Whiteheads are quite a common occurrence and are defined as enlarged hair follicles which get clogged with dead skin cells, natural oils produced by the body, and bacteria. They are also known by the name of closed comedones. It is a common feature of acne. Whiteheads can form at any place in the body but is commonly seen in the thighs and the face. To better understand Whiteheads, it is important to know how these lesions form. The sebaceous glands in the body release natural oils to the surface of the skin. These oils come out through pores on the skin surface called pilosebaceous units. These pores are present mostly in the face, chest, and back.
Whiteheads develop when these pilosebaceous units become clogged due to skin cells, natural oils, and hair.
Bacteria present on the epidermis get attached to the clogged pores and begin to multiply. This results in an immune reaction causing inflammation. If treatment is not rendered and the clog is not cleared then a lesion erupts. This lesion is what is termed as a Whitehead.
While there are various medical treatments available for treating Whiteheads, there are also some home remedies which are equally effective. This article details some of the common and most effective home remedies to treat Whiteheads.
6 Home Remedies for Whiteheads
Before trying out home remedies for Whiteheads it is important to put sunscreen over the affected area as these remedies make the skin extremely sensitive to sun exposure. The most preferred home remedies for treatment of Whiteheads include:
- Steam Exposure: This is quite a common home remedy to deal with Whiteheads. Steam is extremely effective in opening up slogged pores of the skin and thus clears Whiteheads. All the individual has to do is take some boiled water and place the affected area over the bowl. If the face or the neck is affected then the individual can put the towel over the head such that the steam directly goes into the affected area and is not scattered.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This is yet another effective home remedy for treating Whiteheads. Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic and is capable of shrinking the pores. It is also a natural antiinflammatory and has plenty of antibacterial properties which prevent any infection due to presence of bacteria from settling within the clogged pores. For best results, it is recommended to mix 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with a glass of warm water. This mixture needs to be applied directly on the affected area and let it remain there for about 15-20 minutes. After that, the mixture should be rinsed off with water. This process needs to be repeated two to three times every day for a few days until improvement is observed.
- Lemon Juice: This is also quite an effective home remedy for Whiteheads. Lemon Juice has citric acid which dries out the affected skin and shrinks the pores. It also soaks up the oils trapped within the pores thus opening them up. Lemon Juice also helps in decreasing inflammation due to it being a natural antiinflammatory. The individual should apply lemon juice directly on the affected area using a cotton ball and let it remain there for about 15 minutes. This process needs to be repeated two to three times a day for a few days until the Whiteheads clear off.
- Tea Tree Oil: This oil is a natural antiinflammatory and an extremely effective antimicrobial. This oil is used in making many skin cleansers and face washes due to these properties. It is also extremely effective in treating Whiteheads. The individual just needs to take some teat tree oil on a cotton ball and apply it directly on the affected area of the body. This process needs to be repeated multiple times for a few days until there is improvement in the appearance of the skin.
- Honey: This is an extremely potent antibacterial. Due to its thickness it covers the pores and goes deep within the skin surface. Thus it gets rid of any bacteria that may be present in the clogged pores causing Whiteheads. For best results, a tablespoon of honey needs to be heated for a few seconds until it gets warm and then apply it on the affected area for 10-15 minutes. This process also needs to be repeated multiple times in a day to completely get rid of Whiteheads.
- Witch Hazel: It contains compounds which cause the clogged skin pores to shrink thus preventing infection. As the pores shrink, the debris present within it gets squeezed out and eliminated thus treating Whiteheads. Witch Hazel is also quite effective home remedy in decreasing inflammation and gets rid of excess oils produced by the sebaceous glands. There are many skin cleansers and face washes that have witch hazel as one of their ingredients. It can also be purchased from a pharmacy store and applied on the affected area directly using a cotton ball. However, witch hazel is known to make the skin excessively dry and irritated and thus should only be used once or twice a day and not more.
Other than the home remedies mentioned above there are also some other tips which can not only treat but prevent Whiteheads. It should be noted here that cleaning the affected area frequently can also make the condition worse thus should be avoided. Some of the tips to prevent formation of Whiteheads include:
- Avoid touching the area every now and then.
- Avoiding use of any lotions or creams which have a fragrance as the chemicals in them can worsen the condition.
- Using only oil free cosmetics and skincare products to prevent clogging of the skin and formation of Whiteheads.
- Never pop or squeeze a Whitehead.
- Avoid places where air pollution is very high as it may affect the skin and if unavoidable making sure to protect the exposed areas of the skin.
- Making sure that the skin is cleaned thoroughly especially in hot and humid conditions.
- Avoiding clothes that are tight fitting especially in hot climate as the sweat can clog the skin and cause Whitehead.
- Ensuring to remove any makeup before hitting the bed at night.
Practicing these self-care tips can be extremely effective in managing whiteheads and preventing future occurrences of these lesions. Whiteheads can be extremely annoying and if they occur on the face and other exposed area of the body then it can be quite unsightly.
Thus, it is recommended that Whiteheads be treated on time to prevent worsening of the condition. If the home remedies suggested above are ineffective in getting rid of Whiteheads then a consultation with a dermatologist is recommended to try out any other mode of treatment of Whiteheads.