Do not think for a second that you are alone in the battle against whiteheads. Whiteheads do not spare even adults, let alone adolescents or even those well past their teens! It is estimated that over 85% of adolescents and adults suffer from acne related problems such as whiteheads, of which only a third actually talk to their physicians about it. It is an erroneous belief that whiteheads erupt when a person does not wash his/her face properly, even if it may be true in some cases. However, the causes are indeed often linked to diet and hormones. So what exactly are whiteheads and what triggers their eruption? Known as ‘closed comedones’ in medical terms, whiteheads are a type of acne that appear when the body is attacked by certain kinds of bacteria. Sometimes your hair and skin become oily even if you may not have applied oil to them. This is because your body secretes its own oil known as ‘sebum’, to keep your hair and skin lubricated. This ‘sebum’ can accumulate in the hair follicles and eventually block it. Once this happens, bacteria attack the skin and start multiplying in the blocked oil-filled follicle. This causes inflammation, redness and swelling in the affected area. And as the body deals with the bacteria, what manifests next is a nice pearly spot sticking out like a sore thumb on your face, and this is what is called a whitehead. Whiteheads differ from blackheads in that the follicles in whiteheads have a microscopic opening to the skin surface. This does not allow air to oxidize the material inside, keeping it white. Read through the following tips for reducing whiteheads on your face.
Image: © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography@flickr
Ways To Remove Whiteheads
- Remain hydrated throughout the day to remove toxins from your skin. Drink lots of water and fresh juices.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water and a mild soap or gentle cleanser at least twice a day.
- Use an oil-free moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying. Dry skin is very prone to whiteheads.
- Avoid touching your face if your hands have not been washed, otherwise bacteria may cause your skin to get infected.
- An exfoliating product can be used for smoothening your skin.
- Splashing water on your face two to three times a day is a good way of controlling excess oiliness.
- Ensure that the skin care products you use are really well-suited to your skin type. Certain chemicals can trigger terrible skin allergies.
- Avoid heavy makeup if you are prone to whiteheads. Even if you wear makeup, take care to remove it without fail before hitting the bed.
- Develop a daily skin care regimen, and stick to it as far as possible. Use a toner and moisturizer to keep your skin clean and soft.
- Pricking the whitehead is no way to banish it. This can only further blemish your face.
- Exercise and eat nutritious food to keep your body, skin and mind healthy.
- Shower and shampoo thoroughly after a hard workout. Not doing this would mean sweat combining with surface oils and blocking facial skin pores – a sure recipe for whiteheads.
- Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are some of the medications recommended in the treatment of whiteheads. However, consult a doctor before you use them.
- Consult your dermatologist if the whiteheads persist for too long.