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What Causes Whiteheads

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Whiteheads are not just problems faced by adolescents, but even individuals who are past their teenage years. People who are affected by acne are also normally plagued by whiteheads. This story discusses the causes and treatment regarding the same.
There are various types of eruptions on the face and other parts of the skin. They may occur due to hormonal imbalance, bacterial infections, blocking of skin pores by dirt and grime, etc. Pimples are common skin problems.
Other than these, whiteheads and blackheads too make an appearance on your face, chest, back, arms, and legs. Blackheads are tiny spots, the size of a pin, whereas the whiteheads appear as bumps on the skin with a white top. They are also known as 'closed comedones'. They are pus-filled bumps that occur mostly on the face and shoulders.


Dead skin cells and natural oils that are flushed out of the pores cause whiteheads. These oils contain sebum, which clogs the pores. These contents of the pore become hard and form a plug. Soon, the top of the plug becomes visible and is known as a whitehead. If the opening of the skin was a bit larger, it would allow air to come in contact with the plug.
This would lead to oxidation of the contents of the pore, making them turn into a darker color. However, this does not happen and one can spot the clogged pore as a whitehead. Some experts believe, a few people produce drier form of skin oil. This causes the formation of a mass known as whitehead.
The bacteria that gets logged into a skin pore may also be one of the causes of closed comedones. The pore tends to enlarge to support the bacterial cell. Due to this, a whitehead is formed that can rupture when picked at. The rupture releases the bacteria and may cause skin scarring as well as infections. Dehydration may also lead to whitehead formation.
Lack of water does not allow the body to flush out the toxins, and these toxins lead to acne and whitehead breakouts. Women are more prone to whitehead and pimple breakouts during the middle or end of their monthly menstruation cycle. This is because their body undergoes a rush of hormones that plays havoc with their skin.
An unhealthy diet that mostly consists of fat and sugars also leads to the outbreak of these bumps. You should switch over to fresh fruits and vegetables for a more clear complexion.

Treatment and Prevention

Getting rid of closed comedones is not much of a problem. All you need to do is follow a few ways to prevent them. You should wash your face with warm water twice a day daily. If your skin is prone to oiliness, make sure you splash some water over it.
Keep your skin moist at all times. Dry skin is more prone to whiteheads. If you use a skin moisturizer, make sure it is oil free. Do not touch them again and again. You may transfer an infection, causing more trouble.
Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. This will help flush out the toxins from the body and keep your skin healthy. You can drink a glass of water with a spoonful of honey every morning to flush out the toxins. Do not use a lot of make up as it clogs your skin pores.
Wash your face with a soap-free face cleanser every time you apply make-up. Do not use oil-based skin products. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to keep the skin healthy and pimple free.
There are a few simple remedies that will help get rid of closed comedones. The first step is to cleanse your skin. You need to use only soap and water to clean your skin. If you have dry skin, use an oil-based soap. Oily skin needs a soap, specifically meant for this skin type. You should wash your face with warm water.
Do not use cold or hot water. Cold water will cause the pores to contract, blocking them even more and hot water will dry out the skin. The tiny dead skin flakes will get trapped in the pores, resulting in new whiteheads. Thus, use only warm water. Now, apply soap over your face and form a rich lather.
Allow the lather to remain on your face for just 15 to 30 secs. Wash off the soap using warm water and then pat dry the skin with a soft towel. Do not rub your face with your towel. Rubbing will cause the loose skin to get trapped in your skin pores.
You can try to apply a syrup made of sugar, lemon juice, and water. Mix sugar and water to form a thick syrup. Add freshly-squeezed juice of half a lemon to the syrup. Apply this syrup as a face mask. Wait till it dries well. The mask dries out like wax and when you pull it out, it also pulls out a clogged pore. Thus, it helps remove whiteheads.
You can use a facial scrub to exfoliate your skin. Use a facial scrub that suits your skin type. If you are looking for a natural way for skin exfoliation, you can try an oatmeal scrub. Mix oatmeal with yogurt for people with oily skin. Those with dry skin need to mix oatmeal with milk.
Form a thick paste of the mixture and apply it all over the face. Leave it on for a few minutes. Then using your fingers, gently massage your skin in circular motion. Wash and pat dry with a clean towel.
You need to clean your face with a gentle face cleaner that suits your skin type. Make sure you exercise regularly as it will help you sweat. As you sweat all the dirt, oils, and microorganisms in the pores are flushed out. Take good facial skincare to prevent these nasty eruptions.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.