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Nose Blackheads: Causes, Prevention and Treatment Options
Blackheads are a type of acne which most commonly appear on the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin. But if you’re like most people, you’ve probably zeroed in on the ones located specifically on your nose. That’s because the pores on your nose are larger and more prone to getting clogged with debris. To give you more bad news, these pores will likely enlarge with age and potentially make your blackheads worse.
Blackheads are a type of acne which most commonly appear on the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin. But if you’re like most people, you’ve probably zeroed in on the ones located specifically on your nose.
That’s because the pores on your nose are larger and more prone to getting clogged with debris. To give you more bad news, these pores will likely enlarge with age and potentially make your blackheads worse.
You’ve also probably noticed that these annoying little black dots aren’t easily eliminated with your regular skin care routine. How do blackheads form and what can you do to get rid of them?
Here are three things you need to know:
- Blackheads are caused by various factors such as environment, lifestyle, hormones and genetics.
- Following a regular skin care regimen can help prevent blackheads.
- If Salicylic Acid or retinoid products aren’t effective at treating your blackheads, it may be worth seeing your dermatologist.
How Blackheads Form
Both blackheads and whiteheads form when a buildup of dead skin cells, sebum (oil) and debris clog your pores. But while whiteheads are trapped within a closed pore, blackheads are open and exposed to the air.
When exposed to the air, the white buildup is oxidized and turns black. This has earned them the name blackheads, although they’re called “comedones” by the scientific community.
What Causes Blackheads?
Blackheads can form for various reasons, most of which probably aren’t your fault. For example, here are a few common causes of blackheads:
- Hormones—Fluctuations in hormones can increase oil production and contribute to blackheads. After puberty, adults can still experience hormone fluctuations due to stress. According to a 2014 review published in the Journal of Inflammation Allergy Drug Targets, the skin is home to key stress mediators which can trigger inflammation and immune responses (see claim: “Skin and its appendages are not only targets of key stress mediators, they are also a local source for these factors which induce various immune and inflammation responses.”)
- Genetics—A small pore lining can be a contributing factor to your blackheads. When the pore lining is small or damaged, they are more likely to become clogged.
- Environment—Humidity, pollution and other environmental factors can increase your chances of getting blackheads.
- Lifestyle—Certain lifestyle choices we make can also cause blackheads. For instance, there is evidence that what we eat can affect our oil production, resulting in blackheads and other forms of acne. Smoking can also worsen acne, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Dermatoendocrinology (see claim: “Clinical evidence and experimental data showed a straight correlation between smoking habit and post-pubertal acne…”)
Blackhead Prevention Methods
Contrary to popular belief, scrubbing your skin free of dirt and debris won’t work. This is a myth that skin care companies want you to believe so you will buy more of their products.
Don’t get us wrong—exfoliation is an essential step in every guy’s skin care regimen. However, overdoing it on the face scrub will only irritate the skin and increase inflammation, leading to more pimples.
To effectively prevent blackheads from forming, you need a balanced skin care routine. Here is what you need to do:
- Use a Gentle Cleanser Every Day—Use a men’s facial cleanser to wash your face once in the morning and once in the evening. Look for soothing ingredients such as Salix Alba Bark Extract, which acts as a mild exfoliant and reduces inflammation.
- Exfoliate, But Not Too Much—Exfoliate no more than twice per week to slough off dead skin cells and keep pores clean.
- Moisturize—Dry skin types can get blackheads just like oily skin types. Remember to apply a daytime moisturizer after your morning wash to keep your skin’s oil production balanced.
- Apply Salicylic Acid—After washing your face at night, apply an acne cream containing Salicylic Acid. According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Salicylic Acid is an effective (but gentle) peeling agent which can loosen debris inside your pores (see claim: “…the comedolytic property of Salicylic Acid makes it a useful peeling agent for patients with acne.”)
- Don’t Pick—Picking at your blackheads can make them worse. In addition to irritating your skin, you could be spreading around bacteria and oil which can produce more blackheads.
Blackhead Treatment Options
While blackheads can be stubborn, there are a few ways to treat them.
- One effective OTC treatment method is one that we’ve already mentioned—Salicylic Acid. This powerful acne-fighting ingredient can eliminate not only blackheads, but more stubborn types of acne as well.
- In addition to a Salicylic Acid product, you can also try a retinoid. Retinoids can help reduce blackheads by preventing dead skin cells and oil from clogging your pores.
- If your blackheads won’t clear up and they are deeply affecting your self-esteem, consider seeing a dermatologist. It won’t be the most affordable route, but it could be the one thing that works for you.
Blackheads may be considered a mild form of acne, but they can still ruin a man’s confidence and be frustrating to deal with. If you’ve done everything you can to treat your blackheads with no luck, give our Tiege Hanley Acne System Level 1 a try.
Formulated specifically for men struggling with mild to moderate acne, the products in our Acne System Level 1 are designed to remove dead skin cells and prevent new pimples from forming. Order now or check out our testimonials to hear what others are saying about us!