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Acne. All of us have experienced it at one point in our lives and often times with it, those little black and white spots that tend to appear out of nowhere. So what exactly are they and how can we get rid of them? Most of us probably know those little black spots as blackheads. But, for some of us, those little white spots known as whiteheads are less familiar.


Whiteheads are caused when sebum or oils that are found in the pores of the skin, gathers and hardens. Generally whiteheads are found near the cheekbone and nose in the appearance of a tiny pearl-like pattern and can even be invisible to the eye.


Blackheads are very similar to whiteheads and are also caused by the forming of hardened sebum or oils in the pores of the skin. The difference in blackheads is that oxidization takes place and the area turns black where whiteheads do not oxidize.


Preventing Whiteheads

To prevent whiteheads from forming in the first place, use a mild facial cleanser that is oil-free and wash your face in the morning and before bed.
 
You may also want to use a gentle exfoliating product once a week to prevent whiteheads from forming and remove any you may already have. A scrub made with oatmeal can aid in whitehead removal.

You might also want to try using a clay mask once a week to prevent whiteheads. Peels containing alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid can also be used to prevent whiteheads.

To prevent future whiteheads, avoid touching your face with your hands when possible.   Never pinch a whitehead with your fingers since it can lead to infections.

 

Preventing Blackheads

  • Try washing your face with warm water 3 times a day and use an oil-free cleanser twice a day.
  • Go outside and enjoy the sun since it can actually help clear blocked pores.
  • If you have oily hair, keep it away from the face to prevent further infection.
  • Look for an acne product containing benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl Peroxide has an antibacterial effect that can prevent blackheads from forming. Another blackhead fighter is Retin-A, which can produce the same results as benzoyl peroxide. Retin-A however, can be irritating so be sure to follow the instructions very carefully and use with caution.
  • If an over-the-counter remedy isn’t your thing, try applying lemon juice to the affected areas at least twice a day. Another citrus juice that is said to prevent blackheads is lime. You can make a lotion with it by mixing equal amounts of lime juice, tea tree oil and glycerin, and then applying it to the face.

If all else fails or you have a severe case, you should talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options for whiteheads and blackheads.

Remember, there is no overnight miracle for treating whiteheads and blackheads. With proper skin care and continuous treatment however, you can expect to see a brighter, clearer complexion in as little as a few weeks.