Skin hygiene has become a very vital part of daily life as this is that part of the body that tends to get the most affected by the rising levels of pollution and over exposure to sunlight and dirt. However, more often than not, skin inflammations or other diseases are not superficial. The reasons lie much deeper than the skin surface. One of the very common skin problems faced during the early puberty is the formation of whiteheads and blackheads. During this age the hormonal imbalances in the body trigger the sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum that is required to moisturize and cleanse the skin. However, this extra sebum combines with the dead skin cells and gets clogged in the skin pores where bacteria start forming. These are called comedoes and if they covered by a layer of white dead skin they tend to be white in color and thus the name whiteheads. These are principally the starting form of acne as these bacteria are responsible for skin eruptions and inflammation causing more common acne. The whiteheads are needed to be removed to prevent the bacteria from further developing inside the skin surface and cause inflammation. However, the methods for cleansing of whiteheads needs to be effective under the skin as the sebum and bacteria formation are under the dead skin layer. Some of the home based methods that are quite effective in the removal of whiteheads are:-
Milk and Lemon Juice Treatment. Milk is enriched in Alpha Hydroxy acids and lemon juice is enriched in Vitamin C and Citric Acid. Both these ingredients are good antibacterial, anti inflammatory agents while Hydroxy acids are known to dry out the infected area. This opens the whiteheads and the clogged inflammatory substance can be cleansed out with hot water. A combination of these ingredients is to be applied to the infected areas and then rinsed off gently with hot water.
Steam Treatment. Steam treatment is one of the most natural and the most effective methods for treating white heads. Exposing the face to steam opens up the skin pores and the clogged sebum can be squeezed gently out for the healing process to start.
Honey & Egg white Treatment. Honey is known to be nature’s one of the most effective anti inflammatory and antibacterial components. Honey mixed with egg white forms a paste which needs to be applied on the whiteheads. The honey kills the bacteria and the microbes deep inside the skin and egg white firms the skin pores, thus squeezing out the excess oil along with the dead bacteria and dead skin cells.
Benzoyl Peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is a very powerful cleansing agent. A very low concentration is to be applied on the whiteheads with a soft cloth and then rinsed off to remove the dead skin and thus opening up the pores and letting the clogged oil out. The solution should be low in concentration as it may cause rashes to form on the skin.
Baking Soda. Baking soda acts a drying agent and opens up the skin pores. A paste is to be prepared in water and softly applied on the affected area. After leaving for some time it can be washed away with warm water. This cleanses the skin of the dead cells and also drains out the excessive oils from the pores.
Toothpaste. Toothpaste has got many antibacterial components. Application of the paste on the affected areas and then leaving it overnight allows these components to penetrate through the skin surface and act upon the bacteria in the whiteheads.
Salicylic Acid.Salicylic acid mixed in water is to be applied on the whiteheads to remove the dead skin cells and draw out the excess oils along with the bacteria and dirt.
Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil has a harsh and drying effect on the skin. This needs to mixed in water to be applied to the infected areas and then rinsed off with lukewarm water to get the desired effects in the removal of whiteheads.
The whiteheads are not to be squeezed by hand or any other method as this may lead to infection and the formation of pimples. A healthy lifestyle and balanced, non glycemic diet and non-consumption of alcohol also help in the prevention of whiteheads.