Blackheads are black or yellowish bumps that appear on the skin, and they’re caused by excess oils that collect in hair follicles. The materials that cause you to develop blackheads are mostly keratin and oil that oxidizes in clogged hair follicles. This form of acne is also refereed to as an “open comedo” and develops when a plug increases in size, and forces its way to the surface of your skin. The reason this form of acne appears to be black is due to dark pigment melanin.
Blackheads are as small as the tip of a pin, and are ordinary occurrences among both men and women of all ages. The areas of your body that may be affected by them are the spots where you have over-active oil glands, such as your face around the nose, chin and forehead, as well as the arms, chest and back. Some people may even notice them around their lips as well.
Blackheads aren’t always easy to spot if you’re not looking for them; but once you notice you have them, they are hard to ignore. They’re easier to see in natural sunlight or other bright lights like florescent lighting. Women will notice them more in their t-zone (line across forehead, line from middle of forehead to chin) since blackheads love to root in the oiliest areas of the body. They are likely to increase or decrease with changes in the weather, or changes in hygiene routines.
The reason why the body produces oils that inevitably cause all forms of acne is to keep your dermis supple and moist; after all, your skin cells are constantly reproducing so that dead skin cells can be shed. This process causes clogged pores that appear as blackheads or whiteheads, which have the potential to become inflamed areas that are difficult to get rid off. The best way to avoid them is to keep acne-causing bacteria off of your face; however this is easier said than done.
There are simple things you can do to keep blackheads and other forms of acne to a minimum, including using acne creams and cleansers. By adopting a skin care routine that focuses on acne problems, you will be more likely to reduce the amount of blackheads that appear on your face and body.