Cause, Prevention and Removal of Whiteheads

Whiteheads are also known as closed comedones. They are sebaceous follicles that are filled with sebum, dead skin cell and bacteria.

They have only a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidized, and remains white. A light yellow lump is formed. Another term for this is milium or milia for plural.

What Causes Whiteheads

Excessive exfoliation of skin cells contributes to the growth of milia. The dead skin cells quickly clog up the sebaceous follicles.

Some skin specialists believe some individuals produce sebum that is drier than normal. This creates an environment conducive to the formation of firm plugs. Such individuals would be more prone and have frequent and multiple blackheads and whiteheads. Sebum contributes to skin oils and people with dry sebum may have dry skin and this may be especially true of people with chronic whiteheads.

Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that is normally produced together with sebum in the sebaceous glands. The combination of sebum and lineleic acid gives the liquid viscosity. It is soothing to the skin. Follicular irritation will promote plugs.

In the absence of linoleic acid, the sebaceous glands replace it with oleic acid. The combination of oleic acid and sebum is less viscous and firmer compared to linoleic sebum. It irritates the skin, thus promotes the formation of plugs. The plug formed is hard and does not flow out of the follicle easily. This promotes the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. Acne infections could be the result.

How to Get Rid of Whiteheads

Looking for ways to get rid of or remove whiteheads?

An OTC topical medication is usually recommended for those people with whiteheads or mild acne. Apply the topical medicine directly onto the whiteheads and any other affected area of the skin.

You cannot get rid of whiteheads or blackheads overnight. It takes time. If used regularly, OTC topical medicines can be reasonably effective. Be patient. It might take 8 weeks or more before you will notice any difference in your skin. Most treatments could take several weeks before you can see any noticeable change.

Common OTC acne medicines used to treat acne include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, resorcinol and sulfur. Each of this works differently and has different effects on the acne.

Getting Rid of Whiteheads with Skin Care Treatments

Here are some recommended acne treatment products formulated with OTC acne medicines for effective acne treatment.

Benzoyl peroxide is useful for a mild case of comedones. It can also help to prevent formation of more whiteheads.

The effects of benzoyl peroxide are:

  • Antibacterial
    Destroys and inhibits the growth of acne bacteria
  • Decreases the chemical reaction that cause changes to the lining of the hair follicle. This may help reduce the plugging that causes comedones.

Resorcinol and sulfur help to break down comedones like whiteheads and blackheads.

In addition to breaking down whiteheads and blackheads, salicylic acid also helps to reduce the shedding of cells lining the follicles of the sebaceous glands.

Topical OTC acne medicines come in various forms. It could be in the form of a gel, a lotion, a cream, a soap or pads.

Try the Adovia sulfur soap. It has been found to be effective in providing relief for acne.

Tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita, Renova) is the chief ingredient used in treatment of whiteheads and blackheads. Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A.

The effects of tretinoin are:

  • Increases skin cell renewal
  • Reduces the “stickiness” of the sloughed cells
  • Causes expulsion of plugged material
  • Converts closed comedones into open comedones. The material in these newly converted open comedones can be easily extruded.

Extraction may be used by a health care provider on open comedones or blackheads. This process is performed using a device called a comedone extractor. This is a small, metal, circular instrument that is centered on the comedone and pushes down the surrounding skin, causing the plug to extrude.

Skin Care for People with Whiteheads

The key to skin care for people with blackheads is to have a strict skin care regime.

Maintain a good skin care routine, use appropriate good skin care products that have been formulated for acne prone skins and your skin condition will improve.

This article will help you to formulate a facial skin care routine that is appropriate for your skin type.


Acne Be Gone! Kit

The Acne Be Gone! Kit has been shown to be equally effective for acne treatment for men, women and teenagers. It is comprises of the following popular and effective acne products:

  • 2 Adovia Mud Soaps
  • Adovia Exfoliating Facial Salts for Acne Treatment
  • Adovia Mineral Facial Toner
  • Adovia Purifying Mud Mask