Blackheads are not dangerous but they are unsightly. They can be treated in various ways including washes and masks, or they can be removed with blackhead extractors.
It is easier to remove blackheads if the pores are open. Therefore, before using any blackhead extractors, you can give your face a steam bath. Put some hot water into a bowl, bend your head over it and cover the head with a towel to keep in the steam. Be careful not to scald the skin with steam that is too hot – use water from the tap, not freshly boiled water.
Then you can move on to removing the blackheads. Some people do this with their fingers but you are very likely to damage the skin this way, especially if you use your fingernails to squeeze the area around the blackhead. In most cases it is better to use blackhead extractors.
There are two main types of blackhead extractors. The first is a tool that squeezes out the plug of sebum and keratin.
These tools come in various designs, but all have a circle or loop which fits around the blackhead. You press down and if necessary, drag slightly toward the blackhead. This should remove the plug.
You should only need to apply gentle pressure. If you have a lot of redness around the area afterward, you have pushed too hard.
Be sure to sterilize the tool between each use, so that if there was any infection, it is wiped off the tool and does not get back onto your skin the next time you use it.
The second type of blackhead extractors consists of adhesive strips which stick to the sebum deposit and pull it out when the strip is removed. Using one of these is a little like removing hairs with wax strips: you put the strip over your nose after cleaning, press it down well, and then pull it off. With luck, the blackheads will come with it.
Some people find adhesive strips very effective blackhead extractors and others do not. It probably depends on how your blackheads are formed. If they are raised up slightly from the surface of the skin, they are more likely to be extracted this way. But if the plug is more sunk in, they are less likely to stick to the strip.
Be aware that in some cases the adhesive can damage the healthy skin around the blackheads. Use with care the first time and if you have sensitive skin, you might want to try it on a less visible part instead.
Whichever method you use to remove blackheads, you may find that the area is a little red and bumpy right after you do it. For this reason, it is best to remove blackheads at night instead of in the morning. You can tighten up the pores with a skin toner after using blackhead extractors, or use an antiseptic wash or natural squeezed lemon juice.