General Health

Open Comedones: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Open Comedones

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A clogged pore or hair follicle is called a comedo. When it is open, it’s filled with dead skin cells and oil. Due to exposure to air, it becomes grey or black and that is why it’s called a blackhead or an open comedone. Sometimes the pigment is not oxidized, so the blackhead is a bit yellowish. Open comedones appear as the very first signs of puberty. They occur on the face or neck, chest or back, shoulders or arms. But they aren’t common for teenagers only: due to hormonal and lifestyle changes they can affect the skin of a grown-up as well.

What Are the Causes of Open Comedones?

Open Comedones 2

Blackheads start appearing as the result of the plug development in the hair follicles’ openings in one’s skin. A follicle contains a sebaceous gland that is responsible for oil production. The so-called sebum (sebaceous) helps keep the skin soft. It also contains hair. And when oils along with dead skin cells start collecting in this opening, there appears a comedone.

According to the latest researches, there are several factors that increase one’s chances of developing blackheads. They are:

  • irritation of hair follicles: dead skin cells do not shed regularly;
  • excessive body oil production;
  • build-up of propionibacterium acnes on one’s skin;
  • hormonal changes that lead to oil production during menstruation and in teens;
  • birth control pills;
  • drugs like lithium, androgens and corticosteroids.

There is a common belief that foods and drinks can trigger the occurrence of open comedones, too. For example, dairy products and carbohydrates lead to the blood sugar level increase, thus they play a vital role in acne occurrence.

If You have Closed Comedones – read this article:

How to Prevent Open Comedones?

Open Comedones

There are several working ways to prevent skin problems and open comedone extraction. Most dermatologists suggest keeping the pores clean and using skin care products that contain acne meds. Here are several prevention rules that we want you to pay attention to:

  1. your face must be washed twice a day with warm water and a cleanser that is mild. Bar soaps aren’t good choices for your skin. Neither are the cleansers with irritants like fragrances and others;
  2. your skin must be regularly exfoliated to keep pores unclogged and remove excess skin cells. To avoid open comedones use gentle exfoliating products. The best one includes small grains. While using some rough scrubs you irritate the skin and make it tear. Any irritation and redness mean that any exfoliating procedure must be reduced;
  3. include more fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily ration;
  4. drink much water;
  5. avoid any oil-based beauty products on your neck and face;
  6. don’t squeeze blackheads as any picking and squeezing causes inflammation and makes the skin prone to more blackheads;
  7. keep your hands off your face;
  8. buy special masks for acne-prone skin. Use them weekly. Pay attention to clay masks as they help dry up excess oil.

We also suggest addressing to topical medication. Those that contain salicylic acid, azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide are the best choice. They are administered even when open comedones are gone. They are used for months to prevent the reoccurrence of skin issues.

Open Comedones Treatment: Professional and Homemade Options

Open comedone treatment can be fulfilled in different ways. They all are divided into two major categories: professional and homemade. The former ones are effective and bring fast results, while the latter ones are slowly-acting, but help to address the roots of skin problems.

Professional Approaches

Removal.  This is one of the commonest approaches. A round loop extractor is a special instrument that is used by dermatologists to remove the plug that triggered blackheads. A dermatologist makes a small opening in the plug, applies pressure and removes the clog.

Medications. Both over-the-counter ones and prescription must be taken into account. Many meds are purchased from grocery and drug stores. One doesn’t need prescription to buy them. They are gels and creams, lotions and pads that are applied directly on the skin. Such meds contain resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid that drying the excess oil, kill bacteria and make the skin shed dead skin cells.

However, there are cases, when over-the-counter drugs can’t cope with open comedones. So, a dermatologist prescribes stronger medications that contain tazarotene, Vitamin A or adapalene to prevent plug formation. There are various topical prescription medications with antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide in their content. They help when blackheads appear along with cysts.

Chemical peels. They are known for removing clogs and getting rid of dead skin cells that add to the occurrence of blackheads. Dermatologists use strong chemical solutions to peel the skin’s top layer and reveal the smooth one.

Microdermabrasion. During this procedure a doctor uses a special instrument with a rough surface. It sands out skin’s top layers, removes clogs and blackheads.

Light/laser therapy. Both types of therapies use the beams of intense light to kill bacteria and decrease oil production. They reach below the skin’s surface and treat acne without damaging the skin.

Homemade Remedies

They say, home remedies are very effective, too. Yet not all sufferers have enough time and patience to find the ones they need and wait till they work. Here are several effective ones for open comedones elimination.

Choose the one that will work for you:

  • egg whites: it is easy to make a mask from egg whites to treat pores and reduce blackheads. Why egg whites? They are reach in nutrients and aren’t as drying as many other remedies;
  • honey and milk: both products have many beneficial properties for your acne-prone skin. Honey has antibacterial ones, while milk includes the lactic acid that makes the skin soft;
  • honey and cinnamon: this combination is often referred to as amazing for one’s skin. Honey keeps away the bacteria that trigger acne and cinnamon improves circulation. When the blood flow is increased, the skin becomes smooth and healthy;
  • water and baking soda: use small amounts of backing soda to remover blackheads. Small and fine granules of baking soda are a cheap and natural way to exfoliate your skin at home and remove the clogs that cause blackheads. But be very careful, while using baking soda: too much of it dries out the skin;
  • sugar: most blackhead sufferers make an effective sugar scrub. It removes dead skin cells that clog up pores and trigger acne. Sugar also revives circulation and adds a healthier glow. Mix water, sugar and jojoba oil to ensure awesome effects;
  • apple cider vinegar: make an effective toner by mixing apple cider vinegar and mint leaves. The first ingredient breakdowns bacteria that lead to blackheads formation, the second one creates a cooling sensation on the skin. But if the area is irritated or swollen, this remedy is surely not a wise choice as it causes inflammation.

Treatment options for open comedones are versatile. Some are more effective than others. Some are cheap, while others are expensive. But if you have no time for any of them, seek professional help and remedies that lead to fast results. Consider prevention to get rid of anything that clogs your pores.