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Whiteheads and Blackheads
Everyone wants to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. Can whiteheads or blackheads be removed safely?
by Brad Chase
Acne is a common skin condition affecting as many as 80% of all teenagers and 25 to 50% of adults, depending on gender.
Acne is caused when pores are filled with too much "sebum" (skin oil) and dead skin cells. These oils and cells clog the pores, and allow an otherwise harmless bacteria to reproduce with more frequency.
These clogged pores and bacteria lead to inflammation, and inflammation is what causes the visual appearance of acne.
While there is more than come kind of acne, most people are familiar with two of the most common types: whiteheads and blackheads.
Both whiteheads and blackheads can affect your appearance, which is why most people seek treatment options to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads.
The best way to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads is with prevention.
Once these types of acne occur, it is best to let them run their course. But if you can prevent acne using various acne prevention techniques, your skin will have fewer blackheads and whiteheads. Common acne treatment options include:
The more you take care of your skin health, the fewer whiteheads and blackheads your skin will have. That is why acne treatments are important, so that you have less acne to remove.
Many people try to get rid of whiteheads (and to a lesser extent blackheads) by popping them with their fingers.
This may seem like a good strategy, as it certainly drains some of the fluid out of the pimple. But in both the short and long term, this may actually be one of the worst things you can do for your acne. Popping your acne leads to a variety of problems, including:
It's common to think that you're curing the acne by popping it, but all you're doing is temporarily draining some of the pus deep inside. You're also releasing more bacteria, creating a red mark and potentially permanent looking acne scar, and putting yourself at risk for more painful lesions.
Many people believe there are home remedies that will help them get rid of whiteheads.
For example, many people believe that toothpaste is effective at removing whiteheads. While there is little scientific reason to believe that toothpaste work, most people report that as long as you choose a basic, mint paste toothpaste, it does appear to help them remove pimples. Those with sensitive skin, however, may find that their skin is left too red after using toothpaste as an acne treatment.
Beyond that, there are very few safe ways to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads other than letting them come out naturally.
If you insist on removing your blackheads before they come out naturally, make sure you are very careful about how you remove them:
Never use your hands to pop them or try to pop them using pressure on the outside of the acne, as this will only irritate the skin. Do not try to remove any whiteheads that cause a great deal of pain during removal.
It's not advised to pop any acne for the reasons described above, but with enough steam/heat/water and a good tool, you can get rid of some acne a little bit safer than the traditional method of popping with your fingers.
Otherwise, once the blackheads and whiteheads appear, there is little opportunity to remove them safely. The key is consistent prevention. Using the right acne treatments, you can prevent both blackheads and whiteheads, and decrease the need to remove them.
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