There are tons of different kinds of acne that exist. You’ve got cystic acne, hormonal acne, and nodules, among others. But today we’ll be talking about Comedones and comedonal acne.
Comedonal acne is probably the most common type of acne, affecting people of all age groups. Comedones usually aren’t painful but are usually a bit unsightly and always unwanted.
Today, we’ll take a look at some of the things that cause Comedones, as well as some of the things you can do to prevent and treat Comedone outbreaks on your face.
What Causes Comedones?
Comedones come in two forms: open and closed. Open and closed comedones are more commonly known as blackheads and whiteheads, respectively.
In either case, you tend to develop comedones of both types when your hair follicles get clogged. It can happen when dead skin cells, your own body’s oil (aka sebum), and other random debris get trapped and accumulate in your hair follicles.
A partial blockage of your follicle results in an open comedone, but if enough oil and other stuff gets in, it can completely block your follicle and result in a closed comedone.
Open comedones look black because the pigment in your body’s oil oxidizes when it’s exposed to the air. Closed comedones look white because they’re totally blocked up, and no air can get in at all.
Comedones aren’t painful at first, but if bacteria get into a closed comedone, it can inflame the hair follicle and turn the whole thing into a red, irritating pimple.
It’s not just your own oil and skin that can give you comedones, however. Many kinds of skin products and makeup can also clog your follicles, particularly if they contain oil or are oil-based.
Comedones can happen when you’re a teen because of hormonal changes in your body. One of these changes is that the sebaceous glands in your skin start producing sebum in larger amounts, which can obviously lead to more clogged follicles.
Other causes of comedones are a poor diet, high-stress levels, a smoking habit, and even genetic factors.
How Do I Treat Comedonal Acne?
Luckily for you, if you do have a case of comedones, there’s a massive variety of different treatment options available. Comedones are a common issue, so it makes sense that people have come up with a great deal of ways over the years to treat them.
There are tons of over-the-counter treatments available, and plenty of effective home remedies as well if you prefer more naturally derived solutions.
We’ll be going over several of each type of treatment, and we’ve also got a couple of effective products for dealing with comedones to recommend as well.
Let’s get right into it!
These are treatments that you can buy over the counter at any drugstore without needing any kind of prescription.
These treatments are all non-invasive and easy to use, although some can have a few unwanted side effects.
Like a few of the other treatments on this list, salicylic acid is (obviously) a type of acid. Don’t be alarmed, because salicylic acid, as well as all the other acids on this list, are not corrosive or dangerous in the slightest.
In fact, all of these acids are known to be effective exfoliants. If you’re not familiar with the term, an exfoliant is something that helps your body shed its dead skin cells.
Salicylic acid works as an exfoliant by penetrating your clogged follicles and dissolving the dead skin cells, allowing them to leave the follicles. However, it can take several weeks of using salicylic acid for you to see any changes in your complexion.
Glycolic acid is the second acid treatment on our list of over-the-counter treatments. Like salicylic acid, it’s also an exfoliating acid that penetrates your blocked follicles and dissolves dead skin cells. However, glycolic acid molecules are smaller than salicylic acid molecules, so they’re able to penetrate more deeply into the mass of dead skin cells.
Not only is it effective at exfoliating your skin, but it can also help your skin look a bit younger by reducing the appearance of lines and helping dark spots fade.
However, taking any kind of supplement with glycolic acid (even ones not in a topical form) can increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so make sure you apply sunscreen afterward if you’re going to be out under the sun after using glycolic acid.
Retinoids are compounds that are based on vitamin A. Topical retinoid creams work similarly to the other treatments listed so far by helping to unclog your follicles of oil and dead skin.
Retinoids can also help your skin absorb other topical creams by unclogging your follicles. However, retinoids can also react negatively with some other exfoliating substances, particularly if they contain vitamin C. In such cases, you might develop severe skin irritation.
Retinoids also cause your skin to dry out, so you might notice things like redness and skin peeling after using them. Mixing your retinoid cream with moisturizer can potentially solve this issue.
Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient that you can find in many gels, lotions, and spot treatments for acne. It’s well known for being effective at getting rid of comedones.
Like all the other treatments we’ve previously mentioned, benzoyl peroxide is effective as an exfoliant. However, it’s also capable of killing the bacteria that cause the follicles to become inflamed and turn into pimples.
The downside of benzoyl peroxide is that it can sometimes take several weeks to months of using it regularly for you to see any changes.
Finally, we have azelaic acid. This type of acid can be found in both over the counter and prescription medications for comedones and has been used for many years to treat skin issues.
Aside from its exfoliating effects, azelaic acid can also help lighten your skin tone, which is useful for getting rid of post-acne dark spots. It may also have some anti-bacterial effects.
If you’re not terribly keen on using any kind of medicinal treatment for comedones, don’t fret; there are plenty of treatments that use natural ingredients as well. Here are just a few:
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known to be good at treating mild issues caused by bacteria and fungus. Because of this, it can be effective at eliminating the bacteria in your skin that causes painful pimples. It can also reduce the levels of sebum on your skin and reduce any inflammation that may be happening.
Witch hazel is an astringent, which means that it makes your skin cells contract and tighten up. It can help open up any closed comedones, which will allow the follicles to release the trapped oil and debris inside.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Being that apple cider vinegar is slightly acidic, it works in a similar fashion to some of the over-the-counter treatments we mentioned earlier. It dries your skin and helps unclog your follicles.
Like apple cider vinegar, applying lemon juice to your skin can help it dry up and get rid of any excess oil. It’s also good at preventing any swelling or inflammation from happening.
If nothing above seems particularly appealing to you, then just you wait. We’ve got a couple of products to recommend that can help you get rid of those pesky comedones and do a lot more for your skin on top of that.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one package to treat comedones and help your skin look great in general, you should definitely consider what ClearPores has to offer.
Because a multitude of different factors can cause comedones, ClearPores takes a multi-step approach to deal with this issue.
ClearPores isn’t just one cream. When you order a package from ClearPores, you get an herbal supplement designed to kill pimple-causing bacteria, a deep facial wash for exfoliating and removing excess sebum, and a moisturizing protection cream to stop your follicles from clogging up again.
Not only is ClearPores great at clearing up existing acne, but it’s effective at preventing any future outbreaks, and keeps your skin looking fresh all the while.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something from a more established brand, it would be hard to go wrong with Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash.
It might not offer as much complete protection as ClearPores, but if you’re looking for a way to get rid of comedones that won’t make such a big dent in your wallet, then this is absolutely a product that you should definitely remember.
Say Goodbye to Comedones!
Rest assured, there’s no shortage of ways that you can treat comedones. Comedones do sometimes go away on their own after a few weeks, but if you don’t feel like waiting, then you’re certainly not out of luck.
It may take a little bit of time and effort to find the way to treat comedones that works best for you, but hopefully, after reading this, you’ll find it to be a little easier. Once you find the right treatment, you’ll be well on your way to saying goodbye to comedones forever!