Blackheads, Comedones or Comedonal Acne? – Undersand Them In Order to Eliminate Them!
Blackheads are a typical mild form of acne vulgaris, which dermatologists also refer to as open comedonal acne and it is classified as grade I. non-inflammatory acne. This type of acne forms when the pores of the skin becomes clogged by dead skin cells. As the tiny skin cell particles, which are normally released by the sebaceous glands keep accumulating, the pores become blocked, therefore the normal drainage of sebum is obstructed. Because the oily secretions of the sebaceous glands cannot leave the pores anymore, they tend to accumulate beneath the epidermis.
The oily substance, known as sebum produced by the sebaceous glands consist of oils, wax, bacteria and dead skin cells, which contain keratin, melanin and other pigments. When these pigments come into contact with air, oxidation takes place and the melanin produces a black discoloration. This is why grade I., open comedonal acne has the characteristic of small black spots on the skin’s surface.
What causes blackheads and how are they treated?
Similar to other types of acne, open comedones develop at any time during or after puberty, when hormonal activity increases and consequently the oil glands become more active. This excessive oil secretion is actually the main cause of acne blackheads. However, there are several other factors that can also lead to the development of this unpleasant skin condition.
The first step that needs to be taken to eliminate blackheads is removing the excessive sebum and the dead skin cells accumulated on the skin’s surface. Mild exfoliating facial or body washes, depending on the location of the outbreaks or masks – even home made ones – are great for removing dead cells and opening the pores. However, please avoid harsh or rough products containing alcohol or sodium derivatives, as they can worsen the condition. Exfoliators based on salicylic acid are very affordable and efficient and they contain no irritants. Also, creams and gels containing benzoyl peroxide are great for cleansing.
Acne blackheads contain no bacteria therefore they don’t require medicines such as antibiotics or H2 blockers prescribed for whiteheads or more severe acne manifestations. But they do involve dietary changes, as there are lots of cases in which the excessive activity of sebum glands is actually triggered by foods. Cooked carbohydrates are a great example of food directly linked with acne occurrence. Instead of fats and carbs, acne sufferers should opt for fruits, vegetables and raw fats such as olive oil.
Open comedones, as already mentioned, can appear when too much make up is used. It is actually not using the products themselves that cause the black spots on the face, but the fact that they are not removed at the end of the day. The chemical substances contained inside these products can block the pores leading to sebum accumulation and as a consequence, blackheads development.
So remember: always remove the make up, keep the skin clean by exfoliating the death cells and eliminating the excessive sebum, avoid fats and overly cooked carbs. By following these simple steps you can get rid of black spots and prevent comedonal acne recurrence.
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