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Blackheads (open comedones)

Definition: They are caused by the agglomeration of an excess of sebum (hyperseborrhea) and a deposit of keratinocytes (hyperkeratinization) which obstructs the hair follicle. This mixture in contact with the air oxidizes and forms a small, black, hard ball on the surface. If left untreated, the comedones can break off and spread their contents outward, spontaneously or when pressed with the fingers or a blackhead remover. The blackhead can also progress to an inflammatory stage and form a red, painful acne pimple. Blackheads can also become infected comedones if manipulated too much. They appear mostly on the face (especially on the forehead, nose, and chin), the décolleté or the back, the areas rich in sebaceous glands.
Internal and external causes: Hormonal changes (puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, taking certain pills, menopause), poor skin hygiene, use of unsuitable or comedogenic products, genetics (people with mixed or oily skin), frequent and prolonged exposure to the sun, certain medications.
How to reduce or eliminate: Choose care products containing anti-seborrheic ingredients (zinc, niacinamide, azelaic acid, green clay…) as well as products with keratolytic active ingredients (glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, PHA); extract your comedones mechanically by a dermatologist; avoid squeezing them at the risk of contaminating them with certain germs.
Preventative steps to take: Adopt good skin hygiene with appropriate products (double cleansing, exfoliation, mask, moisturizer); remember to always remove makeup before going to bed; limit exposure to the sun; protect yourself in case of exposure to UV rays by applying a sun cream; avoid comedogenic skin care.

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