How to Get Rid of Whiteheads
Many people assume that if they are out of their teenage years, they will no longer be faced with the problem of acne. For many people though, this is not the case. Acne continues on to their adult years, and can show up in a number of different places. This type of acne can be difficult to cover up and hide from other people, and be even more disheartening to the person who is experiencing it. There are a number of risk factors, natural treatments, and over the counter measures which may prove to be helpful. Even still, some people may have such a severe case of acne that they should consult with their doctor to treat it properly.
What Exactly is Acne
In order to be able to treat acne, a person must first understand what exactly it is. In simple terms, your skin becomes dehydrated, telling your body to produce more oil, called sebum, to help dehydrate it. The result is the dried skin cells and dirt on your skin mixes with the oil, clogs the pores on your skin, and causes an acne outbreak to occur. The same process occurs for both whiteheads, which have a white center which is where they get their name, and blackheads, which have a darker solid center in the middle from which they get their name. No matter what type of acne you get, there are a number of home remedies which you can try to help alleviate them before having to seek out treatment from your doctor.
Try to Avoid Applying Products to Cover It Up
No matter how tempting it might be, do not use excessive makeup to try and cover up your acne outbreaks. Applying makeup too thick, or makeup which can clog pores more actually can do more harm than good. If you really must put on makeup in the area, look for a makeup which is mineral based, has no oils, and has been approved to not clog pores or dry out the skin. Many lotions and moisturizers have oils and other ingredients which can clog the pores. Even though your skin may be dry, and you feel a need to apply a cream or lotion, it can actually cause the area to be more acne prone. Instead, look for a lightweight moisturizer that will not clog your pores, and does not contain any oils, colors, or fragrances. This will help to ensure your skin does not get irritated further and have a larger outbreak.
Prevention is Important
For some people, it is not possible to avoid an outbreak, but doing things to help reduce the frequency of outbreaks is still extremely important. Take regular showers, making sure to wash the area to get rid of any excess oils, dirt, or debris that could clog the pores. Also take the time to exfoliate the area. This could be done by using a washcloth or exfoliating sponge to help clean the area. If this is not enough for your skin, there are body washes that can help to exfoliate the skin, as well as body washes that are meant to be used on acne prone skin. They often contain salicylic acid, which can help to break up the oils and skin that can cause whiteheads to form. Just be careful when using this type of a product not to over exfoliate the area. If it causes excessive dryness, try using the product less frequently. Other options to treat whitehead prone areas of your skin is to use products with benzoyl peroxide, or alcohol; however, these again can cause the skin to dry out too much and instead of clearing up the acne it makes it worse or causes a different problem.
Your Clothes can Help Reduce Whiteheads
If you are prone to acne on your body, you will want to make sure your clothing allows your skin to breath and does not hold sweat and debris on your skin. Look for fabrics that are natural, like cotton and linen, to help allow the skin to breath. Avoid fabrics like polyester or lycra, which hold the sweat and debris on your skin and can clog the pores more. When spending time in the sun or working out, where you are likely to sweat more, even if you choose to wear clothes that are lightweight, loose fitting, and made of natural fibers, you will still want to change your closes as soon as possible. If the option is there, take a shower before changing clothes, or at the very least wipe your skin with cleansing clothes to help remove and built up bacteria you might have on the areas you are more prone to breakouts.
Enjoying the Warm Summer
In the summer time, acne can be frustrating for many people, as the sweat can often create more outbreaks. Wearing lightweight clothing can help to reduce the amount of sweat, and also reduce the amount that is trapped against the skin. Clothing also works as a sun barrier instead of having to apply as much sunscreen to your body which can clog the pores further. Another option for wearing summer clothing and being protected by the sun is to find an oil free sunscreen. Since it needs to be reapplied for longer periods of the sun, if you are more prone to breakouts, consider using cleansing cloths to wipe off your skin in between applications to remove any bacteria, debris, or sweat that has collected on your skin. This will also help to keep the sunscreen from building up on the skin and clogging the pores. Make sure you are either protecting your acne prone area with SPF or loose fitting clothing to prevent too much sun exposure and a sunburn.
Treating Whiteheads on Your Body
When you are facing an acne outbreak on your body, it is extremely important not to scratch, pick, or pop your pimples, no matter how tempting it might be. The skin on your body can scar easily, and takes longer to heal than the skin on your face, so picking at whiteheads can create scars. After your shower, where you will be exfoliating the skin, pat your skin dry and add a thin layer of a leave on cream or gel that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If the cream dries your skin too much, consider using it every other day to prevent other complications from happening. If you find these creams are not strong enough, a doctor can prescribe a topical prescription medication to help kill the bacteria, dry up the whiteheads, and help the whiteheads to clear up. If you need to cover-up blemishes, consider looking for a foundation that also contains salicylic acid so it also treats your whiteheads at the same time. Also, if you are using any acne treatment make sure you are aware of any warning labels on the treatment. Many result in an increased sensitivity to sun exposure, and many result in a sunburn if you do not use proper sunscreen or cover your skin with loose fitting clothing to protect it. Attempting to treat whiteheads along with a sunburn can be not only a painful situation, but much more complicated, and easily avoided by being cautious and informed. If you are unsure, ask your pharmacist or general physician.
When to Call the Dermatologist
If you have tried a number of over the counter medications, and you are finding your acne is not improving, you might consider calling your dermatologist. They can evaluate your skin and see if there is something else going on that needs to be done to resolve the problem. They can recommend prescription grade creams and gels to apply to the area. They can also let you know if taking an oral antibiotic would benefit you in clearing up the outbreaks, and help prevent additional ones from reoccurring. Sometimes, especially in the summer months, it is also easy to confuse other skin conditions for acne. One of these is called folliculitis. This is an inflammation of the follicles located on the skin. It is caused by a bacterial infection, and needs to be treated with an antibiotic in order for it to clear up. The appearance of this skin condition is very similar to that of acne, but without treatment by a physician it will not clear up. The longer you wait to get treatment, it might take longer to clear up. Similarly, a heat rash can also form on the skin. It may appear that your skin is covered in tiny red bumps, but they are your skin’s reaction to the increased temperature and not a result of clogged pores. If you have tried treating your whiteheads with home remedies and over the counter treatments, or you suspect you have one of these conditions instead, seek out the advice of a medical professional to ensure you are not dealing with a skin condition other than acne.