The face is full of pores, and can have up to 300 thousand of them. Within each, there are hair follicles.
It is in these follicles where the hair roots and sebaceous glands are, responsible for the production of sebum, a type of fat that prevents the skin from becoming dry.
Several factors can cause the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum.
When this happens, the sebum fills the follicle that can become clogged. But that does not prevent the gland from continuing to produce sebum, which gets trapped inside, creating the blackhead.
In which region of the body do the blackheads appear?
The region of the body in which the appearance of blackheads is most common is the “T” zone, that is, the forehead, nose and chin . This is because this is the region of the body where there is a greater amount of sebaceous glands, therefore being a more oily and favorable place for the appearance of these comedones.
It is less common, but it is also possible to have blackheads on the back and ear, which can turn into pimples.
Carnations do not always appear as black dots. There are two types:
Blackheads are better known and more obvious. They appear when the clog causes the sebum that is in contact with oxygen to harden, darkening and acting as a cap for the follicle.
It is called the open blackhead, since the pore is not closed by skin, only by sebum. This type of carnation is easy to remove.
White carnations, also called closed carnations , happen when the pore becomes clogged by the skin’s own keratin production. This is because some pores are narrower than others. When the pore is closed in this way, the sebaceous gland continues to produce sebum, which cannot get out of the pore, creating the white clove.
The difference between white and black carnation is that one forms inside the skin and the other outside. This makes it difficult to remove the carnation, in addition to being easily confused with another condition, the milium . Furthermore, because it is open, the black carnation rarely becomes a pimple.
White carnations and milliuns
White carnations are very similar to milliuns, small keratin cysts that appear on the skin. A milium can appear at any age, but they are more common in newborns. In most cases, they disappear in a few weeks on their own.
Unlike white carnations, milliuns cannot be squeezed. Attempting to do so can cause skin sores, leave scars and cause infections. A dermatologist can make the appropriate identification.
Blackheads arise when a pore becomes clogged and fills with sebum. This usually happens because of a large sebum production. Several factors can cause this production, such as hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy and puberty, enlarged pores, dryness of the skin and genetics.
Understand how it happens in each case:
Puberty and pregnancy
During puberty, several hormones are produced in the body, and the same is true during pregnancy. These hormones increase the production of oil in the skin, which is why these are times in life when many people develop blackheads and acne.
Dryness of the skin
Washing oily faces can prevent blackheads by removing excess sebum, but washing too much ends up having the opposite effect. This is called the rebound effect .
If you remove oil from your face too often, it can become dry, and the body can try to compensate, creating more sebum. This increase in sebum production facilitates the clogging of the pores, creating more blackheads instead of avoiding them.
Dilated pores produce more sebum, which also facilitates their clogging and the creation of new blackheads.
Make-up and cosmetics
Oily makeup can help with pore clogging, which would bring more blackheads to the face. If your skin is oily and you use oil-based products to moisturize your skin, your pores will also become clogged.
The biggest cause of blackheads is genetics. Each person’s body produces a different amount of sebum and, when it is excessive, blackheads appear.
Like acne, blackheads are shrouded in myths, many of them the same. They are as follows:
Blackheads are contagious
Blackheads are not contagious. Some bacteria that live on the skin can contaminate the blackheads, turning them into pimples, but these bacteria, most of the time, already live on everyone’s skin.
Toothpaste removes blackheads
The toothpaste is not meant to be used on the skin. It can dry out the tissue, causing oil to decrease momentarily, but the body will react and increase production, creating more blackheads.
Food causes blackheads
There is no clear evidence to connect the feeding with blackheads. Chocolates and peanuts are often linked to oiliness of the skin, which would increase the amount of blackheads and acne, but there is no evidence that this happens.
Masturbation causes blackheads and pimples
The connection between masturbation with blackheads and whiteheads is not real. The myth arose because both the practice of masturbation and the increase in oiliness of the skin begin at the time of puberty. Both situations are a consequence of the hormonal increase, but one does not cause the other.
Blackheads are arachnids on your skin
It is a myth with some truth in it. The carnations are not living beings , only the accumulation of sebum. However, they can attract some little creatures that like places with fat and no direct contact with the air. In addition to bacteria, the Demodex folliculorum mite likes to live inside follicles. Like all mites, it is an arachnid.
In addition, Demodex folliculorum does not need blackheads to live. The mite is common on human skin, and rarely causes any problems. It can stay in healthy follicles, but in some cases of problems like the immune system, it causes inflammation and itching with your bite.
Groups of risk
Almost everyone has carnations. Clogged pores are common, but some people have more than others. The main risk groups are:
You can’t escape. Puberty brings hormones in droves, for everyone, and these hormones cause the sebaceous glands to increase their sebum production, which causes blackheads and pimples. Acne affects up to 80% of teenagers, and blackheads always come with it.
Like puberty, pregnancy discharges hormones from the woman’s body, and blackheads appear in greater quantities.
Excessive makeup can clog pores, causing them to fill with sebum and create blackheads.
How is the diagnosis made?
Blackheads are clearly visible and appear quickly when the skin becomes oily. The little black dots are the definitive sign and the person himself can diagnose them through simple observation.
However, due to the possibility of confusion between white and milli blackheads, it is important that a dermatologist examine them to be sure.
Can you squeeze blackheads?
The most recommended is to avoid squeezing blackheads, because by squeezing them too tightly it is possible to cause an injury to the skin, causing more severe scarring. In addition, the chances of an inflammation of the blackheads occurring and they become a pimple are greater, due to the microorganisms present in our hands.
Therefore, it is recommended to perform a skin cleaning with a professional beautician. At home, to be safe, it is best to squeeze after a hot shower, as the pores will be open and the blackheads will be easier to remove.
The hands must also be very well sanitized and the use of other instruments, if necessary, as well.
Is it okay to take off the carnations?
Yes, but it should be done by professionals, in a skin cleaning. It is also possible to remove them at home, but this must be done through exfoliation and vaporization, so that the pores dilate and the comedones soften.
How to remove blackheads from the nose and face?
It is recommended to consult a dermatologist so that the removal of the blackheads is done. However, if you want to do the job yourself, it is possible.
White carnations, because they are covered with keratin, need specific products for removal without breaking the skin. Otherwise, “popping” white carnations increases the risk of infection, and there is still the possibility of confusion with milliuns.
Because the pores are open, blackheads can be removed easily, and the removal can be done at home if there is no infection. But, before poking your skin, it is good to take some precautions:
Before removing blackheads, wash your hands and face thoroughly. The idea here is to remove bacteria that, when they enter the pores, turn the blackheads into pimples.
Open the pores
Open pores make it easier to remove blackheads without wounds. To open your pores, you can use a hot water bath . The steam that comes out of the water during the bath expands the pores.
Another option is to fill a basin with hot water, place your head over it and cover it with a towel. The steam, trapped by the towel, will open your pores. But be careful not to burn yourself!
Removing the blackhead
Using a clean cloth, you can squeeze the skin around the blackhead, which will come out through the pore. Be careful and don’t use too much force. If it is excessive, you can hurt your skin.
Remembering that the skin and hands need to be very clean!
After removing the blackhead, it is important to wash the area thoroughly with warm water and soap. Some facial cleansers can be used on the skin to prevent it from appearing again.
If you opened your pores with steam, use water at room temperature to close them again, preventing bacteria from entering.
Peeling is an option for those who want to keep their face free of blackheads. The procedure is a deep cleansing of the skin, which removes the most superficial layer of it, including blackheads.
Video: squeezing blackheads
A lot of people like to see blackheads being removed. If you are one of these people, this video is for you.
Recipes for removing blackheads
There are some homemade recipes for removing blackheads. But beware! There is no evidence that they work or that they are safe, so be careful when using them.
You can make a homemade scrub using half a spoon of coffee powder and a spoon of homemade yogurt . The mixture should be rubbed gently over the face in a circular motion and used once or twice a week.
It is also possible to make a homemade scrub by mixing sugar with liquid soap . The recipe is simple, with materials that everyone has at home, and the carnations are bounced, facilitating access to them and their removal.
Another homemade scrub is made with honey and cinnamon . The mixture takes four teaspoons of honey and one of cinnamon, and must be applied on the face, in the parts where there are blackheads, at night, and left on the face until morning, when it must be washed. Repeating the procedure for two weeks should eliminate the blackheads.
Beat half a red apple, seeded but peeled, in a blender along with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Rub the mixture on your face and leave for ten minutes. Wash with warm water.
Do not sunbathe after using this recipe without washing your face and hands thoroughly! The acidity of the lemon, reacting with the sun, can leave spots on the skin.
Yogurt, cucumber and parsley mask
Beat two tablespoons of plain yogurt, parsley leaves and half a cucumber in a blender, until there is a homogeneous paste. Apply to the face and let it rest for 15 minutes, then remove the mixture from the skin with warm water.
You can make a skin tonic using half a glass of saline and an approximately 3 cm piece of cucumber. After mixing the mixture in a blender, just use a piece of cotton to pass the result on your face. There is no need to rinse.
Facilitate the removal of blackheads
You can mix half a glass of warm water with 10 drops of tea tree essential oil , moisten pieces of cotton in the liquid and leave the cotton to rest on your face for about twenty minutes. This should make the blackheads looser and easier to remove. Remember to clean your hands thoroughly before removing the blackheads, avoiding infections.
Another way to get rid of blackheads is to use anti-blackhead dermocosmetics, such as:
- Actine Darrow Facial Scrub ;
- Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel ;
- Effaclar Concentrated Facial Cleansing Gel La Roche-Posay ;
- Clean & Clear Astringent Deep Cleansing Lotion ;
- Asepxia Gel Shower .
Always consult a dermatologist to indicate the correct treatment according to your needs.
In general, blackheads are not a major nuisance and can disappear on their own, but it is always a good idea to keep an eye on them.
An infected blackhead can become a pimple or a cyst . Pimples disappear on their own after a while, but they should not be broken so as not to leave a scar and not get infected again.
Blackheads, by themselves, do no harm, but the accumulation of sebum can attract bacteria. These microorganisms find nutrients in the blocked pore and can lodge there, causing an infection. This can cause some problems. Understand:
An infected blackhead is a pimple. When bacteria feed on the sebum produced in the clogged pore, they start to reproduce and cause inflammation.
Pimples should not be squeezed . Squeezing a pimple can spread the infection. Usually, they disappear on their own, with your immune system expelling them.
However, in some cases, depending on the amount of bacteria, the spine can become inflamed. When this happens in white carnations, the papule appears that leaves the tissues around the carnation red, swollen and slightly sore.
With a strong enough inflammation, that classic spine of day of meeting or presentation of school appears. A bubble of pus forms above the skin, and it looks ready to explode.
As tempting as the will is, don’t squeeze your spine. The infection will only get worse, and squeezing pustules can leave large scars on the face. The thing is to wait for it to pass.
Most people will experience acne, often during adolescence. Blackheads, in themselves, do not lead to acne, but since both appear due to the increase in skin oiliness, they can be an initial sign of the condition.
Acne is when multiple pores are blocked by sebum production. It can be mild, appearing in the form of blackheads, and develop for pimples, pustules and cysts under the skin. Acne has no cure, but most of the time it passes over time, often lasting less than puberty.
The pimples caused by acne can cause problems with self-esteem, and bursting them leaves several scars on the patient’s face.
If your acne is severe and you have pimples on your chest or back, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. Look for a dermatologist and he will be able to refer you.
How to prevent blackheads?
The main way to prevent blackheads is by keeping your skin very well hygienic clean and your pores unclogged. For this, it is important to keep sebum production under control and choose the right products, such as those that do not cause pore clogging and that do not increase oiliness. Some tips are:
Wash the face
Wash your face with water, using antibacterial soap or salicylic acid once in the morning and once in the evening.
Excessive washing can dry out the skin and cause the glands to increase sebum production, but maintaining regular and moderate cleansing prevents build-up and clogging of the pores.
Avoid using hot water, as it also dries out the skin.
Protecting the skin from the sun prevents it from becoming dry, which increases sebum production and decreases its elasticity, facilitating clogging. However, the use of a specific sunscreen for the face is important, since the skin on the face is different and the normal sunscreens are usually more oily, which facilitates the clogging of the pores.
Avoid comedogenic makeups
Also, always avoid sleeping with makeup on. The use of micellar water can help remove makeup and control oiliness.
Read more: L’Oréal Paris Micellar Water Review: what is it for, benefits, is it good?
Blackheads affect most people, but it is possible to prevent them from becoming a bigger problem, reduce their number and impact on our lives! Share it with your friends to let them know it too!
And if you have more serious problems with blackheads and acne, see a dermatologist, he will know how to help you!