Blackheads and open comedones

What are blackheads?

Blackheads or open comedones can be best described as yellow or blackish clogs or bumps on the skin surface. In medical practice they are termed “acne vulgaris”. Despite the widespread belief poor hygiene doesn’t necessarily lead to blackheads. In fact, they appear when excessively secreted oils amass in the sebaceous glands duct. Dark color of these plugs comes as a result of both oxidization induced by interaction between air and sebum in a clogged pore and melanin pigmentation from the dead epithelium cells.

How do open comedones appear?

Blackheads are often provoked by oily skin. Environmental contamination, dust fractions, makeup leftovers and dead epithelium cells tend to block the facial oil glands. Later all these interact with air and turn black. Though blackheads spoil the looks, gentle exfoliation is likely to clean the pores from clogs.


What causes blackheads?

Emergence of this genetic or hormonal disorder doesn’t depend on nation or sex. Normally, healthy pore secretes a certain amount of sebum which then freely moves through it and comes out onto the skin top layer. There it forms a thin protective coat all over the face. Needed oil amount is controlled by the hormones individually.
Otherwise, a mixture of epithelium cells and excessive sebum masses block the pore. Being exposed to air this combination oxidizes and becomes a blackhead.

How to remove blackheads?

There are some better ways of fighting the blackheads then avoiding oily or thick emollients and moisturizers. To list basic practical advice on blackheads treatment, following means should be mentioned:
1.Try using water-soluble cleansers instead of the solid soap. Soap components are likely to clog pores, while inflicted irritation can cause epithelium cells to come off too early and block the pore.
2.Employ gentle exfoliants to get rid of the superfluous skin cells on the face surface and clean the pore from inside (to advance its shape for better carrying capacity).
3.Apply AHA and BHA peels. BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) or salicylic acid as the most common used BHA is likely to affect the pore from inside and exfoliate its inner layer to unblock it and normalize the oil flow.
4.Excess oil should be absorbed. Suits only for oily skin because blackheads on dry skin have nothing to do with extra oil. In such cases clay masks and oil-absorbing papers may be of great help (they shouldn’t contain such irritating components as mint, peppermint, camphor, etc).