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Acne affects many people, especially during adolescence. Adults tend to get it as well, especially women, due to stress and hormonal changes, while tobacco is another factor that contributes to the forming of blackheads for people who are inclined to get acne.
The way the skin reacts to these external factors is by getting spots, pimples, and blackheads that can negatively affect our skin. In the following article, we aim to explain how to treat blackheads with natural remedies and with other types of treatments which are beneficial for the whole skin.
The medical term for spots, pimples, and blackheads is "comedo," and it comes from the Latin "comedere," meaning "to eat up," and was historically used to describe parasitic worms; nowadays, it is used to suggest the worm-like appearance of the expressed material.
The real cause of pimples is an excess of oil production in the sebaceous glands, or hair follicles clogging the pores. Affected areas are the face, back, and neck, as well as the upper chest.
When the skin covers the spot, it is called a whitehead, and when the pore is open, we call it a blackhead. There is also the case of inflamed pustules which is called acne.
When sebum on the surface of the skin clogs pores and is exposed to air, the result is a blackhead.
There are many ways of treating blackheads without damaging the skin. As follows, we will have a look at medicine and natural remedies for blackheads that everyone can try at home; as well as mention some situations that require specialized help.
There are many gels and special acne soaps available on the market, and while some can irritate the skin, especially if it's dry or sensitive, others are gentle and have a soothing effect. Cleansing gels keep the pores clean and avoid blackhead formation.
The most common medicines used for blackhead removal are retinoid compounds (such as Isotretinoin) and azelaic acid. Both have had excellent results in blackhead removal and mitigating the effects of acne, although, the azelaic acid is less aggressive.
Pore strips are adhesive patches that you place on the face to remove blackheads. They're easy to use and painless, which is why they're such an effective remedy against spots.
If you want to use a pore strip for the first time, all you have to do is wet one of its sides and then place it on the nose for about 15 minutes. Once the strip has dried, you can remove it and get rid of those pesky blackheads. For maximized effects, use a cleansing gel for a few days before applying a strip.
Many dermatologists and beauticians use a tool called "comedone extractor" to get rid of spots and blackheads. These extractors have at one end a small spoon with a hole in the middle which fits snugly around the blackhead; when used carefully, it pushes out the trapped sebum and releases it from the skin.
Specialists recommend sterilizing these tools with rubbing alcohol before you use them, to avoid bacteria getting into your pores. Another important trick is to fully cleanse the skin with warm water to expand the pores and loosen the sebum.
Eating fruit and vegetables is beneficial for the facial skin as well as the rest of our bodies because they contain many vitamins and antioxidants. At the other end of the spectrum, we recommend reducing the intake of saturated fat and refined sugars, which dry out the skin and give it an aged look.
Using a clay mask once a week helps reduce oily skin, which in turn minimizes the number of spots and blackheads that we get. For excellent results, leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes.
Aside from the external medicine we've mentioned, such as retinoid compounds and azelaic acid, other frequent drugs include antibiotics like erythromycin, which can be administered both orally and in ointment form. There are also hormonal therapies available which relieve the effects of acne.
These therapies, however, should never be performed without specialized supervision due to the side effects that blackspot medicine can have; thus we should always monitor the process and make sure there are no unwanted results.
Other than blackhead removal tools, beauticians sometimes use laser treatments with light and heat (PDT- Photo Dynamic Therapy). These surgical interventions have a higher risk of scarring but significantly fewer side effects than medicine.
There are many natural remedies against acne, including aloe vera, lemon or lime juice, turmeric, apple vinegar, and milk whey.
Scientific research has yet to discover evidence that supports the use of these homemade remedies, but some have yielded good results in isolated cases. Thyme is believed to have a similar effect on acne as medicine does, but research at this time is non-conclusive.