How to Get Rid of Blackheads on the Nose
Have you woken up and looked into the mirror only to see a spattering of black dots on your nose? Blackheads plague many people and while they’re largely benign, they can no doubt be annoying and problematic for many. Blackheads are much more common on the nose, and given how central the nose is on our faces it can be a very annoying occurrence when there are many blackheads on it. But with any other skin-related issue, we have to understand why and how it occurs in order to control and tackle it.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads are actually a form of acne. Another term for them is open comedones, and they occur when hair follicles are clogged and appear dark or black from the surface of the skin. A follicle is made up of a strand of hair and a sebaceous gland that produces an oil known as sebum. When a blackhead forms, the opening of the skin follicle gets clogged up with dead skin cells and oil. The result of this is a small bump known as a comedy. If the skin over the bump is open, the exposure to air causes this clog to oxidize and appear black. Blackheads can be caused by numerous factors. One of the main factors is the overproduction of body oil given that the skin follicles contain sebaceous glands. Naturally, if the sebaceous gland produces too much oil there will be a build-up of oil in the follicle and hence form a blackhead.
Another cause is a buildup of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria on the skin which can also cause clogging in the skin follicle, leading to blackheads. Blackheads might also form when the dead skin cells in the hair follicles shed irregularly and cause irritation to the hair follicles. Changes in hormones are another big cause of blackheads as it will cause an increase in the production of oil. Some drugs and medication can also lead to blackheads such as corticosteroids, lithium, and androgens.
But why do blackheads mostly occur on the nose? The nose contains a lot more sebaceous glands than other parts of the face, so naturally, blackheads have a much higher chance of growing on the nose!
How Can I Remove Blackheads?
As blackheads occur under the skin, the only way to get rid of them is to extract it. You will need to remove the hard plug within the pore in order to remove the blackhead. However, the annoying thing is that blackheads can still keep coming back after you’ve extracted them. As long as your oil glands are active, the possibility of blackheads developing on your nose is high!
Sadly there’s no simple fix to blackheads. There are many ways that you can get rid of blackheads temporarily, but the underlying problem is that there is excess oil being produced in your skin follicles. Whatever treatments you do, blackheads will always naturally reform every 20 to 40 days. As annoying as that is, it doesn’t mean it’s completely hopeless. Instead, tackling blackheads needs to be an ongoing process rather than a one-off treatment.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads on the Nose?
There are many ways you can incorporate into your daily life to slowly remove and reduce the number of blackheads on your nose. These steps will slowly help you move towards a blackhead-free life!
- Wash your face at least once a day
Since strictly speaking blackheads are caused by excessive oil buildup, washing your face will help to contain blackheads. It is especially important to wash your face after you sweat in order to keep the skin clean. Don’t overwash your face though, as the skin does need a little bit of natural oil. Overwashing might actually backfire as the sebaceous glands produce even more oil to compensate for the drying out effect that overwashing might have.
- Use a physical exfoliator
Using a physical exfoliator is the easiest first step. Exfoliating removes the upper layer of dead skin cells and prevents this layer from getting blocked in the pores. You can buy exfoliators from many drugstores, and they can come in the form of a scrub with granules or a face cleansing brush. Essentially, an exfoliator is something a little abrasive so it can rub away the layer of skin. However, you should be careful not to over-exfoliate as that can irritate and inflame the skin. Exfoliating once to twice a week is sufficient.
- Try a chemical exfoliant
Exfoliants also come in the form of chemicals. You can get these from drugstores as well. Chemicals work a little differently from physical exfoliants, as it uses chemicals to dissolve the upper layer of dead skin cells. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are very efficient chemical exfoliants, and some examples are glycolic acids and lactic acids. There are also beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid which causes a chemical disintegration of the skin’s top layer of cells which unblock the pores.
- Avoid heavy creams and oily products
Decongesting your skin can be aided by using non-comedogenic products that won’t clog your pores. Especially for people who have oilier, more acne-prone skin, products like coconut oil, heavy moisturizers, and thick heavy creams should be avoided. Use instead of products with lightweight formulas and ingredients such as salicylic acid, niacinamide, and witch hazel.
- Try an extraction facial
Getting a professional dermatologist to extract your blackheads safely is an option to consider. During an extraction facial, the aesthetician will steam the skin. The steam causes the oil in the pores to be loosened so that it is easier for them to extract using a special removal tool. You should leave extraction to professionals, as trying to do it yourself could inflame the blackhead and cause scarring.
- Incorporate a retinoid into your routine
Retinoids have recently become quite popular in the skincare world, and rightfully so as they are one of the best methods for tackling skin imperfections. A retinoid is a vitamin A-based formula that induces an accelerated exfoliation. You’ll have to be patient with retinoids though, as they take anywhere between 8-12 weeks to show effect. Retinoids can be very strong, and you should only use them at night as the sun causes it to be inactive. Retinoids should be used in gradual increments. Start off using it once or twice a week and pay attention to whether your skin gets red and itchy. Once you have gotten used to the strength, you can use it more frequently or move up the retinoid strength.
Tackling blackheads is not a one-off fix, it requires time, patience, and a decent amount of costs. You’ll have to be patient as the skin is an organ, and it will continually replenish and function. If in doubt, it is always best to get expert help and a prescription.