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That small dark speck on your skin may not be a piece of dirt. Before bacteria causes inflammation in the form of a pimple, excess oil builds up in your pores and develops a blackhead when it is exposed to the air, according to Medical News Today. Although seemingly innocent, a blackhead can be tough to cover up and it is often a hassle to clear up if you don’t have the proper know-how.
The best trick to hiding a stubborn blackhead is to dab on some concealer or foundation, but the cosmetics that most effectively cover up blemishes tend to be thick and oily. Ironically, the makeup you slather on to hide a blackhead could end up causing more blackheads and worsening the ones that are already there, warns Medical News Today. If you still choose to wear makeup, stick to formulas labeled “noncomedogenic” or “water-based,” which means they don’t contain pore-clogging oil. Also, remove all makeup with a gentle cleanser before you go to sleep at night.
The best way to deal with blackheads is to extract them. If you don’t see any redness or swelling in the area around your blackhead, you may be able to do the job yourself. You should, however, always keep your environment squeaky clean and use only sterile equipment to avoid getting a nasty skin infection. Begin by hovering your face over a sink full of steaming hot water and draping the area over with a towel to keep the steam in direct contact with your skin, recommends Medical News Today. Take a blackhead remover – which you can buy at a beauty store – and gently press down the small hole on the offending blackhead until it pops through your skin. Get help from a dermatologist or aesthetician if your skin seems aggravated or if you have trouble extracting a blackhead on your own.
You will cut down the total population of blackheads on your skin if you take some preventive steps. Start by cleansing your skin twice per day. Cleansing is a must if you want to ditch dead cells and excess bacteria, but you might dry out your skin and make your acne worse if you use a harsh scrub or wash more than twice a day. Stick with a fragrance-free soap or a gentle cleanser. If acne problems still rear their ugly head, shell out some dough on an over-the-counter acne gel or lotion that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, recommends MayoClinic.com. It will help slough off dead cells and prevent buildup of bacteria and oil.
Professional Treatment Options
Get help from a dermatologist if your face is still plagued by blackheads and pimples. She can help by prescribing an antibiotic, a stronger version of your over-the-counter gel or lotion or a hormone-adjusting birth control pill, according to MedlinePlus. She also may suggest that you try an in-office treatment such as laser therapy or microdermabrasion instead of – or in conjunction with – acne medication.