Why Blackheads Form:
• Skin pores collect dead cell debris, sebum, environmental grime, remains of make up et al. When this deposit is open to the air it gets oxidised and turns black. Thus form Blackheads or Open Comedones.
• The T zone (nose and forehead) has a higher concentration of sebum producing glands making these pores even more prone to pore blockage. When skin ages or is inflamed/irritated, these pores are enlarged, thus further increasing prevalence of blackheads (and whiteheads) - Grade 1 acne.
WHAT HAPPENS TO A BLACKHEAD OVER TIME:
It can form a pimple, if it gets infected by bacteria - or keep growing and burrow deeper in skin without being infected; in both cases leading to scarring and open pores.
Treatment Of Blackheads:
1. The best treatment for blackheads is prevention: Proper removal of make up and using a gently exfoliating face wash (containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids) twice a day are good habits.
2. Toners and astringents dry out the skin and do not help in changing the pore size or blockage.
3. Gentle massage with a towel in a steam room or hot shower, followed by cold water splashing - once a week helps.
4. Those prone to blackheads should have a benzoyl peroxide formulation on hand for bbedtime usage.
5. A medical facial that employs exfoliating peels and vacuum extraction can quickly resolve the issue of blackheads.
6. More florid acne/body acne requires a doctor's prescription for skin care with oral or topical vitamin A (retinoid) formulations.
Author: Dr Sonam Yadav, Medical Director, JUVERNE
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