What are they?

Sometimes it takes looking into a highly magnified mirror to realize that the little black dots on your nose and cheeks aren’t freckles, they’re blackheads. Although blackheads might not be as noticeable when there’s only one or two, when your entire nose is covered, it’s pretty obvious and can be quite a blow to your self-esteem. Although they’re usually small and not inflamed like a whitehead, they’re still hard to cover up with makeup because they’re dark in color.

What causes them?

Blackheads occur when a pore becomes blocked and it fills up with oil, bacteria, or dead skin cells. The difference between a blackhead and a whitehead is that with a whitehead, the opening to the pore is small and closed off, which makes it fill up with puss. Unlike a whitehead, a black head is open to the outside air, which causes the oil inside to oxidize and turn black.

How are they treated?

They can be treated a number of ways, but like a whitehead, they shouldn’t be squeezed or picked at. By doing this, there is just more potential for bacteria to get on your skin and cause even more breakouts, or worse, if you pick at your skin too much, it can lead to scarring. Blackheads can be treated topically with cleansers, creams and spot treatments. It’s important to not over-use these products because they can be very drying to your skin, and if your skin becomes too dry, it will produce an excess of oil which will just make your problem worse. There are also blackhead masks that can be purchased at your favorite beauty store to specifically help target this problem and clear your pores by literally pulling out debris that might be lurking there. Blackheads can also be controlled and prevented by taking vitamins that help control how much oil your skin is producing. By giving your skin the nutrients it needs, you can prevent acne and blemishes from happening in the first place!

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