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Learning How to Get Rid of Blackheads

Updated on November 16, 2013

Let’s face it, blackheads are embarrassing. They make you feel bad, like you want to hide. Even though other people may not notice, you feel like everyone is looking at you. You feel like everyone is wondering why you don’t do something about your blackheads, find a way to get rid of them. And the thing is, you should get rid of them. Not just because they are unattractive, but because your skin will be healthier without blackheads.

But how to get rid of blackheads? This seems to be the eternal question. They are so common and yet people seem to have so much trouble getting rid of them. What are the best ways to eliminate the blackheads you have and prevent them from coming back? Read on to learn some of the most effective ways how to get rid of blackheads.

Why is it that the nose gets so many blackheads?
Why is it that the nose gets so many blackheads?

What Causes Blackheads?

Blackheads occur when oils, dirt, and bacteria become clogged in your pores. The pores can become clogged as a result of dead skin cells or because of the application of some kinds of makeup or use of moisturizers or other skin products. When the pore becomes clogged and the dirt, oil, and bacteria build up, it can erupt at the surface of the skin, where it shows up as a blackhead. Although they are most common on the face, some people have trouble with blackheads on their chest or back or other parts of the body.

Some people seem to have oilier skin that others, due to genetics or to an increased hormone level as a result of puberty, pregnancy, or other changes in the body. These people with a predisposition to blackheads will have a tougher time getting rid of them. They will have to be more diligent in their skin care practices and take steps to reduce the factors that cause blackheads. There are a number of things you can do, however, to reduce your frequency of blackheads no matter what type of skin you have.

Learning how to get rid of blackheads is only one part of the puzzle.  How do we stop them to begin with?
Learning how to get rid of blackheads is only one part of the puzzle. How do we stop them to begin with?

Blackhead Prevention

The most important thing you can do to prevent blackheads is to keep your skin clean. This means washing it daily with mild, non-pore clogging cleansers. Keeping your skin clean will prevent the accumulation of dirt and oil in your pores and the growth of bacteria that causes blackheads. In addition, you should keep your bed sheets and pillow cases clean, as well as the towel you use on your face or other blackhead prone areas.

To prevent and get rid of blackheads you can also use a skin exfoliant on your face and body. This will prevent dead skin cells from clogging your pores and leading to blackheads. Also, cut down on makeup use in areas prone to blackheads or use makeup that does not clog your pores. The same goes for certain types of skin moisturizers that block pores.

An example of blackheads extracted using a Biore nose strip. Not for the faint of heart.
An example of blackheads extracted using a Biore nose strip. Not for the faint of heart.

How to Get Rid of Blackheads

In many ways, the best way to get rid of blackheads is not to allow them to form in the first place. That is why the prevention tips given above are so important for good skin health. But once a blackhead has formed, there are ways to get rid of it, although you should be careful in your attempt to remove it.

Your pharmacy should have blackhead scrubs that can be applied to the skin. These scrubs usually have some sort of find pumice or other mildly abrasive ingredient that will exfoliate the skin and dig the oil and dirt out of your pores. Your dermatologist can also supply you with facial treatments that contain salicylic acid, which can aid in getting rid of blackheads.

You should avoid squeezing the skin to get rid of blackheads because this can push dirt and bacteria deeper into the pore, thus aggravating skin conditions and blackhead formation. The same is true of using needles or other objects inserted into your pores. Some people have success with pore strips, which are fixed to the skin and then pulled away, getting rid of dead skin and blackheads in the process. For some people, however, these strips are too harsh of a treatment and can make the skin red and sore.

In the end then, the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure goes well with the problem of getting rid of blackheads. Treat your skin well and keep it clean and that is how you will best get rid of blackheads.

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