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Should I Pop Blackheads?

Most dermatologists advise against popping blackheads.
Isopropyl alcohol, which can be used to sterilize tools for popping blackheads.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2014
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Dermatologists usually advise their patients not to pop blackheads, since this can lead to infection and possibly scarring. Instead, blackhead sufferers are usually urged to have these blemishes removed by a professional. It is possible to remove blackheads at home, though. To do this, the area should be washed and exfoliated first; hot water should also be used to open the pores, which can make blackhead removal easier. Although blackhead sufferers should not pop blackheads, they can gently push the oil out of the pores with their fingers or a blackhead removal tool.

Known scientifically as open comedones, blackheads are a common type of acne. Blackheads can form nearly anywhere on the body, but they are most common on the face, particularly the nose. These form when oil gets trapped in the pores. Trapped oil then hardens and oxidizes, which is what gives these blemishes their dark or black appearances. Although it can be very tempting to pop blackheads, most dermatologists advise against this.

When you try to pop blackheads, oil and bacteria can be forced into the skin, resulting in an infection deeper in the tissue, known as an abscess. These types of infections are often very painful, and they usually need to be treated by medical professionals. Picking at blackheads is also not usually recommended, since this can result in an open wound and an infection. If they are not treated properly, infected blackheads often result in unattractive scars.

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If you do decide to remove or pop blackheads, you should first make sure that your hands and any tools that you use are clean or sterile. You should wash your hands and also try not to touch the area surrounding the blackheads. Instead, you can either cover your fingers with a tissue or wear sterile surgeon's gloves. Any tools that you use should also be sterilized with isopropyl alcohol.

The affected area should also be washed well before you pop blackheads. Washing with soap and water is recommended, but you should also exfoliate the area as well. This will help remove most of the dead skin on the surface, which will make it easier to remove blackheads. Opening the pores on the skin can also make it much easier to remove blackheads. This can be done by applying a hot washcloth to the area.

To remove the blackheads, you should try to get under them, and push them up and out of the pores. You can also use a black head removal tool. This is an inexpensive metal tool with metal loops on the ends. When a loop is pressed to the skin, it pushes the skin down and the black head up, which makes it easier to scrape away from the pore.

After you remove or pop blackheads, you should disinfect the area. This can be done by rubbing hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol on the area. An astringent should also be used to close the pores and prevent more blackheads from forming.

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Lostnfound
Post 1

I know this site has to be very conservative when discussing these kinds of issues, but let's be honest: if every teen who popped a blackhead with the fingernails got an infection, there wouldn't be a bottle of antibiotics left on the shelves. The best you're probably going to do is to get them to wash their hands first.

I've used the blackhead removal tool, known affectionately in our house as "the zit popper." They do work, if the blackhead is sufficiently "juicy." Yeah, sounds gross, but this isn't afternoon tea we're talking about here. But if the blackhead isn't in an area where the zit popper can get a good bead on it, and the blackhead is itching like crazy, well, fingernails become an option.

As much as doctors advise against it, popping an itchy blackhead is sweet relief. I had one on my forehead years ago, and it was itching so, I actually popped it in my sleep. True story.

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