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What are blackheads and how they are caused

Carredex | Acne Remover Blackheads are tiny bumps on your skin that appear because of clogged pores. These bumps are called blackheads because the surface is dark or black. Blackheads are a mostly harmless version of acne that usually occurs on the face, but they can also appear on your back, chest, neck, arms and shoulders.

Blackheads form when a clog develops on the hair follicle on your skin or when it is plugged. Each follicle contains a strand of hair and an oil-producing gland called the sebaceous gland. The oil it produces, sebum, helps to keep your skin remains soft. Dirt and oils collect in the opening of the skin follicle, producing a bump. As long as the skin over the bump remains closed, it is called a whitehead, but once the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black and a blackhead forms.

Factors that can increase the production of blackheads include:

Your body produces too much body oil, the possibility of the bacteria 'Propionibacterium acnes' building up in your skin when dead skin cells are not shedded properly causing irritation when oil production increases due to hormonal changes such as puberty or during menstruation, whilst people believe certain food products can play a role in triggering acne such as dairy products and foods that increase blood sugar levels such as carbohydrates, researchers aren’t convinced that there’s a strong connection.

The symptoms of blackheads

Blackheads are easy to spot due to their dark colour. They are slightly raised from the skin but do not hurt like pimples. Pimples are caused because bacteria enter the blockage in the hair follicles which cause redness and inflammation.

How to treat blackheads?

Acne medications are usually available at drug stores, clinics or online. They do not require prescriptions. These medications are usually used in a gel, cream or pad form and are applied by placing it directly on the skin. The medication usually contains ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or resorcinol which basically work by killing bacteria and drying excess oil or forcing the skin to shed dead skin cells to return the skin to a normal state.
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Doctor prescribed treatments
If acne medication doesn’t improve your acne, some doctors might prescribe a stronger medication. These medications contain vitamin A that will keep clogs from forming in your hair follicles and promote more rapid turnover of your skin cells. Like most other medications they should be applied directly onto the skin and usually include tretinoin, tazarotene, or adapalene.