Acne not only comes in various forms, but also in different degrees of severity. Whiteheads and blackheads are relatively milder forms of this chronic skin disease. Each tiny bulge takes shape out of surplus body oil and dead skin cells which pile up together and form a plug to clog the hair follicle, entrapping the discharged sebum within the pore itself. Both are more or less similar in nature as per the history of their formation, with one and only difference in the style of clogging of the skin pores.
In case of blackheads the skin pores are always partially clogged whereas if it is totally blocked, we call it whitehead or closed comedone. In later type, the plug remains under the skin surface which blocks it from coming in touch with air, thereby inhibiting the natural oxidation process which otherwise makes the plug appear black or darker in color in blackheads.
How and Why Whiteheads Show Up?
Hormonal contribution has been emphasized much by dermatologists as an active reason working behind comedonal formation. The male hormone called androgen which is present both within male and female body, is the chief causative factor that instigates the oil glands or sebaceous glands within our body to discharge more and more sebum.
This surplus sebum or body oil combines with the dead skin cells to form a hardened plug, jamming the skin pores. Some dermatologists believe that whiteheads are atypical to dry skin. They claim that the dryness of the skin causes hardening of the discharged sebum which easily forms into a solid plug to block the skin pores. They attribute the same reason even to the formation of blackheads as well. However, the real reasons behind the formation of such comedones are still unknown.
Popular Remedial Approaches
Often people resort to a much simpler and apparently handy means of removing comedones. Undoubtedly it is done by popping or picking them with bare hands. Nevertheless, unlike severe acne, removal of whiteheads is not entirely impossible, but they should be done preferably at doctor’s office using some sterilized needle or instruments like a blackhead extractor.
Benzoyl peroxide is the name of a very popular over-the-counter product which is used extensively for treating mild acne. Benzoyl peroxide bears an antibacterial property to diminish the possible bacterial buildup within the follicles and it is able to stop the growth of fresh new pimples.
Tretinoin has been proven to be a very effective and successful cure for milder acne like whiteheads.
Tretinoin – a classic example of topical retinoid – is a derivative of vitamin A. It works by augmenting the cell turnover and helping out the process of skin exfoliation.
Home Remedies and Removal Tips
Since acne is the outcome of affluence of body oil and conglomeration of the dead skin cells, it is essential to rule out both conditions in order to reach the ultimate goal. Cleansing and exfoliating the skin properly would be the best option in this regard. Use some mild cleanser to wash your face two times a day. This would help you stay away from the accumulation of excess oil on the skin surface. For exfoliating the dead cells you could use some mild scrubber. Never rub or scrub your skin too harshly or else it would surely take a turn for the worse. Homemade scrubbers made of fruit peels are often quite favorite remedy for most acne victims. Some say that rubbing lemon peels on the face work wonders in reducing whiteheads.
Steaming might also be another effective method of unclogging the skin pores. However too much of it might cause adverse impacts.
A paste of fresh and clean fenugreek leaves used as a face pack is another suggestion for reducing milder acne. Apply the paste all over the entire face and wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wash it off completely with lukewarm water.
A very famous regimen meant for whitehead removal is made out of sandalwood paste and rose water. Apply this with your fingertip on the affected spots. Leave for 20 to 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.