What causes whiteheads on the nose? How can you get rid of them? How can you prevent the recurrence of this dermal condition? What about if this condition afflicts your baby? You will find all that and more in just a moment.
Whiteheads form when a mixture of dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria plug and block your skin pores. Unlike blackheads, they form below the surface of the skin i.e. beneath closed pores.
While they can appear at any stage of life, they tend to be associated more with puberty, menopause, pregnancy, and menstruation.
Among the most underlying causes are:
1. Hormonal changes
This occurs during puberty, menopause, during pregnancy, and during menstruation. Hormonal changes trigger higher production of sebum in your pores which often culminate in clogged pores.
2. Certain medications
Some medications can also trigger hormonal changes that result in whiteheads. Oral birth control pills are one such kind of medications.
Some people have naturally predisposed to acne and whiteheads thanks to their genetic makeup. So, don’t surprised if you tend to develop them very easily just like someone else in your family.
4. Certain cosmetics
Using heavy cosmetic products especially creams with petrolatum could also be to blame for your whitehead breakout.
Small or tiny ones during periods
Are many small whiteheads on my nose during my menstruation periods a sign of a serious problem? This is a question that we saw asked in one of the many online beauty forums.
The hormonal changes that occur during menstrual periods. This causes a spike in sebum production from your pores, increasing the chances of their clogging and ultimately their formation.
This coupled with other factors such as menopause, use of oral pills, and pregnancy make women more prone to acne than men.
Around nose, shoulder, and chest
And then there is this reader who wrote us an email wondering what they mean when they are on the nose, shoulder, and chest.
While they tend to develop on the nose, chin, and forehead because of their oily nature, they can as well develop in any other area of the body where clogging of pores occurs. That may include shoulders, chest, arms, back etc.
“I have this annoying whiteheads on the side of the nose in spite of the fact that I didn’t develop any breakouts during my puberty. I am 30 years old. Is this a cause for concern?” Anita
While it is common for whiteheads to develop during puberty, a stage of life characterized by lots of hormonal changes, they can still occur later on in life due to other factors e.g. poor cosmetic choice; hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menopause, etc.; and use of certain medications.
This holds true for anyone regardless of their gender. Start by taking stock of your cosmetic products to rule out the harmful effects of heavy ingredients, then go ahead and try using some of the remedies subsequently pointed out in this article.
Inside or in nose
What people often perceive whiteheads inside their noses are usually a manifestation of a skin condition called folliculitis. As the name suggests, folliculitis is an irritation or infection of hair follicles. Among the factor responsible for this is poor trimming of nose hairs, a bacterial imbalance due to inappropriate use of antibiotics, nose picking, and environmental pollutants e.g. chemicals, dust, etc.
The nose provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to thrive and as such, and they should not be ignored. Unfortunately, the natural shape of the nose makes it tricky to manage the situation and doesn’t leave much in the way of options as compared to whitehead that occurs on the surface of the nose.
Below are a few tips on how to get rid of this form of acne so to speak:
- Don’t pick on them: While you may get the urge pick your nose, you should avoid that at all cost as it might lead to the destruction of the delicate nerve endings and irritate the nasal lining. It can also spreading of the infection.
- Apply a warm compress, that is, pat the nose gently with a cotton wool soaked in warm water two times daily.
- If taking antibiotics, talk to your doctor about it for appropriate advice. Never stop using antibiotics halfway unless under instructed to do so by your doctor.
Baby tends to develop small bumps on their nose and cheek which are known as milia. Milia are usually harmless and affect as much as 50 percent of all newborn babies, usually showing up from as early as 1 day of age.
Common occurrence spots include the nose, cheeks, and chin, but their numbers vary from one baby to another. You need not worry about them or even seek any treatment as the condition will clear away within a few weeks.
How to get rid or remove them
Just like blackheads and pimples, whiteheads steal from your aesthetic appeal and can make you self-conscious. Luckily there are numerous measures that can come in handy in combating them.
Below is a brief guideline of how to get rid o them. We will start by looking at some of the best home remedies and then move on to medical treatment options and finally exploring some of the best natural remedies.
Take stock of your skincare products
Skincare products are, as already mentioned, a common underlying factor for facial whiteheads.
If you have suddenly noticed an outbreak in this area or elsewhere, start by double checking your cosmetic products to ensure that they are oil-free. This applies to makeup products, sunscreens, and moisturizers.
It is especially important to check out that the products you use are free of petrolatum and mineral oil. It is also advisable to stop applying cosmetic products on your nose for a few days to see how it goes.
Steam your face
Facial steaming helps to loosen the grim plugged in nose pores. This does wonder in unclogging nose pores and thus getting rid of them. To steam your face:
- Soak a cotton cloth in warm water.
- Wring out the excess water and then dab the whiteheads gently with it for a minute or so.
- Repeat this two to three times each week.
You may as well consider bulging a pot of water and then covering yourself with a towel while leaning over it.
Treatment both OTC and prescription
Salicylic acid: Cleansing your face with a gentle salicylic acid cream two times a day helps to reduce oil buildup. Salicylic acid creams are sold over the counter under different brand names; just ask at your local drugstore.
Benzoyl peroxide: The Health Line website also recommends using a benzoyl peroxide based product to help reduce the production of oil in your pores.
The site points out that it can take as long as 8 weeks before a particular OTC or prescription medication works. If no significant improvement has been observed after that, it is generally recommended that you seek the further help of your doctor or a dermatologist.
To avoid irritating your skin, apply the salicylic acid cream to your face, no more than once or twice a day.
It is very natural to feel the urge to pop those whiteheads off of your nose. The Health Line website, however, discourages this practice saying that it may not only lead t irritation of the skin but also cause infection, leading to an even worse breakout.
More severe irritation can even lead to acne scars as well as dark spots which only serve to further steal away from the aesthetic appeal of your skin.
How to clear them naturally
As for those of us who have a heart for natural healing options, you may delight in knowing how to clear whiteheads on nose naturally. Among the options at your disposal are:
1. Facial steaming
This is considered one of the best natural remedies. This is explained in more details in a previous section of this guide.
2. Lemon juice
Cleansing your face with lemon juice also helps to unclog the pores and get rid of those annoying whiteheads. It also works even better when mixed with milk as explained below:
- 1 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to form a uniform solution
- Apply the resulting solution on your nose gently
- Rinse it off with water after about 5 minutes
This home remedy aids in exfoliation of dead skin cells which then unclog the pores leaving behind a smooth, healthy-looking skin.
3. Clay mask
Kaolin clay has fantastic oil-blotting properties that can help to get rid of whiteheads. You can get a kaolin clay product at your local health food store. All you need to do is to apply a mask on your nose – or the entire face if you like- and then rinse it off 15 minutes later.
Oatmeal is as well a fantastic natural remedy. One option is to mix oatmeal and rose water until you get a fine paste and then applying it gently to your nose – or any other affected area – for 15 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
How to prevent them
In most instances, the recurrence of whiteheads can be prevented by combining lifestyle changes and medical treatments aimed at reducing the buildup of sebum and dead skin cells in the pores. Below are a few tips on how to prevent them from this area:
- Switch to oil-free skin care products including moisturizers, makeup, and sunscreen products
- Cleanse your face regularly to get rid of excess oil, but do not overdo it as that may worsen the situation by promoting even more production of oil; wash two times a day at the very most.
- Consider adding a salicylic cleanser to your skincare regime.
- Look for noncomedogenic makeup products; such products will not block your pores.
- Adopt a 20 minutes a day exercise regime to promote removal of dirt from pores via sweat.