This Article is About
dead skin cells
severe acne
fried foods
teenage boys
Cause Of Blackheads: Separating Myth From Truth
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We have all heard the myths about blackheads and acne in general: you get it from eating fried foods, or from pizza or (gasp) chocolate, all of which is untrue. In truth, the incidence of a breakout correlating with a food offender is very low, (as low as 1 in 1000) so don’t think you need to give up all of the yumminess of life. There are other factors that can lead to blackheads and things to do to prevent them or to clear them up if they do occur.

First this however: A blackhead is not a collection of dirt- it appears dirt because the gathered oil, dead skin cells and bacteria are exposed to the air rather than covered by skin. The exposed materials then reacts with oxygen, giving it its black color. Blackheads can be annoying but is generally not considered as serious as the other forms of acne.

So, how do you end up with blackheads in the first place? One of the major factors is the change in hormones that we all go through during all of our life stages. Premenstrual, menstrual, pregnancy and other factors that change a woman’s hormone level puts her at a disadvantage in her later teens through her forties for developing acne, and cosmetic use will only increase her risk.

Statistically, teenage boys are more likely to develop moderate to severe acne, but women and girls are more likely to seek professional help for theirs. Another factor that may go hand in hand with the hormone levels is stress. Stress can increase hormone levels and put them out of balance-which in turn may lead to more acne. (Which can lead to more stress and on and on.)

Your job may contribute to your poor skin as well. Certain job choices that increase the amount of time spent in a greasy kitchen, or working as a mechanic for example can lead to more blackheads as the dirt and oils build up and get trapped on and under the skin. Thorough washing after leaving work can often help, as can trying to avoid touching your face during the workday.

Ironically, “cleaner” occupations can lead to breakouts in certain locations on your face. Secretaries who spend a lot of time cradling a phone against their cheek may find this a prime location for an occasional breakout. If this sounds familiar, you should clean the phone frequently or consider going to a headset to stop the breakouts in the first place.

Some medications may make acne worse, or cause a breakout when there was relatively no problem in the first place. There are many different medications that can cause this, and the side effect information will make this clear. This is yet another reason why it is so important to read all information that accompanies your new prescriptions.

A final note: If your face is suddenly a broken out mess and you are over the age of forty, it may be an entirely different skin disease. Acne Rosacea looks different from common acne, strikes later in life, and is more common in light-skinned people. Acne Rosacea can only be treated by a dermatologist.

Street Talk

It is great to see informative articles about skin problems..

  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for the information. I learned a lot from your article. I love Chocolate and pizza, it is good to hear that these foods can't be the cause of blackheads, I have nothing to worry at this time.

  about 1 decade ago
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