Do you suffer from rough and bumpy skin? You have probably always referred to these little bumps as blocked or clogged pores. In actual fact, these small bumps are a type of acne blemish called comedones.
Closed comedones are pimples on the surface of the skin that are hidden by a blocked pore. They appear like small skin-colored bumps that form on your forehead or jawline. Most closed comedones form a very obvious whitehead.
There are two types of comedones: closed comedones and open comedones.
Blackheads - These are defined as open comedones that develop when excess oil and skin cells become trapped within a hair follicle (or multiple hair follicles.) The technical term for a blackhead is a "comedo."
Whiteheads - These are defined as closed comedones that also develop when the pore is clogged with dead skin cells and sebum. Above the pore, there's a thin layer of skin, making the head white since the oil plug is not exposed to air..
If bacteria penetrate the follicle, a comedone can grow into inflamed pimples or inflammatory acne.
Pimples can appear on the skin with or without a more severe type of acne. They can be easily mistaken for other types of acne.It's very important to know how to identify both closed and open comedones, so you can remove them effectively.
Treating comedones doesn't have to cause you a headache. Let's focus our attention on whiteheads and everything you need to know, from how to get rid of them with simple yet highly effective treatments and home remedies, to preventive measures and tips for comedonal acne.
The key is to be patient. Usually, it takes from 6 to 8 weeks to see results from treating closed comedones.
Some people have skin that is more prone to closed comedones. Everyone gets them at some point in their life, and most of us have them constantly without paying them much attention. This is because they're often really small and almost invisible.
They might not cause pain, but come on - we all know how frustrating closed comedones or whiteheads can be. This condition can seriously shake our confidence and self-esteem, so we all want to get rid of closed comedones once and for all.
Closed comedones can be caused by lots of different factors. Stress is responsible for many physical and psychological conditions. After puberty, stress is the number one factor for developing whiteheads and comedonal acne. When someone is under stress, the cells that produce oil are unregulated, which results in pore blockage.
Conditions and medications that cause hormonal disbalance, like menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, or oral contraception, trigger the growth of whiteheads.
Finally, genetics also play a role. Several studies have found that if a close family member suffers from whiteheads, you have a higher risk of developing bad skin.
Knowing the causes is important because sometimes lifestyle changes are necessary. If you're going through puberty, you probably have oily skin (or inflamed acne-prone skin). Look for a treatment that can tackle hormonal acne and help you make the skin more resistant and clean.
If you're going through chronic stress, think about ways to relax and change your mindset. You can start exercising, spend time in nature, practice yoga, meditate - or just spend more time doing something you love.
If genetics are causing the trouble, experiment with products to find the ones that suit your skin type the best. Oily skin types will need non-comedogenic products (to help avoid clogged hair follicles and pores), whereas sensitive skin types will need gentle products that won't irritate the skin (such as mild soap or a gentle cleanser).
Here are some proven solutions you can try.
Whiteheads are a challenge to manage. Even if they're relatively easy to treat, they often reappear after treatment is over. You can take over-the-counter products (such as an over-the-counter retinoid), topical medications, prescription washes, or natural remedies to treat closed comedones and comedonal acne.
Here are some methods to help you kill bacteria, unclog your pores, reduce the excess oil, or just maintain the skin cells on your face.
The most popular of them are:
There are many topical treatments for acne, such as cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, mandelic acid, or sulfur. Make sure to include them in your daily skincare routine. Remember, even the best prescription strength topical treatment for one person might not be the best for you - everyone's skin words differently.
Benzoyl Peroxide - An ingredient most often found in acne gel, benzoyl peroxide dries out the existing pimples on the surface of the skin and prevents the creation of new ones. It's also believed to destroy bacteria that trigger comedonal acne. Be patient - it takes around four weeks to see results, and you need to use it continuously.
Salicylic acid - Salicylic acid is often found in face soaps, masks, beta hydroxy acids, and chemical peels. It doesn't have any effect on sebum production, and it doesn't kill bacteria. It works by exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells that can clog pores. Just like with benzoyl peroxide, if you stop using salicylic acid, the whiteheads might return.
Resorcinol - This ingredient is less common than the others on this list, but it's also great at removing dead skin cells. It has a keratolytic agent, which is quite effective in shedding dead flakey skin cells. It works by removing the surface layer of skin and unclogging pores. You can find it in over-the-counter topical acne treatments with a concentration of 2% or less.
Our #1 Recommended Whitehead Treatment - We recommend trying Misumi's Complete Clear 3 Step System, a unique and powerful combination of naturally-derived and proven topical treatments, including a signature cleanser, toner, and day moisturizer. If you're looking for a breakthrough and easy-to-manage acne kit to help banish whiteheads fast and maintain clear and healthy skin, the Complete Clear 3-Step System is the perfect skin care routine for you.
Medicine started with the use of herbal and natural remedies. Today, people worldwide are sharing their favorite homemade solutions or natural products that have helped them handle their skin conditions. Below we'll share the best practices to get rid of whiteheads and comedonal acne.
It's up to you which one you choose to use. As mentioned above, it usually takes between 6 to 8 weeks to see results.
If you have a tight budget, or you simply don't want to use an abrasive skin care routine full of chemicals, you can always use some of these super easy home remedies to tackle acne.
Tomatoes naturally contain salicylic acid, and because of this, they are a very common home remedy ingredient. The acid helps unclog pores and absorb oils.
You can make a tomato face mask using only one teaspoon of sugar and one tomato. Combine them and apply the paste on your face in circular motions. Leave the mask on for 5 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
The acidic and antioxidative properties of vitamin C in this citrus fruit dry the skin and soak up excess oil. Additionally, lemons contain antibacterial compounds that reduce inflammation and swelling.
If the lemon is too harsh for your skin, mix it with a tablespoon of yogurt and a few drops of rose water. Apply the mixture evenly on your face. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse with cold water.
Tea tree oil believed to be a natural alternative to products like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. The oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that help reduce comedonal acne and make the skin healthier. This is why you find it in beauty and skin care products so frequently.
If you want to make a home remedy from tea tree oil, mix it at a ratio of one part oil and nine parts water or aloe vera gel. Apply the mix directly to the whiteheads without rinsing.
The acid in vinegar works to dry out whiteheads and help them heal quicker. It reduces inflammation and infection.
Dilute the apple cider vinegar with water, depending on your skin's sensitivity. Wash your face completely. Then, take a cotton ball, dip it in the solution and gently massage the area of your face affected by whiteheads. Leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.
If you're dealing with oily skin, wash your face more than two times a day, but be careful not to overdo it. Drying out your skin's surface will cause your sebaceous glands (otherwise known as the oil glands) to produce excess sebum. We don't need to tell you that excess oil production can lead you to develop closed comedones and cause comedonal acne.
Use gentle exfoliants to remove trapped dirt and treat comedones. And, instead of face detergents, use glycerin soap. Look for products with gentle, acne-fighting ingredients such as witch hazel, tea tree oil, and more.
Unfortunately, dietary factors can impact skin health. The things we eat and drink always show on the skin. If you want clear skin without annoying whiteheads or comedonal acne, avoid alcohol, highly saturated, processed fats, and lots of sugar. Too much sugar can increase insulin levels and result in hormonal disbalance. Saturated fats increase arachidonic acid levels in the body, which may contribute to more inflammatory acne.
If you want smoother skin, please don't touch your face! The hands are filled with bacteria and dirt, which can clog the pores and cause infections. This also goes for popping comedones. Do not do it! It might be tempting to pop that closed comedone and squeeze out all that trapped sebum, but this can cause skin irritation and will encourage the development of comedonal acne. Even if you have a typical pimple, it can also lead to acne scarring or a dark appearance where it once was.
Since we're talking about touching the face, we have to mention pillowcases. Change them frequently!
Tie up your hair, too. Don't let it fall over your face. Our hair contains natural oil that might be causing the problem. (And not to mention - all those hair products.)
Sweating will help you remove toxins, improve skin health and make the skin more resilient against comedones and comedonal acne. But don't forget to shower immediately after working out - never let the sweat stay on your face for long.
If you're really struggling to improve your skin and nothing seems to be helping, you may need to see an APRN medically registered nurse who can take a look. APRN means they are an advanced-practice registered nurse.