Health Topics

Healthy Living

February 2012
BlackHead Menace
Shahnaz Husain
An oily skin is prone to many problems. Blackheads are one of them. Blackheads are so common, yet many people do not know exactly what they are.

Blackheads occur mainly on oily skin, or oily areas of combination skin. The excess secretion of oil expands the pores of the skin. The oil collects in the pores and hardens into a plug. Since the pores are open, the tip of the hardened oil is exposed to the air. It oxidizes and turns black – hence the name blackheads.

Blackheads can appear on the face, back, shoulders, arms, chest and areas that are rich in oil producing glands.

Blackheads also lead to acne. When a pore is fully blocked with hardened oil, the oil gland can get infected, resulting in a pimple. If the infection progresses, and attacks the inner layer of the skin, it leads to acne. We can prevent acne by controlling blackheads.

Skin care
  • Proper cleansing is important. Wash the face twice daily, in the morning and night. Use a cleanser for oily skin and use lukewarm water.

  • Apply an astringent lotion on blackhead prone areas. Rose-based skin tonics are also available.

  • If you want home remedies, apply cucumber juice. Astringents reduce the oiliness and shrink the pores.
How to Extract
Go for regular clean-up treatments at a beauty salon, where cleansing and exfoliation are done and blackheads extracted. Blackhead extraction is a professional job and should be left to a trained therapist. Avoid pinching blackheads with the nails, as it can lead to infection.
  • In the morning, mix bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) with water into a paste and apply on the blackhead prone areas. Wash it off after five minutes.

  • Use facial scrubs twice or thrice a week.

  • Mix cleansing grains with a rose skin tonic and use it as a scrub.

  • Facial scrubs are easily available too. Apply the scrub on the face and rub gently on the skin with small circular movements, especially on the areas with blackheads. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash off with water. This helps to keep the pores free of hardened oil.

  • Mix Fuller’s Earth or Multani Mitti with rose water into a paste and apply on the face. Wash off when it dries.

  • If there are open pores, apply oatmeal. Mix it with egg white and apply on the areas with open pores and blackheads, two or three times a week. Wash it off when it dries.

  • Avoid the use of oily creams and moisturizers. These can clog the pores and lead to blackheads.

  • Daily skin care is the only way to avoid skin problems. Recognise the needs of your skin and treat it with appropriate products.
Shahnaz Husain is a Prominent Indian woman entrepreneur best known for her herbal cosmetics, New Delhi
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
  • See additional information.