What is the best acne treatment for whiteheads? Dr. Schweiger explains that, "In order to know the best treatment for whiteheads, you need to understand what a whitehead is. Whiteheads are one type of comedonal, or non-inflammatory, acne lesion. They are closed comedones, meaning they are follicles that have been plugged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. Since these follicles are mostly closed off from the skin's surface, the material appears to be white. Alternately, blackheads appear to be black because they are open to the skin's surface, and oxidation of the material in the follicle results in the black color."
Treatments of whiteheads can be performed in a variety of ways. The most effective method of treating whiteheads is to manually extract the debris from the comedone and clean out the follicle. There are a few ways to do this, the most effective methods being by the use of the Isolaz acne treatment (which uses a gentle vacuum to clean out the pores, in addition to an anti-bacterial light), chemical peels, and medical extractions by a certified esthetician.
Topical medications can also be helpful when treating whiteheads. They work more slowly than physical treatments, such as the Isolaz, chemical peels, and extractions, but play a vital role in clearing whiteheads and preventing their formation in the future. Retinoid medications are the most effective topical medications for treating whiteheads. They increase cell turnover and help to remove the material plugging the follicle and leading to the whitehead formation. Benzoyl peroxide is another helpful ingredient when treating whitehead; benzoyl peroxide's main mechanism for treating acne is its antibacterial effect, but it does have an anti-comedonal effect that helps to clear whiteheads.
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