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Whiteheads might not be the worst form of acne, but they can be a nuisance nonetheless. They develop when dead cells or sebum oil or dirt accumulate and clog your pores. They are a bit challenging to remove as they are closed within the pore. While whiteheads stay under the skin, they do appear as a raised white bump on your skin.
What causes whiteheads?
Whiteheads can be caused by a variety of factors, such as increased sebum production and cell shedding in the hair follicles. Acne is common during puberty, which is explained by the function played by androgen hormones, sometimes referred to as reproductive hormones. When sebum can’t reach the skin’s surface and becomes stuck, clogged pores can form. Whiteheads develop as more sebum amasses behind the closed pores.
If left ignored, whiteheads can become infected and pop out as inflamed acne with a white centre. Hormonal changes, certain cosmetic products, excessive sebum, genetic predisposition, perspiration, greasy, certain medication, pollution, and sun overexposure are some of the common factors that can lead to unwanted whiteheads.
How to get rid of whiteheads?
Here are some ways to help you get rid of whiteheads, but don’t forget to check with your doctor first.
1. Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin and clears pores. It works best for mild acne-like whiteheads as it helps remove the top layer of damaged skin. It removes the dead skin cells obstructing your pores by penetrating your skin. You might need to use it for a few weeks before you notice its full impact.
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can work against whiteheads. Since it’s a natural ingredient with no harmful effects, it is easy to apply directly to your face. Tea tree oil is also present in some products for skin care, including cleansers, masks, and spot treatments.
One of the most natural treatments that can help you get rid of whiteheads is steam. It helps open clogged pores and get rid of problems such as whiteheads. Not only does steam help unclog pores, but it also gives you clean and clear skin.
4. Retinoid creams
When used as a daily face cream, it can have anti-ageing effects on your skin and help unclog pores. A 2017 study published in Dermatology and Therapy found that topic retinoids can help in treating acne like whiteheads. While they help treat whiteheads, they can make your skin more sensitive to sun rays. So, make sure you talk to your dermatologist first before trying it out.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains moisturising and soothing properties that will reduce oil production and reduce whiteheads over time. You can mix a spoonful of aloe vera with a teaspoon of lemon juice, and apply it to the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes and wash it with normal water.
While these products and natural remedies may work and help you get rid of whiteheads, make sure you are not allergic. It is best to talk to your doctor before using any of the remedies mentioned here.