When pores become clogged with dirt, oil and bacteria, tiny bumps called comedones appear. After exposure to the air and other pollutants, the tiny white dots will darken, becoming unsightly blackheads. Often found on the nose, forehead and chin, blackheads aren't necessarily a sign you're not washing your face properly. Hormones and using the wrong skin care products will also lead to these unwanted blemishes. It's possible to safely and painlessly eliminate blackheads from your nose without leaving behind pits or small holes on your skin.
Wash your face in the morning and before bed with a mild cleanser formulated for your skin type. Blackheads form when dirt and oil become trapped in pores, and eliminating them helps reduce the formation of new blackheads while gently scrubbing away the existing comedones.
Exfoliate your face three to four times per week with a mild product formulated to treat blackheads. Avoid scrubbing your face vigorously, which can actually make acne and blackheads worse. Concentrate the product on your nose and gently wash it away with lukewarm water. If you suffer from sensitive skin that's becomes dry or irritated after cleansing with an exfoliator, remove the dead skin cells by gently rubbing a damp washcloth over your face instead.
Apply an over-the-counter cream or gel containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These products work by softening the dead skin cells in the pores that are causing the blackheads, allowing them to exit the pores, notes dermatologist Cynthia Bailey. Follow the label's directions, or your dermatologist's orders, concerning the rate of application.
Speak to your dermatologist about various prescription topical creams available to treat blackheads. Retinoids, a derivative of vitamin A, work by breaking up the blackheads and are available by prescription only.
Never squeeze or pop a blackhead, to prevent damage, scarring or small holes on the skin.
Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.