How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Your Nose
Many people deal with them-—those pesky blackheads that speckle the skin on and around your nose. Sometimes they’re barely noticeable, but other times you might feel like it’s the only thing people look at when they see your face. Blackheads are pretty common, so ditch the thick makeup and follow these tips on how you might just be able to rid your nose of those little dots.
What are Blackheads?
If you have scores of tiny black spots around your T-zone, you’re not alone. Almost everyone suffers from blackheads at some point, and that’s ok—it’s a healthy part of your skin’s cycle. Blackheads are simply plugged hair follicles, so it’s easy to see why everyone gets them.
Blackheads form much the same way whiteheads do. It starts when the sebaceous gland secretes sebum oil through your hair follicle to keep skin moist and soft. Sometimes, debris, dirt and dead skin cells clog the follicle and create irritation. Even a small amount of debris can mix with the oil and form a plug that creates the bump on your skin.
This bump is called a comedone. The comedone may have soft pus inside or it can be like a small, hardened kernel. When the skin over the bump is unbroken, the comedone is called a whitehead. If the skin surrounding the comedone opens, then air touches the sebum oil and oxidizes it. The oxidation process turns the comedone a black or yellowish color, making it a blackhead.
Blackheads can appear all over your body wherever there is a hair follicle. They most commonly rear their ugly heads on your T-zone, neck, chest, back, arms and shoulders.
Causes of Blackheads
Blackheads can pop up for a variety of reasons besides having healthy skin. Dirt and debris in the air can easily clog pores, so if you live in an area with excess pollution or spend a lot of time in a greasy kitchen above the fat fryers you’re more likely to get them. Likewise if your skin isn’t clean, dead skin cells and debris will build up and mix with the sebum in your pores.
Blackheads Regardless of Age
When it comes to blackheads, age is just a number. They can appear on either gender at any time of life. However, like most forms of acne they are common on teenager’s skin. During this time, hormones flood a young person’s body and can cause the skin to radically change. A sudden surge of androgens in both young men and women cause excess sebum production, which is the source of those annoying white heads and blackheads that spread across the body. Severe cases can cause cystic painful acne. Blackheads are generally less severe and are a sign of healthy skin.
Not All Dark Dots are Blackheads
If you spend hours upon hours examining your face close up in the mirror poking at your nose, you may want to stop. Why aren’t those dots on your face disappearing? That may be because they aren’t blackheads at all. Those little black spots that appear on your T-Zone and chin may actually be sebaceous filaments. Sebaceous filaments are glands that channel oil around your pores. Those dots? Just the ends of the filaments. Everyone has them and they’re important to keep skin balanced and moist. Acne treatments won’t affect them.
Now you may be second guessing. Fortunately there are easy ways to tell them apart, and once you know them you’ll be able to tell right away. First, know that blackheads on your nose aren’t nearly as common as sebaceous filaments. Blackheads tend to follow a random pattern or are totally isolated. Sebaceous filaments, however, have a uniform pattern across the T-Zone. Blackheads are easily identifiable because they are large and dark, whereas sebaceous glands are small and grey. Overall, blackheads are more noticeable to the naked eye.
How to Treat Blackheads on Your Nose
Now that you know how to separate blackheads from sebaceous filaments, it’s time to get at the root of how to get rid of them. These are just a few of the ways to keep your T-zone clean and blemish free.
- Wash Your Pillow Case
Sheets and pillow cases are a commonly overlooked item when it comes to skin health. We think about washing our bodies and our clothes, but we may go weeks or months without washing our sheets. If you’re like most people, you spend about 7 to 8 hours a night in your sheets. That adds to up to 56 hours! During this time, oil and debris gather on your sheets and pillowcase, and constant contact transfers the grime back onto your skin. This will inevitably clog pores and leave you with black heads. You should wash your sheets at least once a week to keep your skin clear of any blemishes. Switch to fragrance-free detergents to prevent irritation.
- Wash, Don’t Scrub Your Face
Scrubbing your skin with harsh exfoliates will only exacerbate the problem. Oil-based products, highly acidic ingredients, and products with large granules can actually make skin worse. Any facial scrub will strip fresh skin and oils, which will dry the skin and turn it red. When the skin is overly dry, your sebaceous glands will respond by producing yet more oil. The repeated cycle will make skin oilier and increase the risk of blackheads. Instead, use gentle water-based facial cleansers and pat the skin dry. Avoid rubbing as much as possible.
- Eat Healthier
Your skin health is directly related to your diet. Processed sugar and high glycemic foods, for example, boost insulin levels and can manipulate levels of androgens. When insulin levels spike, sebum production increases and your likelihood of blackheads will also increase. Decrease your intake of processed sugar and carbohydrates and instead eat healthier natural foods. Grass-fed red meat, leafy greens, fish high in Omega-3’s, and antioxidant-rich foods will repair skin and give it a healthy glow. Natural foods high in vitamins prevent excess sebum production and strengthen your cell tissue.
Blackheads are a common skin ailment that most people will have at least once in their lives. Avoid blackheads by keeping your pillow case clean, washing your face gently and eating vitamin-rich foods.