Whiteheads Treatment and Causes
Contrary to general opinion, whiteheads are not only present in teenagers or those suffering from a hormonal imbalance. These symptoms of acne can affect both women and men, regardless of their age and they are certainly not a sign of improper facial hygiene. These small white spots are sometimes confused with milia due to their similarities in appearance, but these two skin conditions are actually quite different. So let’s evaluate the facts about acne and whiteheads in order to better understand these conditions and see which is the best whiteheads treatment.
How do whiteheads develop and how are they different from milia spots?
Acne vulgaris is the skin condition described by seborrheic spots located on the face, chest or back, can be classified into mild and severe forms. Besides blackheads, whiteheads are also classified as a grade I. form of mild Acne Vulgaris. Whiteheads and milia are treated differently, therefore we can assume that the triggers and the formation process is also different in each case.
These small white spots develop when dead cell fragments become combined with sebum and bacteria located on the skin, leading to an oily substance that will block the pores and hair follicles. When pores are blocked, the pus that is formed within the sebaceous gland cannot be eliminated, so it tends to protrude out from the skin. When no bacteria is involved in this formation process, milia spots result. So now we can understand that unlike whiteheads, each millium contains dead skin cells but no oils or pathogens.
Because the sebaceous glands are more prevalent around the eyes, on the forehead and cheeks, these are the main locations for whiteheads to form. Knowing how they develop, one may be tempted to think that exfoliation would be a good way to open up the pores to eliminate the pus. However, the truth is that aggressive exfoliation, as well as rough cosmetic products can worsen the problem. So let’s see how whiteheads can be treated correctly!
No acne remedy can be efficient without a proper skin care routine. This will not only include thorough make-up removal each night before going to bed, but also skin cleansing with mild pharmaceutical or herbal products. It’s not recommended to wash the face with soap, no matter how delicate the product is, because soaps will dehydrate the delicate facial skin. As long as the face is washed at least twice a day with warm water and cleanser, toned and moisturized with the appropriate, mild product, the first step of whiteheads treatment is accomplished.
For the areas, which are more prone to the development of whiteheads, using an antiseptic gel may be considered to be a wise preventive measure. There are several products available in pharmacies and drugstores, but it’s better to use an ointment or a gel based product that contains witch hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil or other natural ingredients, which have potent anti inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties. These ingredients are milder and less harmful to the skin compared to chemical based products. When applying the gel, don’t squeeze the whitehead, as this can result in the condition being aggravated. Furthermore, avoid using cold creams or oil based, greasy cosmetic products, as they can trigger the formation of new whiteheads.
Instead, try applying a warm compress on the affected area or use a facial sauna in order to open up the pores, allowing pus extraction to be made easier. Following this, applying plain, probiotic yogurt onto the area will help reestablish the natural balance of the skin. This natural therapy can also be used for the treatment of milia, and the results are excellent when applied correctly.
Nevertheless, for more severe cases these measures will not be sufficient to eliminate whiteheads or to prevent their recurrence. Especially if they coexist with other forms of acne, such as blackheads, nodular acne or cystic acne conditions. As you may know, this common skin condition can be the result of a multitude of factors, which can include hormonal imbalance, poor dietary habits, stress or vitamin deficiencies. Therefore to completely eliminate this ailment, all these potential and closely interconnected causes should be assessed.
Over the counter products can also be efficient in treating mild forms of milia spots or whiteheads. The most common ones are Benzoyl Peroxide or Tretinoin. The first one is known for its antibacterial properties and its ability to reduce the clogging that triggers this condition.
Tretinoin or Retin-A is also an alternative, which can be purchased without a prescription. It contains vitamin A and is therefore more delicate on the skin and prevents dehydration. This product works by increasing cell regeneration and by stimulating pore opening. Although in most cases the results are good, some patients may experience severe skin irritation following treatment as this chemical based product is not suitable for sensitive skin.
Any strategy that is used must be based on a sound foundation of knowledge, which will allow you to achieve permanent results. All types of acne are different and so are the correct treatment methods for each type. This is why one of the most important factors for acne treatment is to identify what causes acne in the first place, so that you can select the most appropriate treatment method for your individual case. Successful treatment doesn’t necessarily depend on the type of acne you have, but rather on the underlying imbalance, which is present in your body.
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