How to Prevent Blackheads?

I am 46, I have sensitive, fair skin, with minor sun-damage and very, very few wrinkles. I drink plenty of water and try to eat right and exercise and I use a good skin care regimen and SPF sunblock - EVERYDAY. Yet, I still get blackheads -- especially on the sides of my face, kind of on the cheekbone at the outside edge of the eye-socket going back towards my ear/hairline.

What else can I do to prevent blackheads? I very rarely have a whitehead (3, maybe 4 times a year...)

Doctor Answers 1

Retinoids and Sun Avoidance

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If you received a good deal of sun you might have a condition called Favre-Racouchet syndrome. This sounds ominous but is just grouped blackhead (open comedones) oftentimes below and to the side of the eyes and upper cheeks. This is from sun exposure breaking down the collagen around the pores, weakening them and allowing keratin (which blackheads are made out of) to accumulate.

Another possiblity is your make-up. Make-up can be comedogenic so you might check yours., Make sure you do not leave you make-up on over night.

Now to correct the problem, Retinoids should be the mainstay of any such treatment. Since you describe your skin as sensitive you are better off with a cream form of Retinoid. I wouuld get eilther Differin cream 0.1, Tazarac cream 0.05 up to 0.1 or Retin A cream 0.1. Use this nightly. Wait at least a half hour washing your face before applying it. If any of these are too irritating either go every other night or try applying Cerave moisturizer beforehand.

You might also find a good salicylic acid product. such as Aveeno Complexion Clear, Skin Medica Acne Treating Foam, PCA Skin, or SalAc. You should usethese in the morning.

A good deep pore cleanser with extraxctions by a skilled aethetician will help as will TCA peels 15%. Some dermatologists also like microdermabrasion for this problem but I do not .

Good luck.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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