Blackheads or blackheads are small dark spots that grow on the pores of the skin. Blackheads generally appear on the face, but can also grow on other parts of the body, such as the back, chest, neck, shoulders, and hands.
Blackheads generally do not cause as much pain as acne, but are easily seen on the surface of the skin due to its dark color. Therefore, if it grows on an open skin surface, such as on the face, blackheads may interfere with appearance.
Causes of Blackheads
Blackheads can form due to the accumulation and blockage of dead skin cells and oils in the hair follicles on the skin surface. This accumulation can then protrude out of the pores and become blackheads after being oxidized by air.
There are several factors that can increase the likelihood of blackheads on the skin, including:
- Irritation of hair follicles
- Excessive oil production
- Accumulation of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria in the skin
- Hormonal changes, such as during menstruation or as a result of taking birth control pills or certain medications
In addition, the consumption of certain foods and beverages is also said to trigger the formation of blackheads, such as various dairy products and foods that are high in sugar. Even so, this still needs further research.
How to Overcome Blackheads
Before dealing with blackheads, the first thing to remember is never to scratch them.
Instead of healing, blackheads can increase inflammation and worsen the condition of the skin. The reason is that there are a lot of bacteria and dirt on the hands that can move as you dig blackheads.
If so, here are some ways you can deal with blackheads:
1. Use products that contain salicylic acid
When buying skin care products, read the label on the packaging, then choose a product that contains salicylic acid. This content has the ability to clean dead skin cells and excess oil, so that even blackheads are easier to lose.
2. Use retinoid creams and lotions
Retinoid creams and lotions made from vitamin A are also able to open the pores and help regenerate the skin. However, the use of retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, so it is best to use this cream shortly before bed at night.
Retinoid creams or lotions generally require a doctor’s prescription, but there are also some products you can buy freely at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
3. Perform chemical peeling
This is a method of skin care using chemicals, such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinoic acid, which are high in content. This treatment will exfoliate the top layer of your skin until it is replaced with a newer and smoother layer of skin.
With this method, dead skin oils and cells that cause blackheads can also be lifted.
4. Undergo laser therapy
Laser therapy is a skin care method performed by shooting a laser into the skin. This method is done to reduce oil production and kill bacteria on the skin. The advantage of laser therapy is being able to reach the bottom of the skin surface without damaging the upper skin layer.
Blackhead Prevention Tips
- Having blackheads, especially on the skin of the face, is certainly not pleasant. As a precautionary measure, you can try the tips below:
- Wash your face when you wake up and before bed. Avoid washing your face more than 2 times a day.
- Clean the face with your fingertips gently, no need to use a sponge or brush that can irritate the skin.
- Avoid direct sunlight exposure.
- Avoid touching the face when not needed.
- Use alcohol-free skin care products.
- Use a facial cleanser with a gentle scrub. Stop using if the scrub irritates the skin.
- Use skin care products or cosmetics that do not cause blackheads (noncomedogenic).
Living a healthy lifestyle can also maintain overall skin health. Therefore, as much as possible get used to always consuming food with a balanced diet, adequate fluid needs with white water, diligent exercise, and adequate sleep.