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Blackheads – Causes and Treatments

Achieving clear, healthy skin seems like an impossible feat if you have ever experienced blackheads, but it is possible. The following article helps us understand what blackheads are, how to treat them and the steps required to prevent their return.

What Are They?

Blackheads, also referred to as “open comedones” are small spots on the skin which surface when oil and dead skin clog the skin pores. When that spot remains closed, a whitehead bump forms (closed comedones). If the spot opens and is exposed to air, it becomes a blackhead. Blackheads appear most commonly on the face, but also on the back, chest, neck, arms and shoulders.

Acne, as we know, afflicts tens of millions in North America, affecting people of all ages and is the most common of skin disorders. Blackheads are considered to be a mild form of this skin disorder.

Effective Ways to Treat Blackheads

Topical Solutions

Topical solutions (applied to the skin) products can be very effective for clear, blackhead-free skin. These products include active ingredients like salicylic acid (Acu Klenz) and glycolic acid (Micro Peel); benzoyl peroxide and retinol are other options but tend to be harsher on the skin, DMK has products with these ingredients but prefers to use AHAs (natural plant derived acids) as our first option These products work by killing bacteria, depleting the excess oil and helping exfoliate the dead skin cells. Salicylic acid facial cleanser can help to provide a gentle exfoliation and, with regular use, minimize pore congestion, keeping the skin clear.”(Acu Klenz)

Pick, Pop or Poke?

You may be tempted to pick, pop and poke to quickly get rid of blackheads. There are better ways so resist the urge. Forcing out the contents of a skin pore can cause scarring and skin trauma — in many cases making the situation worse by causing inflammation and infection. Under certain circumstances your DMK therapist may extract contents but we prefer to use products and treatments like Sebum Soak, a pretreatment for our Signature Enzyme Treatment, to soften and bring the blackheads to the surface before extraction.

 

Treatments

DMK has several professional treatments and home kits that work well at clearing  blackheads and shrinking pores. After cleansing a gentle exfoliation is what is most effective at removing blackheads or bringing them to the surface. Our Signature Enzyme Treatment provides the exfoliation as well as softening and drawing out the blackheads. For added results the Sebum Soak pretreatment will boost the blackhead clearing results. At home the Max Micro Peel kit is an effective but gentle exfoliation that uses natural derived acids from fruits and plants to remove blackheads.

How to Prevent Blackheads from Returning

Consistent Skincare Regimen

You’ve fallen back in love with your skin and want to keep the honeymoon going. What’s the secret to success? There is no secret for maintaining great skin, consistency is the key so start with your daily skin care. Whatever skin regimen you have, be consistent. We generally recommend a facial cleanser (Deep Pore Pure), antioxidant (Super Serum), moisturizer and daily SPF (Acu Moist). You may also require a gentle exfoliating wash containing salicylic acid,” (Acu-Klenz). Regular professional treatments are a must as well if your serious about keeping your skin clear and healthy.

Keep Things Oil-Free

Look at the products you put on your skin. If you are prone to blackheads and pore congestion, opt for oil-free make-up (DMK Cosmetics) and lotions (
Acu Moist, Acu Creme, and a matte sunscreen (DMK Sunscreen). Avoid using dry shampoo as this can contribute to clogged pores and the arrival of blackheads. If you have oily hair, wash it daily.

Good News to Take Away

The war on blackheads is not bleak. There are treatments and home products to help clear up already clogged pores and prevent their return.

Credit: Dr. Shannon Humphrey

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