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How to Get Rid of Blackheads?

Published on Apr 16, 2022   -  4 min read


You probably would have heard someone tell you not to squeeze or pop pimples or blackheads whenever you had one? Why is it so?



Blackheads are milder forms of acne that commonly develop on the face and neck. They are black, and they are easy to spot on the skin because of their dark color. It is one common skin disorder most people from the United States experience. In medical terms, it is called open comedones. In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about what blackheads actually are, how they are formed, and some practical and inexpensive ways to get rid of them.

What Are Blackheads?

Blackheads are small black-colored bumps that develop on the skin due to clogged hair follicles. They are commonly seen on the face and the neck, but they can develop anywhere on the skin where more hair follicles are present such as the chest, arms, back, and shoulder. These blackheads contain oxidized melanin and not dirt. The common misconception is that the blackheads contain trapped dust or dirt, but blackheads are not related to the cleanliness of the skin. Blackheads do not fade away on squeezing or scrubbing. It only gets worse on doing so.

How Are Blackheads Formed?

Every follicle contains hair and a sebaceous gland. This sebaceous gland produces oil called sebum which helps to keep the skin soft. When the opening of the hair follicles gets clogged, the dead skin cells and the excess oil get collected at the opening resulting in a bump. And if the skin over the bump is opened, the dead skin cells react with the oxygen present in the air, causing it to look black.

What Are the Causes of Blackheads?

There are a few risk factors that can increase the risk of developing blackheads. Some of these include:

Even after puberty, there can be hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, and the usage of contraceptive pills. So the chances of women having blackheads are high.

What Do Blackheads Look Like?

Blackheads are small tiny black-colored bumps that commonly appear on the face, chin, neck, back, chest, arms, and shoulders. They are flat bumps, unlike pimples. These blackheads are non-inflammatory.

What Common Mistakes Do People Do to Treat Blackheads?

How to Get Rid of Blackheads?

Every time you squeeze the blackheads, you are only worsening the scenario. Squeezing, picking, and popping are the wrong approaches to get rid of these blackheads. Here are a few of the proven ways to treat blackheads:

Salicylic Acid:

When looking for an over-the-counter cream, you should look for this ingredient given on the label. Salicylic acid is commonly found in skin cleansers. It breaks down the dead skin cells and the excess oil before it gets clogged. Salicylic acid can be too much for certain people's skin conditions, so you can notice how it reacts with your skin. You can talk to your doctor before using it or when you notice any unusual signs or symptoms after using it.

Topical Retinoids:

Retinoids are known to unclog the pores. These retinoids are made from vitamin A, and they also help in the formation of new skin cells. You can purchase retinoid creams only with a prescription. Retinoid creams should be applied before bed or indoors, as retinoids make the skin more sensitive to UV (ultraviolet) rays.

Chemical Peels:

Usually, chemical peels are used to remove the sun-damaged skin and minor scars, but it also works for certain types of acne. Chemical peels remove the top layer of the skin, thereby removing the blackheads and other debris. The common ingredients present in the chemical peels include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and retinoic acid.


This process is done to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. You need to exfoliate gently, as rubbing too hard can result in irritation and more noticeable pores.

Use of Skin Brush:

A skin brush is used to clean the built-up debris. Using a skin brush can also reduce the signs of aging. But it is important to rehydrate your skin by using some moisturizers after using a skin brush.

What Are the Dos and Don'ts to Keep Your Blackheads Under Control?


Blackheads that do not respond to the treatments or those damaged by popping or squeezing may require a visit to a dermatologist. Taking proper care at the right time can prevent the worsening of the condition.


Frequently Asked Questions


How to Remove Blackheads?

Blackheads can be removed by the following methods:

- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser at least twice daily, and after workout.

- Steam your face with a face steamer.

- If you need to squeeze, never use your nails. Instead, an extractor tool can be used.

- Exfoliate regularly. Chemical peeling is better than physical ones. Glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid are the ingredients to look out for.

- Use pore strips, which removes the tapped debris by plucking it out.

- Use moisturizer regularly to keep the skin’s oil levels balanced.

- Apply a topical retinoid, which repairs damaged cells, removes dead skin, and decreases clog formation.


How to Remove Blackheads on the Nose?

Blackheads on the nose can be easily removed at home by using home-made scrubs like baking soda and lemon juice scrub, oatmeal scrub. Apply these scrubs on the face and leave them there for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.


How to Remove Blackheads on the Cheeks?

Blackheads on cheeks can be removed by the following:

- Use salicylic acid products.

- Use clay masks at least 2 to 3 times a week.

- Use chemical and physical exfoliators.

- Use non comedogenic oils on cheeks.

- Use vacuum tool in adjunct with other treatment methods.

- Use retinoids.

- Go for professional treatment.


What Is the Appearance of Blackheads?

Blackheads have the appearance of tiny black dots on the skin.


Is Removing Blackheads Good for Skin?

Squeezing blackheads is not good for skin as it may tear the skin, may allow entry of bacteria, and may damage the pore. However, proper blackhead removal techniques can be used after a hot shower or steaming.


What Happens If Blackheads Are Left As It Is?

If blackheads are not removed then the pores can become inflamed, and can eventually lead to acne.


What Is Considered As the Best Blackhead Remover?

Using the Adapalene gel treatment regularly is the best blackhead remover method to be used at home.


How to Remove a Deep Blackhead?

A deep blackhead should be removed by a medical professional only, a dermatologist or a medical esthetician. Superficial blackheads can be easily removed at home by various methods.


Do Blackheads Go Away on Their Own?

Blackheads can go away naturally, but not always. If the blackhead is superficial and close to the skin surface then it can go away on its own. The deep blackheads need to be removed.


Should Vaseline Be Used for Treating Blackheads?

Vaseline is not good for treating blackheads because it can clog pores. However, skin should be kept moisturized with non comedogenic products.


Why Does Blackheads Always Appear on My Nose?

Nose has the maximum number of sebaceous glands on the face. These glands are present in pores along with hair follicles. When the pores or hair follicles gets clogged; the sebum, dirt, dead skin or bacteria gets collected in them, causing blackheads.


How to Get Rid of Blackheads At Home?

Blackheads can be removed at home by following the given tips:

- Cleanse face regularly.

- Use oil-free cosmetics and skincare products.

- Maintain proper hygiene, particularly of hands and nails.

- Consume a balanced diet and avoid oily foods.

- Drink lots of water.


Is It Safe to Use Blackhead Remover Strips?

Blackhead remover strips yield temporary results. They do not cause any major damage. However, they can lead to redness and skin irritation, especially in patients of rosacea, psoriasis, or those using prescribed anti-acne medications.

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Last reviewed at:
16 Apr 2022  -  4 min read




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