If you've got a few or even a lot of those pesky blackheads on your skin, don't despair. There are some things you can do to get rid of them, from at-home remedies and deep-cleaning procedures to prescription medications.
Start with over-the-counter treatments. There are many products available that can help rid your skin of blackheads. A gentle exfoliator with a cleanser can be help to unclog pores and eliminate blackheads. Pore strips, which are medicated strips that are applied to the skin then removed, might also help clear up some of the substances that lead to blackheads [source: KidzWorld].
Look for products that list benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur or resorcinol in their ingredients. Benzoyl peroxide can dry up the amount of oil in your skin, and salicylic acid, resorcinol and sulfur break down blackheads. Salicylic acid also slows the natural sloughing off process of dead skin cells, which can clog the pores and lead to blackheads in the first place [source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases].
Since blackheads are considered to be mild acne, over-the-counter products should be your first line of defense. If you don't see the results you want, then you can pursue a more intensive kind of treatment, including prescription medications, which have higher doses of the active ingredients than their over-the-counter versions do. These can include oral antibiotics and topical antibiotics, which reduce bacteria in the skin.
To learn more about reducing and preventing blackheads, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "12 Ways to Get Better Results from Acne Treatment." (Accessed 9/8/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/twelve_results.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "What is Acne?" (Accessed 9/8/09) http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/acne.html
- GeorgiaHealthInfo.gov. "Acne." (Accessed 9/8/09)http://georgiahealthinfo.gov/cms/node/125610
- Gray, Meredith. "How Do I Get Rid of Nose Blackheads?" Seventeen. (Accessed 9/8/09)http://www.seventeen.com/hair-skin-makeup/questions-answers/extracting-nose-blackheads
- KidzWorld. "Battling Blackheads and Acne." (Accessed 9/8/09) http://www.kidzworld.com/article/3348-battling-blackheads-and-acne
- Medical News Today. "What are Blackheads? How to Get Rid of Blackheads." May 22, 2007. (Accessed 9/8/09)http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/71615.php
- Medline Plus. "Acne." (Accessed 9/8/09) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000873.htm
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. "Acne." January 2006. (Accessed 9/8/09)http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Acne/
- Ray, Claiborne C. "Chocolate and Acne." The New York Times. December 23, 1997. (Accessed 9/8/09).http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/23/science/q-a-728900.html
- WebMD. "Acne Vulgaris-Prevention." (Accessed 9/8/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-vulgaris-prevention
- WebMD. "Understanding Acne -- The Basics." (Accessed 9/8/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-acne-basics