Comedones are caused due to the clogging of hair follicles which results in some form of blackheads or whiteheads. These forms of comedones can appear with or without Acne.
What are closed and open Comedones?
Blackheads are considered to be the open form of comedones, whereas whiteheads are considered to be the closed form because it has a skin overgrowth which closes it.
These comedones result in a chronic inflammatory condition called Acne when they’re both found together along with pimples.(1)
Blackheads can be seen as small bumps or big ones, they’re black in color because the melanin that’s contained in these pores gets oxidized when in contact with oxygen in the air. This oxidation happens because blackheads are open pores free to interact with the environment. Whiteheads, on the other hand, are closed pores, due to the skin that grows over it.
What causes Comedones?
Comedones are caused by trapped hair follicles. This can be due to excessive oil secretion, along with clogging due to dead skin cells, other debris such as Keratin found in the hair. Usually, there is an excessive release of oils by your skin when you’re a teenager and your hormones are all over the place. That’s when your skin remains oily and your pores get clogged up.(2)
The causal factors can be the following :
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Thyroid problems
- Skin care products
That being said, Comedones can be seen in any age group. Most women go through certain milestones in their life which causes fluctuations in their hormones.
These fluctuations can also happen when you have a thyroid problem. The thyroid is responsible for your metabolism and also helps in regulating your hormones.
It’s also seen that there can be a genetic factor to this, if your parents are prone to comedones then you can be too. This applies to Acne and most of the other skin conditions as well.
Although in certain cases this can be a result of the products that you use on your skin.
There are certain elements in the products that you use that cause your skin to remain oily and retain moisture. This could result in causing more comedones because it’s going to add to the oil trapped in your pores.
For example, there are certain products such as Vitamin E oil and cocoa butter that don’t so well for your skin in case its oily. That’s why it’s better to go for non- comedogenic products for your skin.
Comedones may or may not result in Acne. Blackheads and whiteheads may appear at separate spots and that might be where you comedones stop, nevertheless the treatment is not different from that used for Acne. (3)
Scrub and wash – This is a common treatment used for most skin issues. Make sure not to overdo scrubbing and washing. If you dry out your skin too much this could cause it to produce more oil resulting in breakouts.
Retinoids – Retinoids are topically applied and are a chemical compound found in the synthesis of Vitamin A. These products help in promoting new skin cells which can push out the dirt clogging up pores.
Benzoyl Peroxide – Benzoyl peroxide basically helps in drying out comedones and killing the bacteria that are there in them. This can be used on Acne as well it helps in pushing out of the bacteria causing Acne.
Chemical peels – These can also helps in the removal of blackheads and whiteheads.
Some of the common concerns and questions about comedones are listed below.
What are comedone extractors?
Comedone extractors or lancets are a kind of tool used to press out and remove blackheads and extract whiteheads.
Are comedone extractors bad for your skin?
Comedone extractors are not bad for you skin if they are used with the right technique. Too much pressure to remove a and not complete extraction of it can lead to having a scar left behind.
Is it possible to treat comedones naturally?
It is possible to make natural scrubs at home, these can be made of oats and milk. Tea tree oil may not suit your skin if it’s already oily. A honey mask or clay mask can also help in the removal of Comedones.
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