Whiteheads are a common type of mild acne that can affect anyone. However, they are more common during puberty or hormonal changes. These white bumps are unappealing and perplexing especially when they occur on your face. Therefore, their removal is thus crucial even to avoid the development of severe acne in future or acne scars.
Whiteheads removal involves home remedies, over the counter products and prescribed whiteheads treatment. Again, it is also worth noting that, the removal to consider will depend on their severity, medical history of the patient, underlying trigger and more.
Before we get into details concerning their removal, let us learn something small about them first.
Meaning and why do they occur?
Whiteheads or closed comedone are mild types of acne that occur when the dead skin cells, sebum, bacteria and other skin debris are trapped in the skin pores. They are a mild form of acne that if infected by bacteria, then would result in inflammatory acne such as pimples, cysts, nodules, and papules.
Inflammatory acne is usually considered severe acne and usually, leave behind unsightly acne scars and marks after they have healed.
According to several medical studies, whiteheads usually occur due to hormonal imbalance. However, there are more triggers that are linked to their formation anywhere in the body including on the face, nose, chest, and so on. These would include certain diets, some medications, skin irritants, dry skin, wrong skin care products and cosmetics, stress and depression among others.
Since no one would be happy to have them and since they can grow into severe acne, their removal should thus be considered during the early stages.
There are many treatment products and cure whiteheads or used to remove them from the face or any other area of the body. These would include home treatments, OTC products, and prescription ones.
All these removal ways or procedures also have their pros and cons. Some of the products may have side effects, which would range from mild to moderate to severe.
Are there best ways to get rid of them?
As we had indicated earlier, whiteheads especially those that occur in the face are unsightly and embarrassing and furthermore, can grow worse and emerge ugly acne scars. You would thus have no option apart from considering whiteheads removal procedures.
In this section, we’ll explore the best way to get rid of whiteheads using home remedies, over the counter products for whiteheads and prescription whiteheads removal products.
The best treatment for whiteheads at home.
There are great removal ways at home that have proved to be very effective. They involve natural products, DIY home procedures and even the behavioral changes. Read about to explore the following natural remedies you can try:
Oatmeal is a perfect whitehead removal natural product that not only exfoliates the skin to clear dead skin cells but also get rid of excess sebum. When dead skin cells and sebum is pulled out of the pores, this problem will be history.
- Mix 5 tablespoons of powdered oatmeal, 3 tablespoons of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of honey
- Massage the mask on the affected skin
- Let it sit for 20 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water
- use this remedy twice a week until you register improvements
Tea tree oil is among the good natural remedies to go for. It has anti-bacterial, astringent properties that are effective in controlling whiteheads and other mild forms of acne. It would also tighten the pores forcing the clog out of the pores and shrinking the pores so that dead skin cells and bacteria plus other debris does not enter it.
- Using a cotton ball, apply tea tree oil (You can dilute the oil before application if you have sensitive oil) on the affected skin
- Massage the oil on the affected skin properly
- Let the oil sit on the skin for 30 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water
- Apply the remedy twice daily for some few weeks
Honey cinnamon face mask
When honey is mixed with cinnamon, they would make a great facemask to control this problem. This mask has antibacterial properties that would kill bacteria linked to whiteheads. It would also boost the production of collagen and thus enhance regeneration of new skin cells. It is also a good skin moisturizer. This mask is thus beneficial for both whiteheads and other forms of acne.
Lemon juice contains antioxidant that is essential for whiteheads removal. Lemon juice is gentle natural skin exfoliator that would get rid of the dead skin cells and the excess skin oil trapped in the pores. Is recommended to dilute the juice in case you have a sensitive skin.
- Make a solution of lemon juice and groundnut oil.
- Massage the solution on the whiteheads properly
- Let the solution soak the skin for 15 minutes and then rinse off using lukewarm water.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective natural astringent and toner. It gets rid of the dead skin cells, excess sebum on the skin and other skin debris that can block the pores. It also has the properties to kill the bacteria that may cause infections on whiteheads.
- To a cup of water, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Apply the solution on the whiteheads using a cotton ball
- Let the solution sit on the skin for almost 20 minutes and then rinse off using lukewarm water
Aloe vera is considered as a good remedy as far as many skin problems are concerned. It has been widely used to heal many skin conditions including whiteheads and other types of acne. It has more than 50 active ingredients that help in moisturizing the skin and healing the damaged tissues. It also has antibacterial, antifungal and astringent properties all of which are considered very fundamental dealing with whiteheads.
- Cut fresh aloe leaf into two to extract the gel
- Use your fingers to apply the gel to the affected skin
- Let the gel dry on the skin for around 30 minutes
- Rinse off using lukewarm water
- You can continue applying this remedy twice a week for some weeks until you get satisfying results.
Baking soda is very effective for removing whiteheads. It unclogs the pores and gently scrubs the skin allowing the regeneration of the new skin cells. The product also has antibacterial properties that kill the bacteria linked to the acne.
- Add relative amount of baking soda to a cup of water
- Mix well to make a good paste
- Apply the paste on the affected area using a cotton ball
- Let it sit for 5 minutes and then rinse off using lukewarm water
Warning: baking soda can lead to skin irritation and redness thus you should carry out a patch test before fully applying this remedy.
There are still more natural products that you can apply at home. No one specific product is suitable for whiteheads in all skin types. You need to find the best product for your skin, and the one that would not have adverse side effects it.
Other home remedies to try including face steaming, adopting a diet that prevents acne, keeping high standards of hygiene, avoiding heavy skin care products and cosmetics and drinking a lot of water daily.
You also need to avoid stress as much as you can. This can lead to hormonal imbalance thus triggering whiteheads.
Over the counter removal products
There are many products for whiteheads that can be acquired over the counter. But there is one thing that should worry you in this case. How would you confirm that a certain product is effective and harmless when applied to your skin? This is one of the setbacks that many persons struggle with when they opt for products sold over the counter.
You should make sure you have prior reliable information about a whiteheads OTC product you intend to purchase. You can seek advice from your dermatologist if you do not have sufficient knowledge.
Some of the recommended OTC products contain ingredients such benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid and even the natural products such as aloe vera, coconut oils, and apple cider among others. Almost all OTC products are applied topically.
In severe cases, primarily when the whiteheads cannot be treated using home remedies or over the counter products, you should proceed to your dermatologist. Read the following section to see some of the treatment your dermatologist would prescribe to treat such severe cases.
If the whiteheads are not responding to either home remedies or over the counter products, then we advise the victims to visit their dermatologists for more aggressive treatments. This would involve prescription of various stronger medications.
For severe cases, your doctor is likely to prescribe oral antibiotics, retinoids (such as adapalene, tretinoin, and tazarotene) and isotretinoin. He or she can also recommend laser and light therapies if required. Remember these are stronger treatments that require one to follow the concerned instructions keenly.
These advanced removal treatments would have side effects ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Therefore, adhering to the instructions would help minimize the side effects and pave ways for better results.
Removal tools – manual
We did not bother into the various temporary removal options like using the removers since they only give temporary results and cannot stop whiteheads from appearing again.
Whiteheads are mild types of acne that can occur anywhere on the skin including face, back, chest, scalp, breast, and thigh among other areas. Treating the symptoms in their early stages would be very important since this would prevent them from aggravating to inflammatory types of acne.
Suspend the application of home remedies or over the counter products when they don’t improve the underlying symptoms. Instead, you can visit your dermatologist for further medical intervention.