A Guide to Treating Whiteheads


Usually, when someone complains about acne on a message board, you imagine pimples being the cause. Whiteheads, however, can also be a source of embarrassment, especially for teens who are trying to fit in. Adults, of course, are not exempted. So, how do you go about treating whiteheads?

What a Whitehead Is

First, you should know what a whitehead is. A whitehead is caused by a pore that has been blocked due to the overproduction of sebum. That sounds very much like a definition for pimples. However, a whitehead is characterized by its whitish appearance. It is also a milder form of acne that could develop into a pimple. Now, let us look at some preventive measures. 

Preventive Measures

I - Exercise regularly

Let us look at preventive measures first. Exercise is a good preventive measure because it makes you feel good, thus reducing stress levels. However, it could also result to acne if you exercise while wearing tight clothes that are made of nylon or any other synthetic fiber. Synthetic materials trap heat and moisture, providing grounds for bacteria to grow. So, it is better to wear loose-fitting clothes. Also make sure you clean the exercise equipment before and after using, especially when at a public gym.

II - Choose non-glossy cosmetics

Use cosmetic products that don’t shine as much. The glossy types are more likely to clog your pores and irritate your skin. Go for oil-free products. They will come with non-comedogenic labels.

III - Eat healthy 

Whatever type of acne you are trying to cure or prevent, make sure to enjoy a healthy diet. Take your vitamin and mineral supplements regularly, especially if it is difficult for you to eat healthy foods when on the go.

IV- Practice proper hygiene

Make sure that you keep your skin clean and exfoliated. Do not resort to hard scrubbing, however, because it will only cause skin irritations. Skin irritation can lead to clogged pores. Avoid products that contain alcohol because they can remove the skin’s top layer. This will make your body produce more sebum.

V- Shave properly

Shaving, when done right, can help in getting rid of dead skin cells. Make sure that you shave just right and not too deep. Do not shave over inflamed or infected areas. Use a shaving gel to make the razor glide easily without nicking your skin.

Treating Existing Whiteheads

What if you already have whiteheads? How do you go about treating the condition? 

Over the counter treatments

For mild to moderate acne, you can rely on over the counter treatments. You will find anti-acne ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol and sulfur in creams and gels. Some acne treatment gels even make use of a combination of the abovementioned ingredients. For example, you may find a product that contains benzoyl peroxide, sulfur and salicylic acid in one cream or ointment. 

Prescription drugs

Antimicrobials and oral retinoids are the usual anti-acne prescription drugs. For more severe acne, a prescription drug may be recommended by your dermatologist. However, taking these medications should be well monitored. They should not be taken by a pregnant or breastfeeding woman.