Blackheads are the result of pores that are clogged with dirt and oil, notes the American Academy of Dermatology. Because of this, they can be stubborn and hard to get rid of with typical washing and exfoliating. When the dirt becomes so lodged in the pore that it seems impossible to remove, a vacuum tool can be used to gently suction out the offending blackhead to clear to pore. Following the right technique can give you the best results possible.
Hold a washcloth under warm water, then squeeze out the excess. Fold the washcloth into quarters and apply to your blackhead. This will help to gently open the pores in preparation for suction. Or, take a bath or shower before you suction your pores, suggests AcneTalks.com.
Exfoliate your skin with an exfoliating scrub before you suction. Use an exfoliating scrub with alpha hydroxy acids to dissolve the dead skin that may be clogging the pores along with the dirt and oil. Squeeze a small amount onto your fingertips and apply to damp skin. Scrub for 30 seconds before rinsing away with warm water.
Wash your hands and the nozzle of the suction gun with antibacterial soap. It's important that your hands and tools are clean to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria that could exacerbate your acne problem.
Center the nozzle of the vacuum over the affected pore. You should be able to see the blackhead through the clear nozzle. Hold without pressing downward, and then switch the suction on. You should feel a slight pulling sensation on your skin. Allow the vacuum to complete a full cycle; it will stop suctioning automatically.
Remove the nozzle and evaluate your blackhead. If it's gone, clean the suctioning tool and store for future use. If you still see a blackhead, try one more time, making sure the nozzle is centered directly over the blackhead.
Wash your face and hands with antibacterial soap once the blackhead has been removed.
Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you can't dislodge the dirt and oil clogging your pore. She may need to use a special tool called a lancet to exert pressure over the blackhead to effectively remove the blemish. Never pick or squeeze the blackhead yourself, as it could result in worse acne, infection and scarring, warns Mark Bowers, Ph.D., psychologist for Acne.org.
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Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.