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Ask A Skin Doctor: Acne Whiteheads and Blackheads

Dear Doctor

Help me. This is ruining my self-esteem. I used to have beautiful clear skin before but then these tiny white bumps appear around my cheeks and forehead.

Some of the bumps turn into red pimples and some stay flesh colored but it has like something black in the center. My acne are multiplying.

I only use Cetaphil in the morning and before bed. I also used a facial toner in the morning and night.

Whiteheads and Blackheads

Dear Patient

Your symptoms are suggestive of Acne Whiteheads and Blackheads.

Whiteheads are formed when the skin pore is filled with oil from the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells. They have a tiny opening and thus the name closed comedones.

Blackheads are formed when the skin pore is filled with oil and dead skin cells. However, these contents undergo a chemical reaction which results in their black color. Blackheads have a large opening and thus their name open comedones.

Acne Whiteheads and Blackheads Treatment and Prevention

I suggest you treat and prevent them as follows:

Use an acne face wash in the morning and evening

Use a face wash that contains salicylic acid to wash your face in the morning and evening like Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash.

Salicylic acid is able to penetrate into the skin pore and reduce its plugging. It also helps remove the dead cells on the surface of the skin that plug the pores.

Apply an exfoliating moisturizer daily

Apply an oil-free moisturizer that contains salicylic acid to your face after washing it. For example, you can use Clean and clear oil free moisturizer .

Apply a  deep cleansing mask weekly

Apply a deep cleansing mask each week to clean inside the pores. This mask should contain ingredients like salicylic acid and green clay.

Adopt an Acne-Free Lifestyle

Adopt an acne-free lifestyle by doing the following:

*Joining a smoking cessation program if you smoke cigarettes

*Cleaning your mobile phone with antiseptic wipes regularly

*Eating low glycemic index foods like whole grain bread, spinach, and tomatoes. To learn more read How to Treat Acne at Home.

How to reduce acne whiteheads and blackheads

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