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What Are Whiteheads?
Health Articles > Acne > Whiteheads
Acne is a very common skin condition particularly affecting teens and young adults, causing different bumps to appear on the skin but especially on the face, neck, chest or back. Whiteheads are just one of the different bumps that occur.
What Are Whiteheads?
Like most acne, whiteheads are formed when excess oil from the sebaceous glands clogs up the pores or hair follicles on the skin. This sebum gets trapped along with other debris and some bacteria which can be airborne or from the skin's surface so that when the trapped sebum and bacteria stay below the skin's surface, a whitehead is formed.
Whiteheads may show up as tiny white spots, or they may be so small that they are invisible to the naked eye. As whiteheads are closed off from the outside air, they remain white. Whiteheads are often found hidden away such as on the forehead under long bangs. If such whiteheads were to open sufficiently to allow the outside air in, they would turn into blackheads.
How Can You Prevent Whiteheads?
- Keeping your skin clean is important so wash the face gently 2 to 3 times a day with a natural soap or non-soap cleanser and warm water. Use a soft face cloth and pat dry gently.
- A gentle shower every day will also help to remove excess oil.
- It is vital that you do not pick, scratch, rub or scrub your skin especially if there are any whiteheads or other pimples because this can spread both them and any bacteria on the skin.
- If you have to use make up, then make sure it is water-based and not oil-based. All make-up should be carefully removed at bedtime.
- Wash your hair frequently and keep off the face as much as possible – avoiding long bangs on the forehead if your skin is inclined to be oily.
- Ensuring a strong immune system and a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in preventing whiteheads or diminishing the extent of an acne outbreak.
- Regular meals with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs and organic meats. Take care to avoid sodas, artificial sweeteners, sugars and refined and processed foods.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to hydrate the skin and get rid of all toxins. A glass of water with a slice of lemon in it will be a natural detox as soon as you wake up in the morning.
- Avoid any smoking and make sure you exercise regularly.
- Top up your vitamin D levels and improve your skin and appearance with regular doses of sunlight. If the weather is suitable, try and get 20 minutes of sunlight every day but if not, consider vitamin D3 supplements.
If you can follow such healthy lifestyle guidelines, not only will you go a long way to preventing acne and whiteheads, but you will also notice an improved skin and an all round health improvement. You can treat whiteheads by following these same guidelines but after cleansing apply mild steam to the area which softens the skin and opens up the pores for further cleaning. Apply a gentle skin toner after steaming and cleaning to close the pores again or you can apply an ice block wrapped in a soft cotton cloth to the whiteheads.
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