Blackheads occur when the pores become clogged with bacteria, dead skin cells and normal skin oils. Although blackheads eventually disappear, they often leave visible scars and pockmarks. Some blackhead scars are part of the normal healing process and usually fade away within a year, but others may be deep and long-lasting. Treat acne and blackheads properly and as soon as possible -- early healing is the best way to prevent permanent scarring.
Keep your hands away from your face. Touching your face spreads oil and bacteria, which makes acne worse. Never scratch, pop, or pick blackheads because you may inflame and irritate the skin, which increases the chance of scarring.
Wear sunscreen every time you go outdoors because the sun exposure slows healing, irritates the skin and darkens scars and pockmarks. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, or use a sun-blocking product that contains zinc oxide. Wear a sun hat to protect your face. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Apply an over-the-counter, medicated, acne-treatment product that contains benzoyl peroxide, alpha-hydroxy acid, or beta-hydroxy acid. Use the product regularly according to the recommendations on the package. Although these forms of medication often prevent scarring, they require persistence. Retinoic acid may also be helpful, but it may make the skin more susceptible to sunburn.