What are Blackheads?
A health article about blackheads from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
There are many different types of blemishes that you can get on your face. They are all generally called Acne but when it comes to treatment, it is important to know exactly what is going on with your skin.
An open comedo, or blackhead, occurs when the plug enlarges and pushes through the surface of the skin. Its dark appearance is not due to dirt, but rather to a build up of the dark pigment of the skin called melanin. Blackheads are also a type of inflammatory acne.
Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are follicles that are filled with the same as blackheads, but have only a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidized, and remains white.
Signs & Symptoms
Blackheads are small, dark spots (about the size of a pinhead) caused by a small plug in the opening of a follicle (pore).
Blackheads are so common, yet many of us do know what they are. We know even less about dealing with them. However, they can be controlled and even prevented by taking regular care of the skin.
Blackheads not only appear on the face, but on the back, chest and other areas that are rich in sebaceous glands.
Who are prone to blackheads?
All of us are prone to getting acne at some stage of our lives, especially during puberty. Acne is usually a result of over stimulated hormonal activity which cases the oil producing glands, or the sebaceous glands to produce more oil than necessary.
This oil, whose purpose is to keep the skin moist, then combines with the dead skin cells, which are constantly being shed by the upper layer of our skin, to block the skin pores. Blocked or clogged skin pores, which are visible in the form of blackheads or whiteheads, can become inflamed and form lesions which we commonly call acne.
There are many people who are prone to get acne, including blackheads.
Prime targets of acne are pubescent adults. The body is experiencing many changes at this time and hormonal activity is at its peak. Some teens experience only a mild outbreak while in other acne can be severe and chronic and requires the attention of a dermatologist
Unfortunately this is also the time that adolescents are developing their own personality and acne, especially in its severe form can hinder this as it can cause social embarrassment, shyness and a general drop in self –esteem. Parents and guardians are advised to keep channels of communication open with their children and help them seek professional advice from a dermatologist.
Adolescent women also often experience acne during their menstrual cycle, again due to hormonal activity. Women can also get acne as a reaction to the cosmetics they use. Teenage boys are more likely to have severe and persistent acne problems.
It is not uncommon for people in their thirties and forties to experience acne problems. As with teenagers, here too hormones are the offenders. Androgens, the male hormones that are responsible for teen acne are to blame for adult acne. Acne can even be seen in post menopausal women, when the body reduces the production of estrogen, which stimulates the androgen to over produce sebum from the sebaceous glands.
Acne in babies is a common problem and usually begins after the baby is a few weeks old. It is probably triggered by the maternal hormones, which cross over to the baby through the placenta in the final moments of the pregnancy. Among other positive effects, like maturing the lungs, these hormones stimulate the oil glands on the skin, eventually giving rise to baby acne. Baby acne does not require any treatment except gentle cleansing with water and maybe a mild soap.
What Causes blackheads?
Blackheads are caused by the overactivity of the oil producing glands of skin. The excess oil collects in the pores of the skin and hardens into plug. Since the pores are open, the tip of the clogged oil is exposed to the air. It oxidises and turns black. Hence, the name blackheads.
It is essential to keep the skin free of blackheads. Not only does it look unsightly, but can also lead to acne. The control of blackheads is one way of preventing acne.
Daily cleansing of the skin, with quality skin care products that reduces surface oil and also keeps the pores free of blackheads, is absolutely essential. The use of specialized masks would also help. After cleansing and toning the skin, use a good quality moisturizer according to skin type. This protects the skin from the effects of pollutants.
Blackheads should never be removed forcibly, even with a comedone, or blackhead extractor. Forcible extraction can damage skin tissue and cause infection.
Blackhead extraction is a professional job. Never pick at them or try to remove them yourself. Not only will you damage skin tissue, but cause the skin to get infected, resulting in an acne condition.
Acne is not fully understood, but we do know some of the biology behind it. The main culprit is the excess production of an oily substance called sebum whose function is to keep skin and hair lubricated and supple.
During adolescence, the body often produces excess amounts of sebum. The sebum combines with naturally occurring dead skin cells to block hair follicles which prevents the sebum from escaping.
The resulting block up of oil beneath the surface of the skin provides an ideal environment for bacteria. The bacteria multiply and the skin area becomes red and inflamed resulting in what is commonly called a pimple.
We were rather indecisive on where to stop in our writings of acne treatment. We just went on writing and writing to give a long article.
What we have written here about acne treatment can be considered to be a unique composition on acne treatment. Let’s hope you appreciate it being unique.
The excess production of sebum is caused by the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone is present in both males and females, but during puberty, the body changes the way it reacts to the presence of testosterone.
It is this abnormal reaction, characteristically appearing during adolescence, that causes the skin (especially on the face and upper torso) to become excessively oily. By the early 20s, the body usually normalizes its reaction to testosterone and acne clears up.
Suppressing our knowledge on acne treatment is not our intention here. In fact, we mean to let everyone know more about acne treatment after reading this!
Acne seems to be partly hereditary, but we don't know exactly why some people are affected by it and others are not. Some of the factors which seem to aggravate acne conditions include stress, diet, skin irritation, certain medications, and hormonal activities such as menstrual cycles.
Medications that are associated with acne include anabolic steroids used for bodybuilding, lithium, barbiturates, halogens, and androgens. Dietary links seem to be mostly related to skim milk products. Many people associate food like chocolate and fast food with pimples, but there is no statistical evidence that this type of food causes or aggravates acne.
Recently, scientific attention has been focusing on the possibility that narrowing hair follicles could be at least partially to blame for acne. The hair follicles may become restricted due to several possible causes including excessive shedding of cells within the follicle, abnormal cell binding, or water retention which causes the skin to swell.
The narrower hair follicles prevent dead cells from being expelled from the body, causing an excessive buildup underneath the skin, which combined with sebum creates the conditions for acne.
Many people are tempted to squeeze out their blackheads, but this may only serve to spread the bacteria to the surrounding skin area making the condition even worse than before. Popping pimples may also lead to scarring which in severe cases can be permanent.
Simply touching the face can also make acne become worse. It is a difficult habit to overcome -- most of us touch our faces repeatedly throughout the day.
The problem for acne sufferers is that the hands also contain oils and bacteria which will exacerbate acne symptoms. In fact, all objects that come into contact with the face must be clean. This includes eyeglasses and telephone handsets.
Hair (especially long hair) also comes into contact with our faces so it is important to keep hair clean and oil free. Clothing accessories like headbands or hats should be avoided or used as little as possible.
If you are experiencing a problem with blackheads, there are many treatment options available that could clear your skin right up. Using a deep pore cleanser can prevent blackheads from ever forming. It could also help to gently dislodge existing spots over time.
Even though the chance of scarring from a blackhead is very unlikely, you should still never attempt to remove them yourself. It will only damage your skin and cause an infection. The contents leaking onto your skin can also cause more acne to form. A doctor can remove them individually for you in his office, using sterile tool.
If you prefer to use a prescription provided by your dermatologist than deal with your blackheads, a commonly prescribed medicine is Differin gel. It is a topical retinoid treatment that works to reduce inflammation involved with acne, as well as increases cell formation. It is more effective than other medicines such as Retin-A and it is also less irritating. It is alcohol free and it light and non-greasy.
For patients with extremely sensitive skin, there is also less-harsh Differin cream. Most people with blackheads also suffer from other forms of acne that this medicine would be beneficial to use for as well. He/She may also choose to prescribe an oral contraceptive as a way to regulate hormones in females. This is also beneficial in clearing up most types of acne.
Self Care strategies for Living with blackheads
Following some tips on preventing and lessening the harm brought by acne.
You should not wait for acne to appear before you actually cure it. The best way of getting rid of it is to prevent it from coming out in the first place. One thing besides keeping your face free from excess oil is to avoid pricking and squeezing your zits.
This habit will just worsen your problem on acne. Let nature and time heal for you and you’ll see wonder results!
You should also refrain from using products that can bring harm in your face. These include products with high percentage of isopropyl alcohol.
Diet change strategies:
Good Nutrition and Your Complexion
As the old cliché goes, “Health is Wealth.” Hence, it is always important to uphold the value of proper eating and living a healthy lifestyle in order to stay in shape and to be perfectly well.
However, being healthy is not only constrained on having a perfect body. In fact, aside from having a perfect body, being healthy could also mean having a healthy skin as shown in the skin’s complexion.
That is why, most people who are known to be health buffs are also known to be good-looking people. This is because the inner beauty radiates and exudes deep from within, even without the traces of make up.
Nowadays, looking good is not anymore a factor of being vain but is already considered one way of staying healthy. This is because many medical experts are now insisting on the fact that good nutrition is, indeed, an important factor in having a good complexion and image.
In reality, many people are not aware that good nutrition is a great factor in generating a healthy good-looking skin. They only thought that eating the right kind of food would make people healthier and live life longer. What they do not know is that good nutrition is also a big factor in having a good complexion and healthy skin.
Therefore, for people who are not aware why good nutrition is important in maintaining a healthy skin complexion, here are some reasons that they should be aware of.
1. Eating foods that are rich in vitamin A is important in maintaining a healthy skin.
A daily dose of vitamin A is proven to be an effective way of reducing the appearance of acne, wrinkles, and other skin problems.
However, care must be properly observed when taking foods rich in vitamin A. Too much intake of this vitamin may result to serious problems like liver diseases.
2. Good nutrition replenishes the lost vitamins and minerals that the human body is not capable of producing.
When people are exposed to the sun the skin’s reservoir of vitamin C goes down, and unlike most animals, humans cannot make vitamin C.
Therefore, it is important to reproduce vitamin C by eating foods that re rich in vitamin C. In this way, the skin will be able to combat the harmful effects of the damages caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
3. Eating foods rich in antioxidants is definitely good for the skin.
In order for the skin to work against the upshots of oxidants or the free radicals that are manufactured when the body cells burn oxygen in order to generate energy, it is important for the people to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. These foods are the “green, leafy vegetables” like the spinach.
Antioxidants are also present in foods that are rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene. A good example of this is carrots. It can also be present in food supplements such as vitamins E and C.
4. Eating foods rich in fiber can also contribute to good skin complexion.
Fiber, or roughage, is composed from the plant’s cell wall material. Whole grains, legumes, citrus fruits, nuts, and vegetables are all good sources of dietary fiber.
On its basic sense, fiber is an example of complex carbohydrate that is relatively essential in the absorption of the other nutrients into the body. Without fiber, some of the nutrients will only be put to waste and will not be consumed by the body.
Hence, with fiber, the skin’s complexion will be healthier looking and will even produce healthy glow.
5. For proper growth and production of new skin cells, proteins are the best sources in order to help in this process anf protien supplements are often useful.
Proteins are chains of amino acids responsible for the skin’s cell growth and maintenance. Protein in foods from meat, poultry, fish, and dairy is called complete protein because it contains essential amino acids necessary for building and maintaining skin cells.
Thus, a properly maintained skin cell will result to a good skin complexion.
Indeed, eating right does not merely produce a healthy body but a healthy skin as well. Hence, people should be more aware of what they are eating because it will surely reflect on their skin’s appearance. As most people say, “You are what you eat.”
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations for healthy clear skin
Acne is a skin problem widely known and experienced by almost
all of our people especially teenagers and young adults. When
not given enough attention and care, zits can actually give you
serious problems. Nowadays, doctors and advertisements offer us
different products that might help solve our worries about
However, it is still better if you can actually cure it
before seeing or consulting your doctor. There are actually
acne home remedies that you can find and use inside your home
or in your garden. All you have to do is to know how you can
use that acne home remedy to finally say goodbye to your acne
There is still no scientific basis nor findings yet that
discusses how the toothpaste can actually lessen, if not cure,
the spread of acne. In fact, it is one of the most widely used
zits home remedy by people.
It might be a result of trial and
discovery that made the toothpaste serve not only to clean the
teeth but also as an unusual acne home remedy. To use it, just
apply it directly to your zits before sleeping. This is
believed to help control the swelling overnight. Just make sure
that it is not the gel but the paste.
It is actually previously proven that salt can be used as an
acne home remedy. Just prepare a salt solution (salt added to
warm water) and wash your face with it twice everyday. This
will remove the excess oil in your face, the main cause of
pimples. You actually have an option to add vinegar to it.
Apply it directly on the affected area and leave for 15-20
Fruits are definitely not just for food. They are not only good
for inner nutrition but can also be used as cure for outer
health problems. You can actually use some of them to be your
acne home remedy. One thing you can do is to place strawberry
leaves just directly on the affected part. Another is by
applying fresh lemon juice mixed with rose water in your face,
leaving it there for 15 minutes. A continuous application of
this for 15 days is believed to give you amazing results.
the other hand, ground orange peel added with water to make a
paste and applied to the acne can also make your face free of
acne again. Lime combined with rose water is also a recommended
acne home remedy. Just apply it on your face and leave it for
15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water. Juice made of Papaya
applied on the affected area is another great option. In
addition, a paste made of ripe tomatoes is also an effective
solution. That's so many great acne home remedies to choose
Like the fruits mentioned above, there are herbs and other
plants that also proved to serve as a good acne home remedy.
You can try methi (fenugreek) leaves made to a paste and
applied to stay in your face for 10-15 minutes. Two cloves of
crushed garlic applied twice a day is another choice, just bear
with the strong smell of this acne home remedy.
A combination of
witch hazel, tea tree and sweet fennel essential oils put into
water can also give satisfactory results. Just always stir or
shake it before applying to the swellings twice or thrice a
day. Use cotton wool everytime you put it on.
Aloe vera is also
proven to be great as a zits home remedy. Just make a juice
out of it and apply it twice a day for the fast healing of your
lesions. Cucumber will never be out of the list for beauty
regimen. Apply a paste of it as a mask and leave it for 30
minutes. A paste of ground radish, as well as ground sesame
seeds are also very good options when curing your acne.
Aloe Vera has been around for centuries and is obviously nothing new. However what used to be thought as just a cure for sunburn and cuts is now being used for acne. If you read back into history Queen Cleopatra touted the use of aloe vera as her most important beauty secret but for some reason it seemed to get lost in the shuffle of new acne treatments that are much more costly and invasive. Now though aloe vera is shown to make an excellent zits treatment once again.
Many people often use aloe vera for clear skin by the use of skin care products that contain this powerful source. But it doesn’t necessarily have to come from the plant or in facial washes. Aloe Vera juice is now just as popular and quite frankly deserves a place in your refrigerator as well. Whole leaf Aloe Vera Juice contains many vitamins and minerals that you need for not only healthy and clear skin, but for a healthy body.
Containing calcium chromium, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, sodium, folic acid, niacin, as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E - aloe vera juice is perfect for your acne treatment. This is a long list of vital vitamins and nutrients that are the exact ingredients that you would include in a natural skin product, but yet you can simply just drink it to get everything you need in one 8oz glass.
Aloe vera juice detoxifies your body by helping with the digestion and elimination of waste as well as the killing of bacteria that brings on the acne and acne breakouts. By getting rid of the harmful toxins you have much clearer skin that will lessen blemishes, general acne as well as other skin problems.
While no vitamin ALONE will cure acne, there are some vitamins that play very KEY roles in hormonal balance that is so important for acne sufferers.
Most people are lacking in the vitamins that are important for your body to function efficiently. Only around 15 percent of Americans eat the recommended three to five servings of vegetables every day. Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? It above all else requires proper nutrition to function well and act as the first line of defense against infectious diseases and microbes.
Your body needs complete nutrition to promote healthy skin and to prevent acne. There are a number of vitamins and minerals that are powerful antioxidants capable of flushing out free radicals and toxins from your body.
A healthy liver functions well to cleanse our blood of the dirt from excess hormones. And with our blood clean, consequently, our skin's condition will improve. That's the herbs way of accomplishing the natural acne treatment process.
Some even have antibacterial effects and promote immunity, both of which are important in keeping your pores clean of clogging toxins and in healing the damaged skin tissue.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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With new research, new products and new skin protection advice popping up all the time, it is hard to figure out the best things to do to improve and protect your skin.
A skin care program is the combination of skin care products and a routine that will be most beneficial to the skin. You will first need to consider your diet and type of life-style since these two factors play an important role in the health of a person's skin.
There are many different types of blemishes that you can get on your face. They are all generally called acne but when it comes to treatment, it is important to know exactly what is going on with your skin.
The most common type of acne is Acne Vulgaris which literally means 'common acne.' This type of acne can cause blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.
Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are follicles that are filled with the same as blackheads, but have only a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidized, and remains white.
Acne is a diseased condition of the skin characterized by symptoms like blackheads and/or whiteheads (plugged pores), pimples, and nodules or cysts (deeper lumps). Acne mostly targets the skin of the face but it can, and does, occur elsewhere on the body like neck, shoulders, back, and upper arms.
Most of the times, pimples appears in teenagers and young people in their early twenties. However, people in their thirties and even forties can also suffer from pimples. Severity of the condition varies from person to person.
There are many different types of blemishes that you can get on your face. They are all generally called acne but when it comes to treatment, it is important to know exactly what is going on with your skin. People with zits are usually familiar with whiteheads (milium), however they don't know what causes them or how to get rid of them. The difference between this and a blackhead is that blackheads are exposed to oxygen which causes the black appearance.
Most people with mild or moderate acne will recover from the condition without serious scarring. In cases of severe acne, however, scarring is almost inevitable. But don't give up hope -- new acne treatments can minimize scarring and existing scars can be removed with a variety of techniques.
People experience different types of scarring from acne, and every person is left with different facial topography. Therefore, acne scar treatment must be addressed on a case by case basis. No single treatment is right for everyone. You and your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will have to decide what is right for your type of acne scarring.
Anti-Aging Skin Care
Aside from being our body's largest organ that protects us against various infections and illnesses, our skin is also the best indicator of aging. Since the skin plays an important role in our overall well being, it is a must that we take care of it the best possible way we can.
Indeed, developing healthy habits can help you develop an effective anti-aging regimen that can help slow down the aging process. Experts advise that people should—as much as possible—treat their aging skin the natural way
Age Spots or Liver Spots
These skin spots are sometimes called Liver Spots and are flat brown spots that can appear anywhere on the body’s skin as it ages.
Most spots appear on the face, neck, and hands.
These brown spots in themselves are harmless, but they can be a sign of more serious underlying problems. They are the result of a buildup of wastes known as lipofuscin accumulation, a Byproduct of free radical damage in skin cells.
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Home remedies for the treatment of blackheads.
• You can a facial steamer or take hot water in a pan, cover your head with a towel and let your face receive a light steam. This will help in losing blackheads and cleaning the pores of the skin.
• Make a paste of roasted & powdered pomegranate skin with fresh lime juice and apply over boils, pimple and blackheads.
• Mix Cornstarch With Vinegar, make a paste and apply on the area for 15-30 minutes; wash off with washcloth and warm water, this helps to get rid blackheads.
• Apply grated potatoes as poultice to treat skin blemishes, pimples, blackheads.
• Mix 1 tablespoon groundnut oil with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice to prevent formation of blackheads and pimples
• Make a paste of sandalwood with rose water. Apply on affected area. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.
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