Our skin truly is a marvellous organ. For starters, it’s the largest organ in the body by far, which is impressive by itself. It also plays multiple roles for your body, starting from being the first line of defence against the outside world, to other internal functions like regulating body temperature. It’s always on the job, performing myriad functions to contribute to our body’s homeostasis.
There’s a lot more to our skin than just what we see, however. Our skin goes even beyond its surface, and so does its roles and functions. Our skin is constantly changing, unbeknownst to us. You are shedding dead skin cells even as you read these very words! The fact is, our skin needs to be healthy to do what it does for us day in and out efficiently. Unfortunately, there are a fair amount of skin ailments and conditions that affect our skin. These run the gamut from being minor inconveniences at best (like pimples), to severe conditions (like hives). Chances are, you’ve encountered more than one of these at some point or the other in your life. Conditions like acne are notorious for being recurring problems in skincare.
On that note, this post is going to elucidate on two of the most common culprits and causes for worry in the realm of skin health. Blackheads and wrinkles are like ants, having one or two of them pop up isn’t a big deal. But when they come out in swarms, that’s when we start to sit up, take notice and start to do something about it. Most of us chose the wrong way. One typical instance of this is when we mistake blackheads to be regular pimples and opt for acne scar treatment instead. So let’s try to understand each ailment on an individual basis, from a 360-degree perspective. Let’s begin at square one!
What are blackheads?
Put simply, blackheads are outgrowths that occur when the hair follicles on your skin get clogged up beyond a certain point. This clogging is usually due to the buildup of sebum in the pore, but it can also be due to other factors. Since there are hair follicles pretty much all over the body, don’t make the mistake of thinking that blackheads are restricted to the facial area. They can occur on your shoulders, neck and even on your back. Blackhead removal can usually be done through over-the-counter medications. Most cases of blackheads are not that severe. In the more severe cases, however, you might need to go for professional procedures like microdermabrasion.
What are wrinkles?
We all know wrinkles to be the first sign of ageing in a person. Some of us freak out when we chance upon a single wrinkle on our faces! Unlike blackheads, though, wrinkles are a natural sign of your skin being past its prime. Your skin inevitably starts wrinkling after a certain age threshold. Some factors can accelerate the formation of wrinkles drastically. Smoking and constant UV light exposure are two of the most well-known factors that cause this. When wrinkles get out of hand, you might want to consult your dermatologist for wrinkle treatment. You will be prescribed treatment and products that seek to rejuvenate your skin.
How to prevent blackheads?
Blackheads can be relatively persistent once they arise, so it’s always better to go a step further and do our best to minimize their occurrence in the first place. Note that prevention techniques will vary based on a number of factors, including your skin type and any allergies you may have. It’s advisable to consult a dermatologist to be on the safer side and discern a suitable prevention method for you. In the meantime, here are some neat tips for you to keep blackheads at bay.
- Exfoliate often. Go with whatever works, whether you prefer home-made exfoliating masks, or you head to your trusted beauty salon to get it done. You can also use scrubs for added effect. Keep at it regularly for better results.
- Change products that contain excess oil. As stated before, clogging of hair follicles is the major cause behind blackhead formation. As such, a significant step that’s also one of the best ways to remove blackheads is to change up your cosmetics inventory. Get rid of any products that are heavily oil-based, as they will only aggravate the situation.
- Last but not least, wash regularly. Not just your facial region, but throughout your body, to remove dead skin cells and keep your skin healthy and free from infection. You don’t even have to use any fancy face wash products, it’s purely to cleanse your face and remove any impurities on the surface that could potentially cause blackheads.
How to prevent wrinkles?
As we saw before, wrinkles are a natural process that comes as part of skin ageing. Just like there are factors to accelerate it, however, there are factors that can slow it down as well. While they will show up at a certain age, there is much we can do to slow down their onset. These points will help you minimize the risk of getting wrinkly.
- Sun-shielding. Sunlight is replete with UV rays that can be harmful to the skin in general. They also accelerate wrinkling, so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and lotions stocked up to prevent wrinkle formation.
- Healthy eating. As with any other organ, your skin also needs a consistent supply of nutrients to stay in the prime of its health. A balanced diet can contribute to this and keep your skin healthy while also keeping wrinkles away.
- Quash your smoking. Give up the habit for good. Your skin will thank you later, as you can steer clear of wrinkle treatment while also retaining your skin’s texture.
Let’s say that despite your best efforts to avoid them, you end up catching blackheads/wrinkles anyway. What next? We’ll tell you how to tackle these ailments head-on.
How to treat blackheads?
Blackhead removal is usually a very hassle-free process. Your dermatologist will prescribe medications that are readily available at your local pharmacy. The usual drugs prescribed are tazarotene and adapalene, and they prevent plugging of the pores/ Aside from that, the other methods to eradicate blackheads (in increasing order of complexity) are:
- Manual extrication. There are surgical tools that are called round loop extractors that can safely extract persistent blackheads from the skin. It is a pressure-based tool that can remove blackheads after an opening has been created. Your doctor is qualified to perform this.
- Microdermabrasion. This process creates a shearing force using a special apparatus that can remove blackheads. This procedure is done by your doctor and can be done in a single session.
- Laser therapy. This is an advanced method for blackhead treatment. Lasers get to the root of the problem without disturbing the skin on the surface. This method is performed by trained dermatologists.
How to treat wrinkles?
While wrinkles are more or less inevitable, there are some treatment methods that can be applied to curb wrinkles on the skin effectively.
- Retinoids & wrinkle creams. These are available over-the-counter at pharmacies and can alleviate wrinkles to some extent.
- Facelifts. This is a procedure performed by experts that involves retouching your face to smooth out the wrinkles. It usually takes only one session.
- Laser. Wrinkle reduction laser treatment is currently one of the most effective methods to take care of wrinkles in the long run. Performed by experts, you will receive a sedative to make it easier for you. The wrinkles are eliminated by heating the dermis and allowing new skin to grow. Healing will usually be completed within a week or two.
- PDT. Photodynamic rejuvenation is a recent technique that has proven to be effective in treating wrinkles. By exposing the affected area to light, it is possible to eradicate wrinkles. However, this may require multiple sessions to carry out properly.
With some care and attention, blackhead removal and wrinkle treatment can easily be dealt with. There are many skin care clinics that are well-equipped to guide you through the process of treatment, these are not insurmountable problems. There are many changes we can make to our lifestyle, and many ways we can treat the issue to keep these problems at bay!