Does your skin appear bumpy or uneven? Many of you must have heard of clogged or blocked pores. You will be surprised to know that these are, in fact, a form of acne known as closed comedones.
NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) defines comedo as a clogged hair follicle resulted due to oil combining with skin debris. A comedo may breakout either open, known as a blackhead, or closed, known as a whitehead. As soon as the pore gets trapped, a small bump which is typically white in color breaks out, hence the name.
Cysts, pimples, whiteheads (closed comedones), and blackheads (open comedones) are all different forms of acne and demand specific treatment methods of attack.
In fact, some closed comedones develop a very obvious white head.
Few closed comedones might even result into Milia.
Primary Causes of Comedonal Acne
The answer to this question is not easy. Why? Experts have different opinions about them. According to some, hormones play an important role in this, while others back the thought of genetic predisposition, environmental factors, low-grade cosmetics, stress and day-to-day lifestyle and eating habits. Thus, it’s extremely vital that you identify the core reason for this problem.
Closed comedones develop easily among teenagers since the sebaceous glands beneath the skin causing excessive production of oil.
Adults with oily skin might as well experience this problem at some point in their life. There have also been few studies which indicate people who smoke are at an increased risk of developing comedonal acne.
Closed comedones might also develop due to:
2. Oil-based skin care products
3. Heavy lotions or creams
4. Hair gels or lotions (in case you experience a breakout around your hairline)
Closed Comedones Treatment At Home
Comedonal acne primarily breaks out on the forehead, nose, and chin consisting of whiteheads or blackheads. Even though you can find commercially available topical gels or creams to get rid of them, there are also a number of home remedies to cure the problem.
1. Use Appropriate Cleanser
A number of soaps contain an excess amount of alkaline elements that can cause a negative impact on your skin. Your facial skin is, in fact, slightly acidic in nature, thus, you might want to use a cleanser or soap with slightly acidic pH levels. Typically, a product having a pH level of around 5 can be perfect in order to enhance the condition of your facial skin.
2. Maintain the right balance of your skin
For those with oily skin, you want to balance it out so as to have a better chance of preventing comedonal acne. This can be easily done by using blotting papers for soaking up extra oil on the face. Besides, application of jojoba oil or argan oil to the skin can help maintain the right sebum levels within your skin.
A facial steam is a powerful remedy to open up skin pores and prevent the acquisition of oil, dirt, & dead cells.
- Add some water to a pan. Make sure the pan hasn’t been used for preparing food.
- Boil the water to create steam.
- Switch off the heat.
- Cover your head with a towel from each side & start taking the steam.
- After the water cools off, pat dry your face with a cloth.
- Repeat for few times each week, especially in case you have oily skin.
Before boiling the water, add some herbs known for curing closed comedones and acne such as witch hazel leaves, lavender flowers, lemongrass, peppermint leaves, rosebuds, etc. to experience faster results.
4. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is widely used in cosmetics and toiletries which claim to treat closed comedones. It is rich in compounds which cause skin pores to narrow down, hence restricting the odds of infection. With much tighter pores, the debris trapped within might get pushed towards the surface of the skin & expelled.
Witch hazel can also help remove excess oils and reduce inflammation effectively.
Often found in the body or facial toners, you can also purchase it as an astringent & apply to the affected area with a cotton pad.
Astringents can result in dryness and cause skin irritation, hence it’s best if you use witch hazel products no more than once a day.
5. Benzoyl peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide, due to its anti-bacterial properties can greatly reduce skin inflammation whilst eliminating excessive oil on the skin.
Benzoyl peroxide is mainly used in various toners, face washes, toners, spot treatments, etc.
Make sure you start slow and only use products containing 2% of benzoyl peroxide in the beginning. Use them once a day to avoid skin irritation and dryness. Over time, you can increase the frequency and concentration for faster results.
Benzoyl peroxide can bleach cloth, hence after using products containing it, ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly. If you are using it on your face, it is advised to cover your pillow with a towel before going to sleep.
6. AHA (Alpha hydroxy acid)
Alpha hydroxy acid can help eliminate dead skin cells and hence minimizing the odds of them getting blocked inside the pores.
Products that contain 10 percent or less AHA are considered gentle enough for using a few times per week. However, please note that this treatment might not always be well-tolerated by individuals with sensitive skin, chronic or acute form of acne or oily skin.
7. Sugar Scrub
Sugar scrub can effectively help exfoliate your skin in order to eliminate debris and excessive oil trapped within the pores without leading to dryness.
- Mix a tsp. of honey with equal quantity of sugar.
- Add some drops of lemon juice.
- Gently massage the scrub on your face in a circular manner.
- Let it stay for 5-10 mins. Wipe off with a soft cloth & wash your face.
- Try this few times each week.
8. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice, due to its acidic nature is ideal for exfoliation as well as cell regeneration.
1. Dip a piece of cotton in lemon juice & apply it directly on your face.
2. Let it stay for 10-15 min.
3. Wash off with normal water.
4. Continue on a regular basis for best results.
Cinnamon, when applied as a scrub, can help eliminate comedonal acne in a short time period. Besides, cinnamon is ideal to increase the production of collagen, thereby encouraging regeneration of skin. Lastly, cinnamon can fight acne due to its antimicrobial properties.
Mix a tsp. of oat flour with an equal amount of cinnamon powder. Add sufficient warm water for making a thick paste. Apply the paste on the face & scrub for some time. Let it stay for around 10 min before washing it off.
Add 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel and honey each to a pinch of cinnamon powder.
Apply the paste on the face, wait for 10-15 minutes and wash off with cold water.
You can try either of the above method few times a week until you experience satisfactory results.
IMP: Before you use cinnamon as your home remedy, carry out a patch test for ensuring you aren’t allergic to the powder.
The mildly abrasive texture of strawberries acts as a skin exfoliator, hence getting rid of dead cells, oil, and trapped dirt within the skin.
Strawberries are a rich source of salicylic acid, a major ingredient contained in a number of anti-bacterial treatments which helps clear out the pores. Also, the ellagic acid in them prevents skin damage caused due to UV radiation.
1. Mash few strawberries to create a paste.
2. Mix 1 tbsp of honey.
3. Spread the mixture on the face.
4. Slowly massage your skin in a circular motion.
5. Let it stay for 15 min & then rinse it off.
6. Repeat the process 2-3 times each week.
To get ideal results, use the scrubs & exfoliating masks when you are done with facial steaming
Ways to Prevent Closed Comedones
1. Avoid touching the affected area.
2. Avoid laundry, cleaning and cosmetic products containing irritants, for example, dyes or fragrances.
3. Use non-comedogenic and oil-free skin care products and cosmetics.
4. Do not pick, squeeze, or try to pop the affected area
5. Maintain proper skin hygiene and avoid places with high levels of air pollution whenever possible.
6. Wash your skin thoroughly in humid conditions.
7. Avoid heavy scrubbing or cleaning your skin aggressively
8. Avoid sun exposure if you have a history of sunburns.
9. Avid skin tight clothes, sports gear, and uniforms.
10. Avoid applying hair products on the skin
11. Take off your makeup and wash your face thoroughly before going to bed
12. Do not skip your shower or bath
Video: How to get rid of closed comedones