Blackheads – known in the trade as comedones – often become visible during puberty, but can also appear later on the forehead, nose or chin – especially if mistakes are made in terms of facial care. Tikbow asked the experts how to best prevent blackheads and what can help against them.
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What are blackheads?
The name blackhead or comedone comes from the Latin word comedere, which means to eat with. The whole thing sounds übrigens not without reason after a parasite. In the past, it was actually believed that the black spots on the skin were small worms that fed on the secreted sebum.
In the meantime one knows it better: Blackheads are blockages of the Ausführungsgang of the sebaceous glands with horn particles", explains the Münchener Dermatologe Dr. med. Timm Golüke in the discussion with Tikbow. The fact that they occur more frequently during puberty is due to the fact that the activity of the sebaceous glands depends on hormones. As is well known, hormonal changes can still occur in adulthood – and thus continue to cause blackheads. "Sometimes dietary changes are also to blame", according to the medical expert.
Typical spots for comedones
On the face, blackheads primarily appear in the T-zone, i.e. on the forehead, nose or in the area of the chin. This is where a large number of sebaceous glands are located, which often cause shiny spots on the skin.
Open and closed blackheads
Open blackheads are called colloquially "Blackheads": The pressure from the sebaceous plug can cause the skin at the site to break open, allowing the sebum to reach the surface and turn dark due to contact with oxygen. "Blackheads" therefore show up as black spots on the skin, from which pus and sebum can escape. Not shön, but in this way the dirt is flushed out.
In the case of closed blackheads, the sebaceous glands are still closed and the so-called whiteheads are therefore light in color. From a purely aesthetic point of view, they may initially be the lesser problem, as lighter blackheads are less noticeable. However, they can become inflamed more quickly, because when bacteria accumulate in the pore channel and pus is formed, the next step is a more clearly visible pimple.
How can blackheads be prevented?
The be-all and end-all is regular, pore-deep cleansing of the face to prevent clogging of the pores. Use an intensive cleansing foam and work it into the T-zone, ideally with a soft cleansing brush. Rinse off with clear water – either with your hands or with the help of a damp (clean!) small towel or washcloth.
Peelings and face masks for blackheads
Peelings should also not be missing in the beauty routine to cleanse the skin intensively and to free it from dead skin. But please do not overdo it: Treat the face with an exfoliating glove or other product no more than once a week to give the skin sufficient time to regenerate.
It is also advisable to use clear face masks to refine the pores and thus reduce the tendency to blackheads. It is best to find out about metabolism-activating additives such as healing clay, which promote the transport of sebum, in cosmetics shops.
Pay attention to your diet if you have comedones
Highly processed foods should be avoided, extremely high in sugar, salty foods and saturated fats have an inflammatory effect. Better are high-quality unsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts and salmon, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Here like to focus on beta-carotene – the substance often called vitamin A is in large quantities in cabbage vegetables, carrots, spinach and Kürbis and belongs according to Dr. Golüke also in the face. The dermatologist advises using a "facial cream that contains vitamin A depletions". This includes azelainsäure, which is also used for other cosmetic problems to improve the general appearance of the skin.
Removal of existing blackheads
First of all, please do not touch the blackheads yourself, because the accumulated sebum is quickly and unintentionally absorbed into the surrounding tissue instead of being effectively squeezed out. The result: the inflammation is even more extensive than before and takes a long time to heal, in the worst case it even needs to be treated.
The dermatologist recommends professional cleansing of the skin by a medical cosmetician, occasional fruit peelings and microdermabrasion (mechanical removal of the top layer of the skin with a grinding head with a diamond attachment) should have a positive effect and prevent blackheads from reappearing in the long term, explains Dr. Goluuml;ke.