Blackheads can be treated in the same way as acne. The majority of cases can be self treated with topical antibiotics like benzoyl peroxide or mild peeling agents. There are 100s of creams and lotions being marketed as a treatment for blackhead removal. The majority of these products are worthless.
The best remedy for blackheads is:
Nothing: if you have just a few blackheads and they do not cause any type of problem, and you are not affected by the cosmesis, leave them alone. Blackheads are not a health risk and there will be no untoward disease.
If the blackheads are multiple and not pleasing, you may want to first try using:
Benzoyl peroxide: this mild peeling agent which is also useful in the treatment of acne can help reduce the oils on the skin. It may take many applications and a few months before you notice a clear result. Patience is the key when using this compound. It does not work in everyone and even when it works, it takes a long time.
Resorcinol : is an antiseptic liquid that must be applied frequently on the skin. It acts by cleaning the oils and helps unclog the pores.
Sulfur: Sulfur provides peeling and drying of the skin. Although it is effective at breaking down existing blackheads and whiteheads, it may also promote the development of new ones by increasing cell adhesion
Salicylic acid :is often combined with a mild alcohol and acts by cleaning the skin of the oils. After frequent applications, the pores open up and the blackheads disappear. Salicylic acid also prevent the build up of dead skin layers
Others: Alcohol, Acetone, Azelaic Acid, Topical Retinoids: all these topical products have been used to treat blackheads. They all act to decrease the accumulation of dead skin and prevent the oil from clogging up the pores. Azelaic acid and the topical retinoids are the two best agents for individuals with numerous and chronic occurrence of blackheads
All these medications can cause:
- Excessive dryness of the skin
For those who have dry skin, it is best to uses these chemicals in the presence of a light skin moisturizing agent. If skin irritation still persists, the advice of a dermatologist is recommended.
Blackheads do not immediately disappear after the use of the above agents. Patience and time is required. Ion most cases, the results are seen after a period of 4-6 weeks. If no results are seen after this time period, one should stop further use of these chemicals and see a dermatologist for an alternative
Manual squeezing: this is a poor man's version of removing blackheads and not recommended. The squeezing action damages the skin and frequently leaves a scar.
Comedo extractor: there are various instruments designed to remove back heads. These mechanical devices are probably the most effective and have the most immediate results. However, the devices should not be used on the face as they may leave a scar or damage the near by skin.
There are also numerous herbal products which are hyped to cure blackheads, like most herbal products; there is a lack of scientific data on their effectiveness. The majority do not work. So before you decide to spend your money, find out more about the product