A blackhead occurs when the opening of a pimple is widened and the bacteria, oil and dead skin cells clogging the pore are exposed to oxygen and turn a black or brown color. Daniel Kern of Acne.org explains that blackheads tend to last longer than other types of acne because the contents of the follicle drain to the surface slowly. It is best not to pop or pick at any type of acne since it can cause inflammation and even scarring.
Wash the affected area thoroughly using a mild soap. Avoid cleansers with perfumes since they can irritate your skin -- especially if your skin is sensitive.
Read the instructions prior to using your at-home glycolic acid peel. Leaving a mask or peel on for longer than it is indicated won't speed up the heeling process. Rather, it can cause moderate to severe inflammation and discomfort.
Cleanse your skin prior to applying the at-home acid peel. Be sure to remove all makeup and moisturizer residue. Apply a thin layer of the peel to your face and neck. Allow it to sit for the amount of time indicated on the instructions. Rinse your face with cool water. Pat your skin dry.
Apply a sunscreen with 30 SPF during the day. Glycolic acid and other topical acne treatments can increase your chances of getting sunburned. The sun can also intensify the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Moisturize your skin daily with an oil-free moisturizer. Chemical peel agents work by breaking down the bonds that hold skin cells together and promoting collagen growth. You may experience some flaking and dry skin.
Red marks from acne can take a long time to fade. Acne.org suggests experimenting with different treatments until you find the one that works best for you.
If you do not see an improvement after about four to six weeks, discuss different treatment options with your doctor.
Before using any kind of medication, especially a chemical peel, you should first consult with a doctor.
Because glycolic acid treatments will make you more susceptible to sunburn, it is advisable to use the product at night so that you won't have exposure to direct sunlight for at least eight hours.
Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.