55 with blackheads

Post your questions about acne here.

Moderator: talkhealth

2 posts
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:46 pm

by cally120 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:46 am

55 with blackheads

I'm fed up with blackheads on my nose and chin area , how can I get rid of them, even makeup doesn't cover them ?

User avatar
Dr Anjali Mahto
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:23 pm

by Dr Anjali Mahto on Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:13 pm

Re: 55 with blackheads

Dear Cally120,

Many thanks for taking the time to post a question. I have answered a question previously about managing blackheads on this thread - i hope you don't mind me suggesting the same advice and that this information helps:

Even if blackheads are removed by a variety of procedural methods, they have a tendency to clinically reform every 20-40 days after extraction so multiple ongoing treatments are required.

Topical retinoid creams containing vitamin A that are prescribed by either a GP or dermatologist (Differin, tretinoin) can be helpful in reducing blackheads. These creams and gels often need to be used ideally for 8-12 weeks before real benefit is apparent, so definitely aren't a quick fix.

It can be helpful to exfoliate the skin on a weekly basis to remove the upper layer of dead skin cells and reduce the formation of blackheads. I wouldn't recommend doing this more than once weekly as you may irritate the skin and make it worse.

Steam extractions can also be of benefit. Steam is used to loosen the debris in your pores then an extractor tool can be used to remove blackheads. This treatment can be carried out by a properly trained medical aesthetician. Its benefits are that it can reduce the number of future inflamed acne spots and immediately creates a sense of "decongestion" or unblocking of the skin. However, it carries a risk of damage to the skin and can make cystic spots worse. It, really, therefore needs to be done by a trained professional. As blackheads reform over time, the procedure will need to be repeated.

Chemical peels can also be used for comedones with good results and there are many types of superficial peels available (e.g. gycolic acid and salicylic acid). These chemicals are applied to the surface of the skin and cause an accelerated type of exfoliation. Again, it is important to see a trained professional as not all peels are suitable for all skin types and certain types of acne may not respond. A dermatologist will be able to guide you.

Comedones can also be treated with heat treatment known as electrodessication. A fine metal electrode heats up the skin and removed the blackheads. This treatment is sometimes used by dermatologists to reduce blackheads before starting someone on stronger acne medication such as isotretinoin (Roaccutane).

If your acne is a mixture of blackheads and other types of acne spots (red bumps known as papules or deeper cysts) then you may require oral medication for control. This can include antibiotics, hormonal treatments such as spironolactone, and isotretinoin.

I hope this answers some of your questions and it gives you a number of potential options or at least food for thought in how best to manage blackheads without the pseudoscience that can often be found on the internet! If you have ongoing concerns or difficulty then it may be worth seeing your family doctor or a dermatologist.

Best wishes,

Dr Anjali Mahto
Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson
http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... _mahto.php

2 posts