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How to Get Rid of Blackheads

Oct 22, 2007
If you suffer from blackheads you know what a problem they can be and trying to figure out how to get rid of blackheads can be time consuming and expensive. It's like a never ending battle to rid your self these little pustules that crop up all over your face, shoulders and back. You try the latest treatments, go to the dermatologist, and rub different types of cream on your skin all to no avail. They just keep coming back.

There is a bacteria, known as Propionibacterium Acnes, which lives on our skin. Normally this bacteria doesn't cause any problems as long as it stays on the skins surface. It's when it gets into our pores and hair follicles that it begins to cause problems.

There are tiny glands at the base of each hair follicle that produce an oily substance called sebum. This sebum flows continuously to the skins surface keeping the bacteria out. When the sebum, cells known as keratinocytes that line the follicle, and the hair itself plug the follicle the bacteria are able to enter the follicle and the blackhead begins to form. The body sees the bacteria as a foreign invader and sends white blood cells to counter the bacterial invasion. This results in inflammation and before long the wall of the plugged follicle break apart spilling the infection into the surrounding skin. This infection leads to the creation of pimples and blackheads.

There are several factors which lead to these outbreaks of pimples and for some people make an already bad condition worse.

* Hormones - This is particularly true of teens going through puberty as well as a womans hormone changes during her monthly menstrual cycle, pregnancy and even the birth control pills she is taking.

* Oil from skin products and cosmetics.

* Pressure from tight or restrictive clothing, sports helmets, backpack straps and anything else that does not allow the skin to breathe.

* Pollution and high humidity

* Squeezing and picking at blackheads.

* Scrubbing your skin to hard.

* Stress.

It is also a myth that the foods you eat can cause pimples and blackheads. There is no scientific evidence that chocolate and greasy food can cause outbreaks. This does not mean that you should eat an unhealthy diet because the better you treat your body the better it can handle the stresses that may lead to blackheads.

There are several things you can do to get rid of blackheads and keep them from coming back:

* Cleaning your skin gently, particularly your face. It is best to use a mild cleanser twice a day. Do not scrub your face with a rough scour pad and do not use an astringent except for on very oil spots. You can make your blackheads worse if you aren't gentle with your skin care.

* Don't pick at and pop your blackheads. As fun as this may be for some people it can lead to scarring and dark skin blotches.

* Shaving carefully. Make sure your razor is sharp and thoroughly soften your whiskers with warm soap and water. Nicking existing blemishes can make your blackhead outbreaks worse.

* Don't over expose your skin to the sun. While it may appear that a nice tan makes your blackheads go away in reality it only makes them less visible. The risks of over exposure to the sun, rapid skin aging and skin cancer, far outweigh any benefit a tan will have for your condition.

* Cosmetics. It is best to choose cosmetics that are oil free. Look for labels that say noncomedogenic. This means they will not lead to clogged pores.

Almost everyone has to deal with outbreaks of blackheads during their life. Nearly 80% of people between the ages of 11 to 30 are affected by them at least once in their life. By the time most people reach their thirties the outbreaks of blackheads disappear. There are people however who continue to have outbreaks well into their 40s and 50s.

If you are careful with your skin and follow these tips on how to get rid of blackheads then your chances of having clear blemish free skin are greatly improved.
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