Clogged pores or comedones is a common skin problem characterized by small raised bumps on hair follicles of the affected area of the body. It affects many people at certain points in their lives, especially during puberty years and pregnancy.
These comedones are a mild form of acne (mainly blackheads and whiteheads). However, the condition can be severe if the clog gets infected. Although prevalent in the nose and chin area, it is possible to have blocked pores on any part of your body including your forehead, jawline, neck, cheeks, chest, back among other body parts.
Several factors or conditions have been identified as triggers – some of which are natural factors while others are medical related. Also, some people are predisposed to have this mild form of acne on their forehead than others.
This form of acne tends to be frequent during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and among those who use birth control medications. Individuals with a naturally oilier skin are also more vulnerable to comedones than those with a normal or drier skin.
What causes clogged pores on the forehead? What are some of their symptoms and how can one get rid of them for good or permanently? Together let us explore this issue of clogged pores on face, specifically on your forehead.
What causes clogged pores on forehead
Clogged pores occur when the natural skin lubricating oil known as sebum combines with dead skin cells and other debris to form a clog around your skin pore which then blocks it.
When the clogs are not open, i.e. they are beneath your topmost skin surface, they are referred to as whiteheads. On the other hand, when they are exposed to the skin surface, and they get oxidized, they develop black tips and thus they are referred to as a blackhead.
Both whiteheads and blackheads are forms of acne (non-inflammatory). However, if infected as mentioned early, they can lead to other severe types of acne.
This problem does not pose a serious health threat (unless infected). However, they can be unsightly. Here are their common causes:
1. Excessive production of sebum
Excess production of sebum is the primary trigger of clogged pores on the various parts of the body including the forehead.
Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands found near your hair roots. When these glands are over-stimulated, they produce more sebum than needed and the excess sebum would combine with dead skin cells and other debris found on the skin to block the pores. This is how a comedone is formed.
Hormonal fluctuations is another common cause. When the level of certain hormones in the body rises, the sebaceous glands become overactive and hence they produce excess oil that clogs your pores.
For instance, women tend to suffer whiteheads and blackheads during pregnancy which resolves later after childbirth due to hormonal fluctuations. Adolescents can also be vulnerable to this skin problem.
Doctors warn that certain medicines such as birth control medications and drugs used to treat diseases such as epilepsy can lead to hormonal disorders. This, as seen can result in increased production of sebum which will trigger the formation of comedones as already seen.
If you end up with clogged skin pores, a few days or weeks after you began taking a particular type medication, inform your doctor.
When the skin is dehydrated, it will also have insufficient amounts of sebum oil to lubricate it. Consequently, the sebaceous glands will respond by secreting more sebum. In the process, they may, unfortunately, produce excess sebum that then clogs pores on your forehead, nose, chin, or other areas.
Dehydration usually results from dry climates, inadequate intake of fluids, extreme exercises, medical conditions that lead to high body temperature, smoking, and alcoholism among others. You should take enough fluids daily and refrain from the other factors that would lead to dehydration.
Skin care products and cosmetics
Some skin care products and cosmetics used can be harsh on certain skin types or cause allergies. Furthermore, they can irritate it, and this can stimulate the sebum-producing glands to release more sebum.
Also, some these products are known to block pores on your skin. Such will worsen the problem and must be avoided.
This is another factor that would contribute towards the appearance of comedones. If you don’t regularly cleanse and exfoliate your skin, particles such as dust from a polluted environment will accumulate on it leading to these blockages.
Also, if you don’t wash your face regularly, the dead skin cells will also accumulate on the skin increasing chances of developing comedones.
Apart from the above reasons, the other possible causes of clogged forehead pores include:
- Having long hairs can irritate the forehead skin leading to overproduction sebum as well as deposit some of the hair care products you use to this area especially if you love long front bangs.
- Certain foods in your diet such as processed foods can influence hormonal balance.
- Wearing hats, helmets, and caps for a long time can irritate the forehead leading to comedones
- Excessive sweating
- Bacterial infections
- Skin injuries that result in scabs and crust
- Various inflammatory skin diseases such as dermatitis
- Underlying medical conditions
What symptoms to expect
If you have a clogged pores face or forehead, you will notice white or black (dark) colored bumps on the affected area. If the bumps contain pus, that means they have been infected. Remember, popping, squeezing or picking them increases changes of infections.
If these clogs are accompanied by other serious symptoms such as a headache, fever, nausea and more. Seek medical attention since they may be due to a more serious underlying medical conditions. Do not rely on home remedies and treatments.
Clogged pores on forehead treatment
To treat clogged pores on the face effectively, you must know their underlying causes. Therefore, a proper diagnosis is necessary.
The good news is, in most cases, mild forms of acne such as whiteheads and blackheads usually resolve of their own.
However, since they could also be a sign of an unknown medical condition, we recommend that even such mild forms be diagnosed if they keep recurring.
Besides resolving on their own, mild cases can be treated using some of the readily available home remedies. Here are some of the simple ways to manage and unclog pores on forehead:
1. By home remedies or treatments
Some of the best home remedies to shrink pores naturally and hence reduce the chance of them being clogged include:
a). Use steam to unclog pores
Steam will soften the affected pores. This will make it the release of the comedones much easily.
To use this remedy, put hot water in a basin. Put a towel over your head in such a way to ensure the steam reaches your face. Be careful not to be burnt. Wait for up to 15 minutes for the clog to be softened.
After steaming it, you can wash it and pat it dry. Do not scrub the face since that would enlarge your pores
b). Try opening them by a gentle face exfoliation
Dry brushing your face can also help unclog those unsightly pores. This process is easy and it needs a face brush. You can buy one at your local beauty store or online stores such as Amazon.com or eBay.com.
Before brushing it, wash your face with a gentle face wash and then pat it dry. Afterward, brush it in smaller circular motions. Finally, clean it again after the process.
Alternatively, you can use the various natural exfoliants available at home. Just google natural face exfoliants, and you will have so many of them.
c). Use natural products to shrink pores naturally
There are also natural home products that can be used to shrink the pores and thus to force out the clogs. They include baking soda, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, among many others. These products would tighten your pores forcing the clog out as well as reduce the change of another one forming.
Egg whites can also be used as one of the best face masks for clogged pores. Let them dry on your skin before gently removing them and wash your face.
Note that oily products such as lavender oil, coconut oil, and honey are not recommended especially for naturally oily skins since they can clog the pores further.
Finally, some products such as lemon juice and apple cider vinegar could be harsh on certain skins and thus should be diluted before use.
Medications for clogged pores on face
There are many over the counter products and medications can also be used to open pores on face. They are fashioned to shrink or reduce them, ousting out the comedones.
Chronic and severe cases, i.e. those that lead to pustules, nodules, cyst or papules after being infected with bacteria, will require doctor’s or dermatologist’s intervention.
Your dermatologist would prescribe various treatments including steroids, oral antibiotics, etc. The medications will vary depending on the underlying cause and severity. If the comedones are due to persistent hormonal problems, hormone balancing medications could be prescribed.
Huge acne bumps resulting from comedones would even necessitate other medical treatments including laser therapies to manage them.
In many instances, comedones are a just cosmetic concern; they don’t pose any serious health risk. However, you should avoid popping, squeezing or even picking at them.
Cases that are accompanied by itching or inflammations should not be ignored since they indicate infections.
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