As we age and hit puberty our hormones start romping causing acne, blackheads and whiteheads. These hooligans appear like small black bumps on the skin due to clogged hair follicles. These bumps are called blackheads as they make the surface look black. These are mild types of acne and could form anywhere on the skin, arms, legs, back, chin, chest and shoulders. Whiteheads on the other hand are formed when our skin pores get blocked by dead skin cells, oil and bacteria. Generally, sebum which is produced by the male hormone androgen is the leading factor of this condition, however other factors such as
are equally responsible.
People have weird assumptions about acne, its causes and its effects. At times these misconceptions force you to change your likings, disrupts your routine making life difficult. For instance, people have myths like:
- Scrubbing away blackheads is a way to get rid of them – (that is what many advertisements feature) considering these people use different chemicals, scrubs and brushes, which is in fact hazardous.
- Eating fried, oily, spicy food and junk food gives way to blemish – another false accusation. Obviously eating healthy is necessary but having junk food or pickles has no direct impact on the skin, it also depends upon the quantity.
- It occurs due to menstrual problems – NO! Acne is caused by male hormones in both females and males. It also occurs after menopause.
- Makeup worsens – that is not true. Yes if the products used are of low quality they can clog follicles however right makeup helps to keep your skin moist and is therefore good for the skin.
- Stronger products are more effective – That is not true, in fact, they can harm your skin and have many side effects.
These little monsters always seem to appear at the wrong time, ruining the best of our moments. But don’t you worry lady here are some quick remedies, which could come in handy and erase the black pores of your best moments.
Stay as patient and peaceful as you can. Do not panic, it could worsen the problem. Stress and Anxiety is the most common cause, which troubles almost all women in most part of their lives. Be it major or minor it is stress, daily commuting, crowded places, noise pollution, deadlines, daily quarrels, breakup’s all could be very stressful. We tend to overthink and overreact to certain situations. Stress causes Acne and Inner growth to erupt which is another common reason. Acne causes our skin pores to open wide, it is also accompanied by puss, what else do these black/white monsters need? Inner growth is also a common phenomenon amongst young females. These newly invented hair removal crèmes and techniques cause inverted hair growth that is, it causes hair to grow under the skin.
Stay Clean and Fit believe it or not Yoga is essential for our skin health as well, we require sufficient oxygen to improve blood circulation and stay fit, keep our body fresh and free of dead cells. Therefore having a shower (using a scrub) regularly, keeping our body sweat-free is very necessary. After the shower, it is recommended that we apply moisturizers to keep our skin cells active and functioning. A clean and healthy body will not give place for even mild acne or other impurities.
Using Tools and Techniques
Laser Treatment is known as ‘bloodless surgery’, in this technique, pulsed light waves are transmitted directly to the affected area. In this process, bump cells absorb the light waves which destroy and disintegrate them. This is mainly used to remove blackheads from arms and legs. Shaving with razors can be hazardous to certain skin types, for those who are a little hairier than average, can cause inner growth or acne in closed regions. Even waxing, if pulled in the wrong direction inverts the hair growth. Therefore laser treatment is the best for a permanent remedy.
Dermabrasion is a form of cosmetic surgery in which, they use tools alongside topical treatment cream such as glycolic acid to manually remove blackheads, mainly from larger body regions. They wash away dead cells, which lodge blackheads formed by excess deposits of melanin cells. The procedure carries the risk of blotching skin, therefore is usually performed by dermatologists or trained plastic surgeons. It involves skin bleeding and needs to be curbed with pressure. However, this treatment is very effective in removing folliculitis, preventing bacteria to infect the hair follicle regions, especially legs, armpits, inner thighs.
Chemical Peels it intends to remove the outermost layer of the skin, the regenerated skin is usually smooth and wrinkle-free. This technique can be used to treat facial skin as well. They are minor peels which are safer for the skin as it is lighter and thin on the skin. It is recommended to consult a specialist before taking up this process and avoid deeper peels as it might cause serious problems. Before using skin whitening crèmes, which may cause irritation and redness, applying peeling oils helps comfort the skin. It is advised to not wash it off until two days.
Use Electrolysis if getting rid of shaving bumps is getting impossible, electrolysis removes the hair follicle, preventing hair growth. It is an electrochemical process in which electric current is passed between two electrodes through an ionized solution preventing hair from growing. This technique is useful for individuals with persistent clogging of hair follicles and ingrown hair. It removes hair roots or blemishes on the skin by application of heat and electric current. It does not hurt however it could give mild shocks in case of stubborn hair follicles. It is a permanent hair removal method as it destroys the sebaceous gland attached to the targeted hair follicle.
Retinoid A group of compounds having effects on the body like those of vitamin A. These are also effective in treating skin diseases and dermatological conditions. They are used in the regulation of cell proliferation these work as receptors in the skin to improve the way skin functions so that it is less likely to form acne. It evens the outer skin level and makes it thicker, while the outer layer sheds drastically. This technique has the least of side effects compared to the other difficult and harmful techniques.
Pore Strips this technique is just like waxing with normal wax strips. Pore strips get rid of the blackhead by pulling clogged material out of the skin pores. However these strips on one side are made of adhesive material, which sticks on the blackheads and when it is pulled off, the pores get free and unclogged. These strips are small and are mainly used for the face. You must proceed according to the instructions given on the strip. This technique does not use hard oils or crèmes and the adhesive material is already present. However, it is always advised to make your skin moist before applying these strips, for an easier grip as it is a manual process and it might hurt.
Some over the counter products which could come in handy are:
- AcneFree treatment terminator which contains benzoyl peroxide acne medication. AcneFree is also available in sprays and capsules.
- Clearasil- Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Acne Treatment Crème it fights inflamed skin and targets bacteria.
- Lavender oil it contains antioxidants like catalase and dismutase which prevents free radicals from damaging the skin.
- Pore Strips instantly unclogs pores from dirt and oil, for instance, Biore pore strips
- Charcoal crème masks are easily available peel off masks of various brands which will grip the impurities well when peeled off.
- Salicylic acid prevents the plugging of pores
- Sulphur removes dead skin cells and excess oil which could clog the skin pores
Easy Natural Homemade Remedies
Exfoliating With Baking Soda is one of the easiest methods to heal blackheads. Baking soda which is available in almost every house, and apple cider vinegar is the combination required. Vinegar contains astringent and anti-bacterial properties, however, water can also be used in place of vinegar. Baking soda is used in the microdermabrasion technique as well and can be used as a method of exfoliating that can help minimize blackheads if done on a regular basis. It is effective when you start exfoliating with a face cleansing brush. You might want to start off with twice or thrice a week and then carry on according to your skin’s response.
Clay Masks has absorbed properties and can be used as an exfoliant as it draws out impurities from the skin, unclogging pesky pores. This technique has been around since ancient times, it was previously used as mud-masks, however now the product is bottled and sold. Clay masks come in multitude colours. These absorb most impurities helping clean the acne affected regions. Apply the mixture gently upon the affected parts and massage until fully absorbed. Clay with kaolin, gently exfoliate and absorb existing oil using alcohol, however, it will accumulate again after the product is used, therefore the procedure must be followed regularly.
A mixture of Lemon and Sugar this mixture is always handy, easily available in every household. Another cure for blackheads can be used anywhere on the body. This mixture is easy to make and to be sure has no side effects. It carries efficient properties which can help mostly all skin types. Sugar will remove the inner grown acne from skin pores in order to clean skin pores improving overall skin texture and lemon a natural source of vitamin C will give the blemished skin an even tone. Lemon also helps in the cleansing process, removes all the impurities. When the mixture involves olive oil which is rich in vitamin E it heals the skin overall. It keeps the skin clean, hydrated and glowing, which is more this mixture can be stored for further use.
Black Pepper another homemade cure to get rid of ugly formation all over the body. It has many benefits like free radical; suspension, fights bacterial infections, rich in antibiotic properties. To prepare the mixture, to be applied on the affected skin area
- Take two teaspoons of black pepper seeds and grind them into a powdered texture.
- Add little water to the black pepper powder to make a paste
Then the procedure goes as follows
- Apply a thick layer of paste on the parts affected.
- Allow the thick layer of the paste to dry for at least 15-20 minutes
- Scrub it off with wet fingertips in a circular motion.
- If possible run some ice cubes over it.
Orange Peel orange peels are easily available and oranges are also healthy. Orange helps maintain the skin tone and odour while its peels help in cleansing the skin. One can proceed following the following precautions:
- Take two teaspoons of powder of orange peel.
- Add about three tablespoons of normal water or rosewater and make a paste.
- Squeeze orange peels on the region before applying the mixture.
- Apply the paste evenly over the affected area of the skin and let it dry for at least 20 minutes.
- Scrub off the dry mask from the face with wet fingertips gently.
- Wash your face clean with cold water.
Gram flour with Curd is recommended that you apply this mixture after shaving or waxing. Gram flour and curd is a mixture, which has been used since ancient culture when gram flour was used to have a bath. It helps to soften the skin as well as clean the affected region. Curd helps to moisturize the skin and helps keep it impurities free. Grind the mixture evenly, not leaving any lumps. Apply the mixture and wait till it dries, then scrub it off. Rinse your face with cold water. It has many benefits like
- Skin lightening
- Removes unwanted facial hair
- Fights acne
- Reduces oiliness
This is a slow process, though it is extremely beneficial for over skin health when followed daily.
Radish Seeds have amazing bleaching and acne-fighting properties that help remove impurities, from all parts of the body even the larger unreachable parts like inner thighs, it also helps remove freckles. Make a mixture of honey, milk and radish seeds and apply it evenly. This mixture is also used to get rid of redness, irritation and inflammation caused by acne. These seeds have a million health benefits as well for their detoxifying properties. It is enriched with vitamin B, vitamin C, zinc and phosphorus, which works wonders for the skin. Drinking its mixture with plain water helps keep the skin moisturized from inside.
Garlic is a multipurpose home remedy useful for skin, stomach, hair and overall health. The elements present in garlic-like, zinc, sulfur, calcium and allicin make it a powerful antibiotic and antifungal remedy. It helps in cleansing the skin, when our skin absorbs the minerals in garlic, it kills all bacteria and loosens the dead cells. It is useful for regions like the inner thigh region of obesity, which is difficult to reach. As we know by now that clean and healthy skin is the first step to get done with acne. It can be mixed with honey to soften the skin.
Precautions to avoid Blackheads and Whiteheads
- Maintain skin hygiene, this involves taking a bath regularly.
- Drink lots and lots of water.
- Keep your skin cool and moisturized with Aloe Vera, avoid using talcum powder and body deodorants.
- Moisturize and massage your skin before opting for any of the hair removing, acne cleaning tactics.
- Wear loose garments to avoid friction which causes the accumulation of bacteria.
What causes blackheads and whiteheads?
- Clogging of hair follicles by impurities like bacteria, oil and accumulation of dead skin cells, hormonal changes cause blackheads, they appear black as the bump is open and exposed to air, when the skin over the bump is closed it appears white.
Difference between ingrown hair and Blackheads?
- They may seem alike as both conditions are related to hair follicles yet they are different. Ingrown hair is when the direction of hair growth is inverted, it could grow in any direction even inside the skin, however, the latter condition refers to over secretion of sebum from sebaceous glands present in the skin which block hair follicles causing mild acne.
How long does it take to heal?
- It solely depends upon the skin type and how the skin reacts to various treatments. Using tools like pore strips and chemicals can remove the blemish immediately however the results are temporary. Permanent effective results will take time about 12-15 weeks with proper, regular treatment.
Will these methods eradicate blemishes entirely and permanently?
- Yes, these treatments can eradicate blemishes entirely though not permanently. For a permanent remedy, you will have to maintain proper skin health. Yes, these treatments will help to keep your skin clear for a long time impurities can recur.