Whiteheads are something all of us will have to deal with at some point.
The trick is to know all you can about them so you can treat them effectively and minimize their effect on your life and your skin.
These are pimples that, as the name says, have a white head. They are white because they are infected. Infection causes your white blood cells to over-produce to combat the infection.
Too many white blood cells makes pus.
Yes, that really is pus in your pimple.
But don’t be disgusted. It means your body is working right. It is trying to combat whatever is causing the infection.
Good question! They can be caused any number of external factors; an irritating skin care routine, nicking yourself a tiny bit when you shave, not removing your makeup at night, clogged pores and even genetics.
No matter what factors come together to produce your acne, the basic point is…A hair follicle or pore has gotten clogged and become infected below the surface of the skin.
Simple as that.
That infection has lead your body to fight, resulting in more white blood cells and the effect we know as “pus”.
The infection is also visible in the red, swollen area. This often warns you of an oncoming pimple.
Now that you know what causes them you can start working on prevention and treatments.
The first step is to make sure you have a good, daily skin care routine. Clean your face regularly twice a day and moisturize afterwards.
Yes, even if you have oily skin.
This will help eliminate acne coming from backed up facial oil, sebum, dirt, grime, makeup, pollution, etc. in your pores.
Next, exfoliate every 3 days or so. Too much can actually be too harsh on your skin and lead to more problems. Stick to twice a week or so. Use an exfoliant with sugar or microbeads as the abrasive, not ground nut shells or pumice. Nut shells and pumice are far too abrasive for facial skin.
This will help keep the dead skin cells from building up and also remove any small surface clogs, allowing the pore to open and drain and potentially keeping another pimple from forming.
Finally, you may like using sulfur masks. They work amazingly well at reducing swelling and keeping pimples from ever having a head. I like the Zia Sulfur Mask, personally.
China clay masks are also fabulous for absorbing excess oil, drawing impurities out of pores so pimples have a less hospitable environment, and don't leave your face feeling dry. My favorite is the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque.
You probably still want to know about removing whiteheads that are already there. Normally, I recommend not popping pimples. However, if you’re going to there is a right way and a wrong way. Here’s the right way:
Use a metal “whitehead” removing tool.
Do Not Use Your Fingernails! Nails are full of bacteria, plus you can tear the skin around the pimple from pressing hard to pop the pimple and you wind up with a cut and acne.
Use the looped end of the tool and cleanly pop the head. Use a little pressure as you draw the tool across the head; this will help go deep into the skin and force out more pus.
Then sanitize your tool with alcohol. I also like to put a dab of alcohol on the whitehead after it’s been popped.
That’s all there is to it! Keep it in perspective; we’ve all had pimples. Keeping your skin clean and healthy is the best way to combat acne.Related Pages: