If you have acne or whiteheads, you know how distressing it can be. Everyone wants a blemish-free skin, but for some of us, it is more difficult to attain than it is for others. Adolescents and adults alike can get acne, and while it is tempting to pop whiteheads, please don’t. Learning how to get rid of whiteheads can spare your skin and prevent scarring.
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What Are They?
These visible white pumps are actually a type of acne that happens when oil, bacteria, sebum, and dead skin becomes trapped inside a pore. It closes over, causing the pimple which can become red, irritated, and inflamed. They are most common on your face, but they can also occur on the neck, back, and other areas.
Blackheads, also just as distressing, are similar but instead of being covered by skin, they are open, exposing the bacteria, skin, and oil to the air. This causes the color to change to black. Will all whiteheads eventually become blackheads? No. Some may, particularly if you pop them. The good news is that you can safely get rid of whiteheads and enjoy clean and clear skin.
What’s the Cause?
Learning how to get rid of whiteheads, must address the root cause. There are 3 leading causes of whiteheads: diet, hormones, and improper cleansing.
If you eat a diet high in sugar, carbohydrates, saturated fats, and processed foods – whiteheads may be an all too common reflection when you look in the mirror. The good news is that if it is your diet that is causing your skin troubles, changing your diet should help.
The first step is to remove processed foods and fried foods from your diet immediately. Next, limit your consumption of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates and instead, focus on eating lean proteins like chicken and fish, whole grains like brown rice and barley, and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.
And, drink more water. Seriously – a minimum of 64 ounces a day, and closer to 100 ounces a day would be a great way to start. No, coffee doesn’t count, and juice doesn’t count, and sugar-free sodas definitely don’t count.
Hormone fluctuations and changes can absolutely cause acne and whiteheads. Generally caused by the hormone testosterone, over our lifespan, levels increase and decrease and may result in acne. In addition to being the hormone associated with muscle and bone strength (in boy males and females), it is also associated with sebum production inside hair follicles. This is one of the reasons that so many adolescents and teens fight pimples and breakouts.
Whiteheads can also be caused by other hormones too. And many women breakout during their menstrual cycle and when pregnant. And, it doesn’t stop there. Perimenopause, menopause, and thyroid disorders can also trigger hormonal acne. Hormonal acne can be more of a challenge to treat, and may require some extra patience and may require the help of your physician to get your hormones balanced.
Improper Cleaning or Comedogenic Products
Acne can be caused by improper cleaning or the use of products that clog your pores. When whiteheads appear, it is so very tempting to scrub and scrub and scrub. This can actually irritate your skin more and cause more whiteheads and blackheads to appear. There isn’t an overnight fix, but designing a new beauty routine may help.
- Cleansing. Use a mild cleanser twice a day to remove the sweat, dirt, and bacteria from your skin. Avoid harsh cleansers as if they strip your skin of too much of its natural oil, it may trigger your skin to produce more oil, and more oil = more whiteheads.
- Toning. Toning your skin after cleansing helps to remove any residue left behind. A great, and cheap solution is to mix ¼ cup of organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) with ½ cup of fresh water and apply to the face after cleansing. ACV is great for the skin, has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, and anti-acne properties!
- Moisturizing. No, this isn’t a mistake. Even when you have whiteheads or acne, you still need to properly moisturize your skin. Finding the right moisturizer for your skin may take a bit of trial and error. Read labels carefully and select one that is non-comedogenic and made with natural ingredients.
- This is key. To remove whiteheads, blackheads, and even to help with fine lines and wrinkles, you simple must exfoliate. One of the best ways to change the look and the feel of your skin is by using a microdermabrasion machine. These help to remove the top layer of the skin, with the aid of an exfoliating cream and may help get rid of your whiteheads. Just like cleansing – do not over exfoliate – follow the recommendations provided by the manufacturer.
Improving your skins appearance, texture, and health takes some time and a multi-disciplinary approach. Look at your diet, have your hormone levels checked, and shake up your beauty routine by using products that are effective for your skin problems.