Understanding Blackheads: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

August 2, 2023

People of all ages are susceptible to the dermatological issue known as blackheads. Open comedones, a kind of acne, are tiny, black spots that develop on the skin’s surface as a result of clogged hair follicles. Blackheads are not harmful, but if they are not treated properly, they can be ugly and could cause other skin problems.

Blackheads can be distinguished from other skin illnesses by knowing their symptoms, which makes it easier to diagnose and treat them.

 Areas of the skin with a higher density of oil glands are where blackheads frequently develop. The most typical places are:

 Nose: Blackheads frequently appear around the nose’s nasal alae (sidewalls of the nostrils) and nose bridge.

 Forehead: Blackheads can also be found there, especially in the T-zone, which is the area around the forehead, nose, and chin.

 Chin: Due to increased sebum production, the chin, particularly along the jawline, is prone to blackheads.

 Cheeks: Although they are less frequent in this location, blackheads can occasionally develop on the cheeks.

Blackheads have a distinctive size and texture. They may feel slightly scratchy and elevated when softly stroked. When compared to other types of acne lesions, including pustules or cysts, they are often smaller in size.

Blackheads should typically not be squeezed or picked at; however, some people may discover that they can be retrieved with light pressure. However, it is recommended to leave extraction to professionals or utilize appropriate tools and techniques in sterile settings, as poor extraction techniques might result in skin injury and subsequent difficulties.

Make an appointment with our expert dermatologist at Al Hilal Hospitals

Causes of blackheads

To properly manage and avoid the development of blackheads, it is essential to comprehend their causes. Let’s get into the specific causes of blackheads:

  1. Overproduction of sebum, the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin, is one of the main reasons for blackheads. Sebum is essential for lubricating the skin and preserving the proper balance of moisture.
  1. Changes in hormone levels have a big impact on how much sebum the skin produces. Due to this, adolescents frequently develop blackheads, particularly in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). Women are more likely to develop blackheads during these times due to hormonal changes brought on by menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
  1. Blackhead production may be influenced by poor or insufficient skin care. If you don’t routinely cleanse your skin, makeup, oil, dirt, and dead skin cells will build up on the skin’s surface. These pollutants have the potential to obstruct hair follicles over time, resulting in blackheads and other types of acne.
  1. Some cosmetics and skin care items may include substances that might clog pores and worsen the development of blackheads. These comedogenic components can clog hair follicles and cause blackheads by absorbing sebum and dead skin cells. Use only non-comedogenic products, which are designed specifically not to clog pores and cause acne.
  1. Due to their skin’s inclination to naturally produce more sebum, those with oily or combination skin types are more likely to develop blackheads. Contrarily, because their skin generates less oil, those with dry skin are less likely to develop blackheads. But even people with dry skin are susceptible to getting blackheads if they use heavy, pore-clogging cosmetics or neglect their skin.
  1. The development of blackheads can also be influenced by exposure to specific environmental conditions. For instance, excessive oil on the skin can result in clogged pores when combined with pollution, dust, and humidity. Blackheads may be more prevalent in urban areas with greater pollution levels.
  1. Genetics may also contribute to the development of blackheads. You can be more prone to getting blackheads if your family has a history of acne or oily skin.

Treatment for blackheads:

          a) Blackhead remover strips, which are available over the counter, can be placed on the troubled regions to aid in the removal of blackheads by drawing them out when the strip is peeled off.

          b) Topical Retinoids: Retinoids with prescription-strength can help cleanse pores and stop the development of blackheads.

          c) Chemical Peels: By exfoliating the skin and assisting in the removal of dead skin cells, chemical peels can help lessen the formation of blackheads.

          d) Manual extraction: Dermatologists might use specialized instruments to do manual extraction to delicately remove blackheads.

Call us right away to schedule an appointment with our dermatologist at Al Hilal Hospitals

and learn about the several efficient blackhead treatments we offer at our hospital to get clear, beautiful skin.

Blackhead Home Remedy:

While there are excellent home cures for blackheads, they can also be used in conjunction with professional treatments:

          a) Baking Soda: Mix baking soda and water into a paste, scrub the afflicted area with a soft brush, and then thoroughly rinse.

          b) Honey and Cinnamon: To treat blackhead-prone areas, make a paste by combining honey and cinnamon powder.

          c) Steam: Steaming your face on a regular basis might help open pores and make the elimination of blackheads easier.

Prevention of Blackheads:

For clear, healthy skin to be maintained, blackheads must be avoided. Here are some precautions to take:

          a) Cleanse your face twice a day with a mild cleanser to get rid of makeup, oil, and debris.

          b) Exfoliate: Removing dead skin cells on a regular basis can help prevent pore obstruction.

          c) Use skin care products marked “non-comedogenic” to prevent blocking pores.

          d) Refrain From Touching: Refrain from constantly touching your face, as this might spread bacteria and oil to the skin.

To develop healthy skin care practices and learn more about preventive steps that may be taken to lessen the occurrence of blackheads. Make an appointment with our expert dermatologist right away.

Although blackheads can be an annoying and recurring skin issue, the appropriate method can help you manage and even prevent them. For effective treatment techniques to be put into place.

If these remedies do not work for you, consult our dermatologist.

Written by: Dr. Rishi Hassan
MD- Dermatology