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Blackheads and Whiteheads

Blackheads and Whiteheads

Blackheads, pimples and whiteheads can affect all skins and all ages and may be caused by a combination of genetics, health and environment. They are commonly seen in teenagers and those who are in their early twenties, however there are cases where blackheads and whiteheads can affect those in their thirties and forties, especially those with oily skin.

Both blackheads and whiteheads are forms of acne. And like all acne, the problem with blackheads and whiteheads starts deep down the sebaceous or oil glands.

The sebaceous glands secrete oils called sebum, which are stored in the follicle. When the follicle is full, the oil overflows keeping the skin healthy and moisturized.

Blackheads and whiteheads form when the oil gets trapped inside the hair follicle causing bacteria to develop in the follicle and leads to forming comedones.

What is the difference between a blackhead and a whitehead?

Blackheads known as open comedones form when:

  • Excess sebum (or oil) production is stimulated
  • Excess oil, dry skin and debris combine and become trapped in the pore
  • The pore becomes plugged and the surface oxidises to a dark brown or black colour giving it the blackhead name.

Whiteheads commonly know as a pimple or closed comedones (which may sometimes be characterised as Grade 1 Acne) form when:

  • Excess sebum (or oil) production is stimulated
  • Excess oil, dry skin and debris combine and become trapped in the pore
  • The pore becomes clogged and P. Acnes (Propionibacterium Acnes) bacteria proliferate creating infection.
  • The lack of exposure to the air does not lead to the oxidation of melanin (like a blackhead), so the clogged matter stays white.

Blackheads and whiteheads are not affected by fatty or sugary diets and are a common condition that can be successfully treated.

Blackheads and Whiteheads Treatment Solutions

There are many steps you can take to address and prevent all stages of blackhead and whitehead formation and production. At The Australian Laser and Skin Clinic we offer a number or treatments to assist the elimination of blackheads and whiteheads.

Options include:

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is an ideal option for the removal of blackheads and whiteheads due to the deeply exfoliating nature of the treatment. The gentle vacuum with a diamond coated head will exfoliate the top layer of dead skin removing potential clogging whilst providing refined and clarified skin.

Chemical Peels

Chemical Peels provide superficial to medium depth exfoliation for balck heads and whiteheads using products that include glycolic acid and lactic acids (AHAs), salicylic acid (BHA), retinoids (vitamin A), resorcinol , mandelic acid, niacinamide (vitamin B3) and enzymes.The appropriate Chemical Peel can provide a simultaneous action to decongest, de-clog and disinfect skin affected by black heads and whiteheads whilst reducing inflammation and preventing future breakouts. For more information on Chemical Peels please click here.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

LLLT is a medical grade cold laser that reduces blackhead and whitehead formation and severity without heat or discomfort. Through a course of LLLT treatments the complexion will be clearer and smoother with diffused congestion and reduced breakouts.

Skin Care

  • A glycolic acid based cleanser can effectively remove excess oil and dead skin cells, reducing blackheads and whiteheads whilst removing make-up and surface oil. Gentle cleansers can provide a clean and anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Exfoliation reduces the accumulation of dead skin cells which can lead to blackheads and whiteheads. Exfoliation can assist in decongesting and clarifying the skin.
  • Daily use of a sunscreen is essential when receiving Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peel treatment to reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • If you are a wearer of makeup, an oil-free and mineral based foundation is ideal to conceal, protect and nurture skins that are suffering from blackheads and whiteheads. They may be used after a Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peel or Skin Needling Treatment.

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