best.
- Overnight, creams with nutritional, sebourgulatory and slightly exfoliating properties, containing substances such as alfa and beta-hydroxy acids, zinc compounds, yeast extract or vitamin B 6 will be suitable.
In addition to the daily care of the skin with blackheads, it should be done once or twice a week, a face peeling, a preparation appropriately selected for the type and needs of the skin (chemical, enzymatic or granular).
This treatment not only removes dead and losing cells of the epidermis, thanks to which it unblocks the pores, but also cleanses the hair follicle recesses and improves their shape, thanks to which it regulates the secretion of sebum and allows it to release onto the skin’s surface freely.
After this treatment, you can apply a blackhead mask on the skin, for example, cleansing, based on clays or yeast, which have antibacterial properties, a string pores, brighten and smooth the skin.
Homemade ways for blackheads closed
In the case of skin lesions in the form of closed comedones, preparations made independently at home, with the use of generally available ingredients in shops or pharmacies, which include herbal tonics, e.g., chamomile, cucumber, lemon.
The blackheads will also help the aspirin tonic, made of 15 tablets of aspirin dissolved in 100 ml, boiled water. Acetylsalicylic acid exfoliates and cleanses the skin. Also, you can add a few drops of glycerin or pitch oil to the tonic, to enhance the antimicrobial effect.
Removing closed blackheads will help toners from kerosene oil and pichtowy oil. Peelings made of ground rice and milk or ground barley and oat flakes, mixed with hot, boiled water, are also a way of making blackheads healthy.
A home mask for the face, which can also bring a satisfactory effect in the fight against blackheads is a mask made of flaxseed, whipped egg white with the addition of lemon juice, cucumber or cranberry.
Also, a balanced diet, in which one should, first of all, beware of sugars, saturated fats, and highly processed foods influence the improvement of skin condition.
Removing comedones in a beauty salon
There are many ways to have blackheads, but if you have a severe problem, you may want to consider a professional cosmetologist or dermatologist. The most common treatments for skin with imperfections used in the treatment of comedones include:
- manual cleansing – manual kneading of blackheads;
- ionophoresis – the use of a magnetic field to introduce active substances into the skin;
- cavitation peeling – ultrasound treatment;
- microdermabrasion – abrasion of the outer layers of the epidermis.
The treatment of closed comedones is also proven by exfoliation with AHA or BHA acids and laser treatments.
For the blackheads not to convert, a few care principles should be followed. It is worth remembering that the skin condition is adversely affected by self- pressing of blackheads, which may result in the spread of inflammation and the formation of unsightly scars.
Long-term dry skin is also harmful — lack of proper hydration results in increased sebum production.
Skin with blackheads also harms the use of too strong sub-regulatory preparations that dry the skin excessively and thus stimulate excessive sebum production. These include alcohol or menthol, but also soap.