Blackheads…!!! Why does blackheads occur and it’s precautionary measures

Blackheads…!!! Why does blackheads occur and it’s precautionary measures

Blackheads are the most common skin conditions facing by most people. Blackheads, also known as open comedones, are follicles that have a wider than normal opening. They are far different from pimples, but they are a type of acne whereas pimples are small, painful, contain white and yellow fluid (pus) in it and mainly caused due to hormonal changes. On the other hand blackheads are also due to hormonal changes but the open pores are filled with excess oils, dead skin, bacteria and other germs too. They are filled with plugs of sebum, keratin, and sloughed-off cells and have undergone a chemical reaction resulting in melanin oxidation. This gives the material in the follicle the typical black color. 

There are many reasons for causing blackheads, including too much oil on your skin and hair follicle irritation. Blackheads commonly affect adolescents, but they can occur at any age. Blackheads are often found on the nose, but can also be found on other areas of the face, back, neck, chest, arms, and shoulders as there are more hair follicles in these areas. It is not always possible to prevent blackheads, but good cleansing habits, lifestyle tips, and a range of natural and other remedies may help. It is also believed that  poor hygiene does not directly cause blackheads. Excessive scrubbing in an attempt to remove them can make them worse.

Causes of Blackheads

Major Factors that can cause blackheads are

  • Overproduction of skin cells by the body can cause blackheads.
  • Age and Hormonal changes are the main reasons for the formation of blackheads. Blackheads are most common at the time of puberty like other types of acne. This is because the change in hormone levels may increase the production of sebum.
  • At the age of adolescence both boys and girls experience higher levels of androgens, which are male sex hormone, that increases the sebum production and a higher turnover of skin cells around puberty.
  • After puberty, hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy and also use of birth control pills can bring blackheads in women.
  • Blocking or covering pores by cosmetics and clothing.
  • Heavy sweating and high humidity in the environment.
  • Shaving and other activities that open hair follicles.
  • Health conditions such as stress, polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS) and premenstrual syndrome(PMS).
  • Usage of some steroid based drugs and medication that encourage rapid skin cell turnover.

Do’s and Don’ts

There are many people who manage and control blackheads naturally at home without consulting a doctor, but some activities can make them worse or trigger a more severe type of acne.


Squeezing: Do not squeeze blackheads by hand or with a metal blackhead remover, it can make the situation worse and increase the risk. 

Steaming: A steam bath has long been recommended as a treatment for blackheads, on the basis that it “opens the pores.” However, this has not been confirmed by research. Some people find it makes the problem worse.

Scrubbing: This can worsen the problem. Scrubbing removes sebum. The sebaceous glands then work harder to replace the sebum, leading to more blockages and the risk of inflammatory acne.

Removers: Removal strips, masks, and vacuums should be used with caution, as these can irritate and damage the skin if misused.

Makeup and cosmetics: Avoid oil-based makeup and skin care products.


Cleansing your face

Cleansing is the most important step in daily skin care routine. One should prevent most of the skin problems through proper cleansing. It prevents dirt oil, dead skincells, bacteria and makeup which mainly forms blackheads by accumulating into the pores.

Cleanse you face everyday twice ie., in morning and evening is the best thing to do. But for people with sensitive and dry skin regular cleansing can  damage the skin and cause rashes too, so it is advisable to cleanse once a day. It is a must to select a cleanser that suits your skin type. Try to prefer cleansers containing chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid or glycolic acid.

Choose Makeup products wisely

Take utmost care while selecting makeup products. Use non-comedogenic products that do not clog pores instead should keep the pores clear and open and reduce the buildup of dead skin. Non-comedogenic makeup is available to purchase online from various brands.

Use Porestrips carefully

Pore strips are similar to band-aids, which use adhesive to rip away dead skin cells and dirt. These porestrips suddenly and forcefully pull out the plug of gunk that’s clogging your pore but leave the pore itself dilated and easily clogged again. That’s why some experts recommend opting for gentle chemical exfoliation methods (using products with glycolic or lactic acid, for instance), which gradually reduce the clog. But this process can take weeks or months to really work.

Get extractions from a professional

Always try to avoid popping any pimples at home as it may worsen the situation. They’ll go away on their own after a period of time if you don’t mess with them and if done incorrectly, a popping session can cause irritation and even an infection. If you happen to deal with stubborn blackheads frequently, it may be worth seeing a professional to have them professionally extracted, they will use a small tool to squeeze the clog out of a pore without breaking the skin or enlarging the pore even further. 

Take sufficient rest

Getting enough rest and avoiding stress can also help, as stress can trigger sebum production. Exercise can also help reduce stress.

Medication for blackheads

Some kind of non-prescriptive medication can treat blackheads. It may include

Salicylic acid

Key ingredient for eliminating blackheads is salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that increases cell turnover and unclogs pores. Many researches suggest salicylic acid helps treat acne. This is available over-the-counter for blackheads as a cleanser or lotion. It helps remove the top layer of damaged skin. Salicylic acid dissolves dead skin cells to prevent your hair follicles from clogging.

Inscribe Retinoid to skin care routine

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A, these are available without prescription nowadays. Retinoids are a reliable method for ridding the skin of blackheads. “Retinoids work by promoting skin turnover and decreasing the ‘stickiness’ of the skin cells to prevent blockage of the follicles. You may notice a change in skin color or peeling. Using retinoids every other day or using them at the same time as a moisturizer can reduce these side effects. Not only in the acne removal, retinoid is great for anti-aging and skin regeneration as well. 

Benzoyl peroxide

This is available as an over-the-counter product as a leave-on gel or wash. It targets surface bacteria, which often aggravates acne. Lower concentrations and wash formulations are less irritating to your skin. Irritation (dryness) is a common side effect.

Azelaic acid

Barley, wheat, rye and other various grains naturally contain azelaic acid. It kills microorganisms on your skin and reduces swelling.


If blackheads don’t go away with nonprescription medications, then there is a need to consult a dermatologist. They may prescribe Oral antibiotics, Chemical peels, Laser skin resurfacing, Microdermabrasion etc. In addition to this some home remedies like sugar scrub, egg white mask, oatmeal scrub, Tea tree oil, green tea pack etc., can also work effectively for the removal of  blackheads.

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