What are blackheads and what do blackheads look like on the surface of the skin?
Blackheads are also called comedones, they are small dark – black pools and bumps that appear on the skin which are caused by a blocked, clogged hair follicle. Blackheads are very common and most people will experience these at some stage over a lifetime. Unsightly blackheads are a collection of oil that has gathered in the very tiny hair follicles that we have all over out face and bodies. A blackhead is an open follicle where the oil is oxidised turning it dark usally brown or black, much like when a pear or apple changes colour after you take a bight out of it. “Blackheads” are more of reference to the type of blemish and not always have a black appearance. Due to the colour of the hair they may look, light brown or yellowish.
What causes blackheads?
There are a few causes of black heads, most are caused by a hormonal shift in adolescent years, or by medications causing an increase in the oil being produced inside the pore, this is turn prevents a normal flow to the surface of the skin, the flow then gets backed up with built up skin cells, opening up the pore to air causing the sebum to change colour. You may find that before a menstrual cycle your skin gets oiler or when you take the contraceptive pill. An irritation to the hair follicle with waxing or tweezing with blunt tweezers can also open the pore causing black heads. A diet high in processed, fatty or high sugar foods is also going to effect your entire body including your skin, this slows down your cell turnover making it sluggish increasing the oil flow. Thick, heavy, skin suffocating makeup, heavy unnessecery moisturisers that are not suited to your skin type can also cause the skin to produce excess oil.
Prevention and treatment Solutions for blackheads.
Having a good skin care regime to keep your skin clean will help, this is extremely important if you do wear makeup and play sport making you sweat. When choosing a contraceptive pill ask your doctor if there may be a side effect of an increase of oil flow. Avoid irritation to the hair follicle with tweezing with blunt tweezers or waxing with harsh waxes. IPL Laser hair removal may be ideal if you have unwanted hair in an area you are experiencing black heads. Drink lots of water and have a clean diet with no processed foods and sugary drinks. If you are having hormonal problems see a natural health practitioner to assist with the imbalance. Have regular facial treatments, like deep cleansing facial with extractions, microdermabrasion and gentle Vitamin A infusions to help with the exfoliation process. Retinaldyde on the skin is also very beneficial to keeping the skin cells clear and oil flow at bay.
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