Whiteheads or closed comedones are the type of acne that develops under the skin due to the clogging of your pores with dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt or sebum. These are small, white to creamy yellow bumps that are located on face specifically on nose, chin, and forehead (T-zone). The causes of whiteheads formation include genetic factors, increased production of sebum, hormonal changes, poor facial hygiene, eating oily and greasy food items, excessive smoking and anxiety. Fortunately, these closed comedones can be effectively treated by lifestyle modifications, some topical and oral medications and home remedies ,etc.
How to Get Rid of Whiteheads?
Choose Facial Products Wisely
Always use gentle cleanser: Clean your face with a mild and deodorant-free cleanser and rinse thoroughly.
Use ointments or facial washes that contain benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol or salicylic acid as active ingredients: The benzoyl peroxide acts on bacteria and inhibits their growth. Salicylic acid and resorcinol help to clear the whiteheads by opening the pores and drying up of excess sebum. Always test on small area to check for any allergic reaction. If you experience rashes or inflammation, do not use that product and immediately contact your dermatologist
Use oil-free or water based beauty products: Oil-based makeup and other beauty products will block the pores of your skin causing the formation of whiteheads. Do not keep your makeup overnight and use non-comedogenic, oil-free or water based products.
Try Natural Remedies
Use tea tree oil
Apply a few drops of tea tree oil to an affected area to fight against whiteheads and blackheads. This oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action and can work as an excellent astringent.
Use aloe vera gel
The plant-based extract of aloe vera is available in a pure form or as an active ingredient in some skin care products. Its antibacterial and soothing effect helps to alleviate skin inflammation and discourages blackhead and whitehead formation.
Try apple cider vinegar
This natural product has magical astringent property in addition to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects. Use by mixing one tablespoon of it into a small cup of water and apply on the affected areas for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Maintain Good Skincare Habits
Do not squeeze your whiteheads: When you try to pop whiteheads, the bacteria and dirt are pushed deep inside the skin pore. This may lead to infection and further deteriorate the skin by causing permanent scarring.
Steam to unclog your facial skin pores: Steaming of the face or Sauna bath for five to eight minutes twice a week opens the pores and promote the removal of dirt, oil, and bacteria out of your skin.
Use exfoliant once or twice a week: You can buy a gentle exfoliant containing salicylic acid from a store or prepare natural scrub by mixing ground oatmeal or almond powder with rose water. Apply onto the affected area for 10 minutes and scrub it off lightly before rinsing. They are highly effective in removing the dead skin and dirt and also absorb excess oils.
Modify Your Routine
By making slight modification in your daily lifestyle, you can prevent further breakouts and treat the existing ones.
Eat healthy food items with less oil and spices.
Wash your hair daily to prevent oil or dirt accumulation that may touch your face, which lead to white bumps.
Always clean your pillowcase, bedsheets, cell phone or anything that comes in direct contact with your face.
Control stress and have an adequate amount of good quality sleep at night. By incorporating these tips you can answer the question of how to get rid of whiteheads.
Try Topical Retinoids Cream
Retinoids creams contain Vitamin A, which helps to unclog your pores and eradicate the white bumps from both superficial and deeper layers of skin. However, this cream has certain side effects such as extreme dryness of skin, skin peeling and can make your skin extremely sensitive to sunlight. In addition, it can cause congenital malformations in the fetus and is contraindicated in pregnancy.
Visit Your Dermatologist
When your whiteheads are too stubborn to go away with home remedies or over the counter products, it is the time to visit your dermatologist. You probably need stronger medications and other professional treatments such as chemical peeling, laser treatments or surgical extraction to resolve your query of how to get rid of whiteheads.
Surgical extraction of whiteheads: This procedure has to be performed by a licensed skin specialist who has expertise in comedo extraction under strict sterile environment. Do not attempt to use at-home metal tweezer or any other device as it may cause infection, inflammation, and damage to your skin.
Microdermal abrasion: In this procedure, your dermatologist removes the superficial dead skin layers with the help of a special machine. The machine sprays out very fine crystal particles onto the affected area which causes exfoliation and peeling of the dead skin cells. It also enhances circulation and thereby promotes skin repair.
Use Accutane or Isotretinoin in severe cases only: Sometimes your dermatologist may prescribe you Isotretinoin drug to be taken orally. Although it works effectively in completely removing your whiteheads, it has a number of possible devastating adverse effects and is only reserved for severe skin problems. These side effects include cracking or blistering of the skin, abdominal cramps, severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, mood swings, aggression or agitation, behavioral changes, hallucinations, convulsions etc. Moreover, these drugs are not prescribed in pregnant women or those who are planning to become pregnant.
Be Patient while Treating Your Whiteheads
How to get rid of whiteheads? Any topical OTC or prescribed medicine does not cure whiteheads overnight. Do not hurry in switching to another cream or ointment and continue to maintain treatment for few weeks or months to let it work.