Clogged pores, called comedones, are skin problems like blackheads, whiteheads and acne which are created by excess skin oils and skin irritation. The main difference between blackheads and whiteheads is when the pores get blocked, the exposed part reacts to the air and becomes either black or yellowish white. Removing blackheads and whiteheads require the same procedures, and some of these methods can help get rid of acne. When blackheads appear, the clogged up pores will be slightly swollen, inflamed or will enlarge. Blackheads usually appear on the nose and in other areas of the face, but they be found in the chest, upper arm and back.
Dirt, dust, excess skin oil, lack of a proper cleansing routine, improper diet, and toxin buildup in the body are some of the primary causes of blackheads. If you have blackheads, you may need to detoxify, monitor your diet, and have a good cleansing regimen. Note that exfoliation can be done only one a week as the skin layer needs time to regenerate itself. Before doing any blackhead removal procedure, cleanse the area. For maximum results, use a facial steam machine or use a hot towel to open up the pores of the affected area. Here are the ways to remove blackheads:
Blackhead remover tool. This is a metal stick that has a thin wire loop on one end and a sharp lancet on the other end, or have wire loops on both ends. To use, place the loop around the blackhead, press it down gently and pull the loop very slowly to force the blackhead out as the pressure is placed on one side. The lancet is used to poke a tiny pinhole into the eye of the blackhead so that an opening can be created. Make sure to remove all the pus-like oil. Do not press the blackhead remover tool so hard that it will create a depression on the skin. When the unwanted elements have been removed by this push-pull movement, wipe the tool clean on a piece of tissue paper before removing another one. After removal, treat the area with ice to close the pores. Do not use harsh toners or alcohol-based products after as it will be painful and scabs might get created.
Pore strips. Adhesive strips shaped to fit the nose and takes out a lot of blackheads in one session. To use, peel off adhesive backing and place to cover one outer nostril, the bulbous nose center, and then cover the other nostril. Flatten to adhere it well and wait for 15 minutes. Hold one end and take off the pore strip in a swift motion. It will cause a temporary sharp pain as when the adhesive pulls at the skin. The small black lines taken out by adhesive are the blackheads. Discard the pore strip.
Vacuum blackhead remover. This is a device that has a small suction cap. The older models have the suction cap attached to a hose, and the newer models, blackhead vacuum guns, are more compact and handy. The suction cap is place on the affected area to suck out the oils painlessly. The area has to be vacuumed at least twice or thrice as the gentle action cannot take out all unwanted oils in one pass.
Chemical peels. Light and deep chemical peels can help get rid of a variety of skin problems such as blackheads, acne, age spots, wrinkles and light scars. Depending on the strength of the peeling solution, the top layer of the skin will be stripped off. There will be slight pain and discomfort but the new skin will emerge after a short period of time. Care should be taken not to force the outer layer off and application of of burn ointment on the treated area is needed to ensure an even peel.
Blackhead remover masks, creams and oils. These are applied onto the affected area and taken off after 15 to 30 minutes. The blackheads will come out of the skin pores and gently removed along with the product. These products have to be used repeatedly until all the blackheads have been removed.
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