In This Article:
How To Get Rid Of Whiteheads Like A Pro
Whiteheads are for many a matter of immediate importance, for which most people choose to focus carefully to prevent whiteheads from compromising their appearance in the face of friends, colleagues or family members, feeling more beautiful and self-confident.
Technically known as whiteheads, whiteheads are a type of non-inflammatory acne that, while ideally hitting any area of the skin, tends to manifest itself in the face, neck, back and forehead. Whiteheads should not be confused with milia: although apparently similar, the two types of comedones differ for triggering causes and for the necessary treatment.
Whiteheads that linger well past adolescence
Whiteheads are small cysts filled with keratin, sebum and bacteria that accumulate within the hair follicles forming small (and non-aesthetic) white, swollen and fluffy balls. In addition to representing aesthetic damage to individuals who have them, in general, whiteheads do not cause any particular disturbance. However, in some cases, they may give rise to itching or pain. In a sense, whiteheads are progenitors of acne: it is not infrequent that in time, the secretion enclosed within the sebaceous follicle flows inside, triggering an inflammatory reaction specifically characterized by papules and pustules.
Before turning to the so-called pimple or forunculus, a whitehead has, however, to pass through the intermediate blackhead stage: when the white dot opens, lipid oxidation and the migration of cells rich in melanin and sebum favor the formation of a typical dark head (hence the term blackhead or open comedone).
After the whitehead has turned black, it is not said that the pimple will inevitably come in. Once popped, open comedones (blackheads) can actually regress, remain like or degenerate into inflammatory acne, papules and pustules.
Whiteheads reveal themselves as a slight subcutaneous protuberance, culminating with a whitish / yellowish tip: this feature derives from the fact that the pumice contents of the pimples are exposed to air oxidation as that of the common black spots (or open comedones), which instead acquire a dark brown shade. Whiteheads make the skin look really unhealthy, so it will be good to understand how to get rid of it once and for all.
Comedones and large pores often begin to form in adolescence and can continue into adulthood. Comedones occur in adolescents due to the fact that the body produces an extra large amount of sex hormone testosterone during this period. Testosterone creates an imbalance in the skin, which leads to an overproduction of sebum that causes the skin to acquire an oily surface. When the hair follicles produce too much sebum, it often leads to clogging of the pore opening, which causes comedones (blackheads and whiteheads).
Our whole body is covered with skin, which in turn has pores. Pores are small holes in the skin that consist of the ointment of the sebaceous glands, hair follicles and sweat glands. They allow the skin to release sebum and sweat.
Whiteheads occur when the opening of a sebaceous duct is clogged and appears as a black or white dot. They are formed by sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells. A difference between a comedone and a boil is that a comedone is not inflamed. However, if you squeeze a comedone comedone you can cause an inflammation and it becomes a freak. Dental glands are found in the highest concentration on the face, on the chest and on the back, and this is where you usually get blackheads and pimples.
Whiteheads usually look like a little black or white dot. They can be raised outside the skin or hidden under the skin surface. You usually talk about open and closed comedones, where a white comedone is closed while the black is open. When the whitehead is open, a pigment is oxidized in the skin, which makes it black. So it’s not dirt in the pore, but an oxidized pigment that gives it its color.
What causes whiteheads?
The origin of whiteheads is closely related to hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands, the tiny anatomical structures used for sebum production. Any possible increase in size of the sebaceous glands, as well as over-production of sebaceous secretion, can heavily influence the onset of whiteheads.
Whiteheads are also related to hormonal changes: it is no coincidence that whiteheads are often observed during puberty and among young adults, as well as in women affected by polycystic ovary syndrome. Indeed, during the stage of puberty, androgenic hormones – produced by adrenal glands (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedion, etc.) and testes in the male – undergo a physiological elevation: as a result, the activity of the sebaceous glands is stimulated to the point of favoring the appearance of open, closed and acne comedones.
In addition to the causes just listed, it seems that the appearance of whiteheads is also linked to other factors:
- Presence of scratches on the skin or other forms of skin irritation.
- Excessive sebum buildup on the skin.
- Poor facial cleansing.
- Use aggressive detergents or cosmetics.
- Presence of scars.
- Hereditary factors.
- Other forms of hormonal alteration (e.g. menstruation, pregnancy).
- Constant exposure to UV rays or artificial lamps (especially in the absence of adequate sunscreen).
- Incorrect nutrition.
Whiteheads are not alarming symptoms for the simple reason that they are appear due to very slight imbalances in the body caused by some aspects of your life, as we shall see shortly. Understanding the causes of closed comedones will help you not only determine which strategy to follow to free yourself from pimples, but also set some guidelines to follow along your daily life, to improve some of your habits that. Changing those habits – we are now speaking of universal wellbeing truths you have already know – which, if they are not exactly wholesome and preemptive for a healthy existence, can lead not only to skin issues, but many other physical and health problems.
There are usually no specific causes that can lead to the formation of white comedones unless the factors deriving from the genetics that thus inherit a hereditary nature, so only a specific treatment is effective to cure these blemishes. Many aspects of your lifestyle may, however, lead to certain dysfunctions in the body that, among other symptoms, include white comedones: nutrition plays a key role in this regard, as well as the use of makeup or heavy cosmetics, poor physical activity or some health problems that affect the gastrointestinal tract or particular skin conditions. Stress is also often considered to be one of the causes of white pimples and whorls along with a large number of factors that can interact with the body and cause these epidermis blemishes.
Many people think that acne appears due to the fact that you are not clean and therefore wash extra often, sometimes with strong cleaning products. Excessive hygiene does not reduce the number of pimples or comedones, but this can lead to irritated skin. It is enough to wash with mild soap in the morning and evening. Acne is partially genetic and the risk of having pimples and comedones increases if any of one’s parents had severe acne.
You should not squeeze a whitehead, though it may be inviting. When squeezing the comedones, the skin may become irritated and red and can lead to inflammation and pimples. It can obviously become a boil even if you do not squeeze it. If you do not manage to squeeze your acne, you also reduce the risk of scarring.
It is difficult to avoid whiteheads because the sebaceous ducts are affected by genes and hormones. Some tips to reduce the risk are not to wash too much (morning and evening are enough) and use mild soap. Some studies indicate that high GI foods (glycemic indexes), chocolate and dairy products can cause more pimples and whiteheads. However, more extensive studies are required to establish that diet is a cause of acne.
Since a whitehead is a clogged pore, the factors contributing to it are not only the sebum that forms in the sebaceous ducts, but dirt particles and makeup residue as well.
Those who suffer from pimples and unclean pores have a greater production of sebum in the skin. This cannot be addressed in any other way but a healthier diet and vitamin supplementing.
Many people think that poor personal hygiene is closely linked to the development of closed comedones as well as to another variety of skin health problems: we can not say that this is true but surely hygiene significantly contributes to reducing the chances of entering In contact with a good deal of skin blemishes, since washing means removing excess amount of sebum and other substances on the surface of the epidermis, cleansing it from impurities.
We can definitely assert that nutrition is one of the key factors that interact with body health, which is why a wrong diet is included among the possible causes of closed comedones as a side effect; good nutrition means nourishing the body while respecting the balance existing between its vital functions, as well as a series of tasks performed by the body to maintain the well-being of various tissues, including skin and sebum production. If you eat many foods rich in fat, calories or other substances that are not recommended for a healthy diet, you will be more likely to have a less beautiful and attractive skin while increasing the risk of having open comedones due to the overproduction of sebum.
You have surely already felt that some aspects of the female body may interact, leading to several problems due to the intense swings at which it is exposed in periods such as the menstrual cycle, menopause or pregnancy: these hormonal imbalances carry with it several side effects such as hot flashes, cramps and headaches, but also skin blemishes such as cellulitis and pimples. For this reason we can include this factor among the many causes of closed comedones, reasonably safe for a large number of women during specific periods of their lives.
Stress is enumerated amongst the various causes of closed comedones, as well as many other issues affecting many people in our frantic society, given the lifestyle that many follow. Though it is almost impossible to completely get rid of stress (it is a normal life aspect for all of us), it would be good to try to avoid it as much as possible trying to take some steps to keep a mood more relaxed and mindful.
Whiteheads around eyes – milia
Typical for under-the-eye area, whiteheads are tiny and unattractive surface cysts filled with keratin, with semi-solid texture and rounded and golden appearance. Able to ruin the expressiveness of the face, whiteheads are commonly called milia grains for their striking resemblance to the tiny seeds of millet.
Luckily harmless, whiteheads are nevertheless rejected by those who suffer, especially because they tend to aparpe on the nose, eyes or cheeks, so in those areas most exposed to the gaze of others. For this reason, many men and women tormented by such unhealthy look to the dermatologist to proceed with the removal of whiteheads.
In the common language, the term whiteheads can be referred to two different disturbances: milia and closed comedones. Although apparently similar, the two types of whiteheads differ for triggering causes and for treatment. In this article we will focus only on milia.
Despite what you might well think, a skin with whiteheads needs treatments and treatments just like a dry or sensitive skin.
To do this and to prevent, or at least limit, the appearance of whiteheads, it may be useful to take some steps:
- For facial cleansing, use non-oily and, above all, delicate products. Indeed, the use of aggressive detergents – similarly to the excessive use of astringent products for fat skins – would stimulate the sebaceous glands, thus accentuating the problem of whiteheads.
- Avoid excessive washing.
- Reduce direct exposure to UV rays and use proper solar filters.
- Use quality make-up products.
- Ensure a good degree of skin hydration by using products that are appropriate to your skin type.
- Adopt a balanced diet with no excess.
Whiteheads may suddenly appear in the form of small bubbles of a size that generally does not exceed 2 mm in diameter. Only whiteheads form isolated: most of the time, in fact, milia are multiple and can reach (or even exceed) the number of fifty. Keratine infarctions, whiteheads are observed much more often in women, especially on facial skin or in other areas that exhibit hair follicles (short, soft and thin hairs that go unnoticed). Milia are not characteristic of a particular age range (as is the case with acne, a typical puberty disorder): these whiteheads may appear during the neonatal, infancy or adulthood.
The causes leading to the formation of whiteheads on the skin are not clear and unambiguous. However, experts have posed many hypotheses on the origin of these blemishes. First, the formation of whiteheads seems to be favored by a lack of / inadequate cleansing of the face, and by the repeated application of make-up cosmetics unsuitable for their skin type (too aggressive or overly occlusive). Similarly, facial cleansing with irritating or highly degreasing detergents can alter and impregnate the hydrolipidic film that covers the epidermis, so as to favor the appearance of these blemishes.
There was also some correlation between the origin of milia and an incomplete or non-development of sebaceous glands. Also the presence of burns, scarring, dermabrasion or scarring (especially those left by acne) on the skin may favor the formation and development of milia. Still, these blemishes can be the result of exaggerated and continuous exposure to UV rays or tanning lamps, especially in the absence of adequate sunscreen.
In adults, the appearance of milia may be in some way associated with more serious dermatological diseases, primarily among the lichen planus (a chronic inflammatory dermatitis of an immunological nature affecting the skin, mucous membranes and nails), porphyria (a clinical syndrome that affects skin and nervous system. Typical porphyry sign is the very dark red urine, very similar to wine) and bullous epidermolysis. Still, milia can be a side effect of corticosteroid or radiotherapy corticosteroid medication: while in the first case, whiteheads tend to appear in areas of skin atrophy (caused by pharmacological treatment), in the second circumstance milia emerge as a result of the destruction of skin and skin lesions caused by radiological treatment.
Bollardic epidermolysis: a genetic disease affecting some skin proteins, such as collagen, keratin and other protein compounds from adhesive properties. It manifests itself with vesicles, bubbles and cleavages of skin and mucous membranes following microtraums.
Whiteheads in baby
The situation with milia in newborns is quite different though: even small children can be affected by these whiteheads. Probably, the explanation of their development lies in a transient keratinization stimulated by hormonal influences which are not yet entirely cleared from the scientific point of view. Whiteheads that grow during the neonatal age constitute a completely reversible condition.
As analyzed, the baby’s whiteheads tend to regress spontaneously; therefore, they do not require any kind of treatment.
It is the other way around in adults, where milia rarely regress. Whiteheads require a doctor’s intervention: the operation is not difficult and is performed regularly in the outpatient clinic.
Being out of stock, milia cannot burst out as normal pimples (although, as we know, the habit of squeezing pimples is not a recommended practice since the infection may spread to neighboring sites). Whiteheads can be evacuated simply by performing a micro cut on the epidermal dome of the cyst followed by squeezing the material contained therein. Alternatively, milia can be removed with CO2 laser, prior to local anesthesia with lidocaine based creams. To support the treatment, it is advisable to apply regular exfoliating (keratolytic) creams: particularly glycolic and salicylic acid creams.
Even in these circumstances, the best care is prevention. In fact, milia can in some way be prevented: it seems that exfoliating the face skin regularly (up to a couple of times a week) is a good habit to keep these little blemishes out of the reach.
It is also recommended to always use quality make-up products that are not excessively occlusive; avoid soaps that are too degreasing and irritating.
Typical areas of white point formation (milia) are mobile eyelid, lower eyelid, nose (in particular, wings of the nose), lip contour, cheeks, chin
Major causes are failure / incorrect cleaning of the face, washing with excessively degreasing or aggressive soap, incomplete development of sebaceous glands, skin disorders (lichen planus, porphyria, bullous epidermolysis), care with cortisone creams, radiotherapy, burns, excretions, dermabrasions or acne scars, transient keratinization in the newborn, linked to hormonal changes
Whiteheads in the infant: no treatment is required because they regress spontaneously.
Milia in adults require surgical removal with laser or cyst incision with the tip of a scalpel or sterile needle (intervention must be performed by an expert, and always in a sterile environment).
Treatment to prevent whiteheads: chemical exfoliation and application of exfoliating creams.
How to get rid of whiteheads at home
Let’s start by saying that whiteheads do not have to be squeezed: treatment of comedons, whether open or closed, cannot be done completely without a specialized dermatological control. Squeezing the whitehead with your fingers or, worse with your nails, you may be infecting the area, favoring the onset of scars and spreading dirt and bacteria in nearby areas. For this reason, it is recommended to resist the temptation to squeeze the whiteheads, relying solely on the care of an expert.
When not instilled, whiteheads tend to regress spontaneously through the correction of some imperfect behaviors: it is enough to optimize the facial cleansing method and always choose quality cosmetics suitable for your skin type to favor spontaneous regression of whiteheads.
It is also recommended to exercise moderation and common sense while using astringent lotions for the treatment of oily skin. By over-nourishing the skin, these substances stimulate the sebaceous glands that, by reacting to the irritator, increase sebum production and predispose to the formation of whiteheads.
Eliminating white comedones in a fast way is important to care for one’s image and well being, also because you will be tired of noticing that your skin does not look very healthy, given the numerous white comedones, pimples and black spots that invade them in specific areas of your body that, unfortunately are in most cases highly exposed to the look of other people as face and forehead but may also affect the back, shoulders, and chest.
White comedones are nothing more than a build up of sebum and keratin on the skin surface that compromises the opening of the skin follicles, which are fundamental to fostering its breathing and to expel toxic compounds that can compromise its health. Sebum is a substance produced by the sebaceous glands to hydrate and nourish the epidermis, but its overproduction may in our case cause the formation of white comedones, which differ from the common black spots because they have a white color head instead of the blackish color of classic comedones, whose accumulation content is exposed to air oxidation. Therefore, the set of measures taken against their appearance should be slightly different.
Whiteheads on your face? Yes, but also in other parts of the body
Whiteheads are usually a feature that affects the facial area, but it is not uncommon for them to affect other areas of the body such as the chest, back, shoulders or buttocks, any area – as is the case with common acne. In short, they appear wherever follicles are present and an overproduction of sebum is possible.
Many of you are wondering which areas of the body are most susceptible to the formation of white comedones, which in most cases afflicts people by affecting areas such as the face, primarily, but also the back, chest, shoulders and legs. Sure those areas can be easily concealed from exposure, but this does not make them gain any esthetical value. And of course, they do not lend you any more confidence in your intimate life. Think that white comedones may also affect underlying tissues, appearing on the surface only as a hard deposits difficult to eliminate, as the head is not particularly visible on the surface. The fact however that these blemishes usually develop on the face or forehead is quite annoying, for the simple reason that it is not so easy to cover them except with a specific makeup: the only solution will be to find a treatment that will allow you to eliminate deeply set whiteheads in the affected area, thus improving the exterior appearance.
If you have decided to do take action against closed comedones, you will be relieved to know that there are some remedies to consider to take proper care of these unwelcome guests of your skin. Although most of you will definitely be more interested in the different products available on the market recommended for the treatment of closed comedones, be aware that there are some natural remedies provided by homeopathy to treat comedones closed with the use of natural substances such as essential oils, extracts of herbs and plants, all offering an efficient treatment without any side effects whatsoever.
The best way to permanently eliminate white comedones is introducing some simple yet consistent tweaks in your skincare routine. Mechanically clearing your face from white comedones will certainly require little time, but you will still need to continue taking some precautions and arrangements to prevent them from reappearing by stopping them right in their tracks. Bear with us to learn how.
Homeopathy is a solution followed by a large number of people who prefer to resort to natural treatments to get rid of comedones, without having to administer drugs or other chemicals prescribed by doctors and beauticians. Natural remedies for comedones are really many, but almost all involve the use of plants or herbs that are positively charged to the body, which can actually be useful also against the comedones that are enclosed that afflict your skin. Steam, essential oils, creams and compounds based on homeopathic substances will help to improve the skin’s appearance and the health of its tissues, which will certainly be less exposed to the formation of closed comedones and a wide range of other blemishes.
Other advice on how to remove comedones at home are just as simple:
- Do not squeeze.
The most important rule is tired and it goes like this: do not squeeze your pores. By squeezing blackheads you can easily cause inflammation, pimples and acne. You can even get scars. If you have to squeeze, be sure to use good skin care products and clean your face afterwards.
- Keep the skin clean
Keep the skin clean, use as little cosmetics as possible and never sleep with your makeup on. Clean the skin morning and evening, use facial water to access the pores in the deep and get rid of remnants of your makeup. Avoid oil-based creams and make-up. Find a night cream for your skin type that allows the skin to rest and close the pores during the night.
- Be patient
The pores do not disappear immediately after a cleaning and there is no product that removes them during the night. But by adding regular skincare routines, you will notice a big difference.
- Steam the skin
To steam the skin is great. It opens the pores so that impurities come out. Do this: boil water in a saucepan and then remove it from the plate. Hold the head above the pan and hold the steam by placing a towel over the head and the pan. Afterwards, peel / scrub the skin to really get rid of minor imperfections, whiteheads and even acne scars.
- Hot water
Hot water helps solve the problem with large pores. Rinse your face with warm in the morning and evening before using your face water.
- Ice cubes are your skin’s best friend
Cleaning your face with an ice cube shrinks your pores. The cold water tightens the open pores.
- Wear minimal makeup
For the best results, use as little make-up as possible. But if you are going to a party and really want a nice base, the best solution is minimal makeup and blotting tissues. We do not want any liquid makeup that clogs the pores again. Remember, less is more.
- Face masks
Find mask with coal ingredients. These stitches are used to remove clogged pores. Apply the mask as often as you feel, from once a week or every day.
- Make your own pore stripes
A good way to get rid of pores is with pore stripes. And even better, you can make them at home. Do this: mix 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder and 1½ tablespoon of milk in a bowl. Microwave the solution for 10-15 seconds. Stir and let it cool easily. Then brush the batter on the nose and allow it to dry. Then remove the gelatin as a patch. You will see lots of white blackheads that followed.
An effective way to fight the narrows is also peeling with milk and rice. All you have to do is put the rice in the milk, leave it for a few hours, and then you will get distorted, resulting in a homogeneous slurry ready to be used. Clean your face with a peeling cleanser and then wash your skin with warm water.
- Face cleansing brushes
If your skin is not very sensitive, you can occasionally wash it with a special brush. It’s a good peeling and facial massage. But remember that you can not squeeze too hard. Besides, it requires careful cleaning, otherwise it will become a habitat of bacteria.
- Pore cleansing device
Very recently on the market appeared electric appliances, which suck pores. First, you moisturize the skin with water fog extracted from the cleanser, and then move it over the skin. Then the face should be washed and conditioned with a moisturizing cream. Such cameras are not suitable for oily and sensitive skin – they can cause massive breakouts and bruising.
- Essential oils
You can buy this inexpensive product at a pharmacy inexpensively. Mix 10 ml of essential oil and 40 ml of kerosene, soak the cotton swab and wipe the face like it were a tonic. We warn that some of you may find the smell of the substance very irritating, so if you do not want to feel it after washing your face, wash your face with warm water and apply a gentle moisturizing cream. You can also make a hot mask from the scallion oil – just pour about 10-15 ml of essential oil into a bowl of hot water and keep the head covered with a towel for about 10 minutes over the vapor.
- Aspirin tonic
Aspirin tonic exfoliates the skin and purifies the pores, helping to get rid of comedones. Dissolve about 15 tablets of aspirin in 100 ml of water. For better consistency you can add a little glycerin or scent oil for additional antibacterial effect. The tonic can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and rubbed face daily.
How to prevent white comedones from reappearing
There are several recommended solutions to prevent white comedones and their visible symptoms, which are usually nothing other than daily indications regarding the lifestyle and daily attention to skin health and beauty.
- Glycolic acid is a product that you can find at any pharmacy and use it as an effective remedy for white comedones: this agent is an excellent skin exfoliant by removing dead cells and harmful substances on the surface, toning and stretching the tissues even in Depth of the epidermis, reinforcing its ability to release the white comedones and their contents.
- Nowadays we can also find a lot of creams and lotions on the market to treat skin blemishes. That’s why even white comedones will be affected by the natural action of these products that are effective for your purpose: creams for comedones Whites are usually made up of natural ingredients or apple vinegar, soy, milk or other nutrients that nourish the skin layers.
- Another effective solution for treating white comedones is a special herbal and natural plant treatment that contains beneficial substances for both the skin and the entire body, such as lavender, chamomile, ginseng, Thyme, sage or rosemary, which can also be infused together to prepare an ideal compound to apply on the skin to receive its properties even deep in the epidermis. The benefits will be enormous, considering the fact that it will not only be against white comedones, but also for a good variety of issues that affect more or less anyone in their lives.
To sum it up, here is your take-home message on how to treat whiteheads.
- Take a shower or a daily bath to keep your skin clean, freeing it from impurities and excess sebum.
- Follow a well balanced diet plan, ideal for the prevention of closed comedones
- Rest your right hours at night and do not overload yourself with stress so you can live more serenely – and enjoy a far better skin
- Use a gentle cleanser at least two or three times a day so you always have a fresh, clean skin
- Drink plenty of water to keep skin tissues moisturized.
- Avoid dry and irritating ingredients in cosmetics (eg menthol, alcohol) and soaps – they can cause skin peeling and consequently clogging pores with dead skin cells.
- Do not use dense, greasy lotions and moisturizing creams if you do not need them.
Pharmacological and aesthetic treatment
In the past, for the treatment of whiteheads, it was customary to prescribe to patients a retinoid treatment; considering the risks and side effects of these medicines (e.g. teratogenic effect), doctors today recommend acid-based acne- and beta-hydroxyacrylic peeling sessions (in particular, tartaric acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid). By smoothing the skin and removing the dead surface cells, these exfoliating treatments stimulate both cellular renewal and collagen and elastin synthesis in the dermis.
In the market, too, there are several medications available without a prescription for topical use of antibacterial, comedolytic and exfoliating active principles. Usually, these drugs are used primarily for the treatment of acne manifestations, but may also be very useful in case of acne-related whiteheads. The classic example of an active ingredient of this type is benzoyl peroxide.
The topical application of antibiotic drugs, on the other hand, is reserved for serious cases of acne, characterized by the simultaneous presence of open comedones, whiteheads, inflamed papules and pustules.
When local pharmacological treatments are not enough to eradicate the disorder, whiteheads can be removed by mini-invasive interventions. Micro-dermabrasion sessions with salicylic acid, laser therapy or surgical enucleation (practice involving the expulsion of the whitehead by means of a special surgical instrument) are generally sufficient to completely remove the whiteheads from the skin, avoiding any re-surfacing comedones.