Chemical Peels for Blackheads


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An outbreak of blackheads or even the odd one here or there can severally affect a person’s confidence. Blackheads are a problem for everyone but how can their appearance be reduced? Due to the enormity of the problem there are numerous blackhead ‘cures’ promoted by varying skin care companies and beauty salons. Importantly there is no absolute cure currently available for the treatment of blackheads but the appearance of blackheads can be reduced.  Chemical peels are one of the viable blackhead treatments.

Formation of blackheads

To understand which treatment is best to reduce the appearance of blackheads it is important to understand what blackheads are. Blackheads, known scientifically as open comedones are sebaceous follicles blocked with excess sebum (oil), dead skin cells and other particles such as dirt.  Blackheads obtain their black hue due to oxidisation of sebum. This darkening occurs because oxygen can enter the plugged follicle via a minute hole in the skin. The difference between blackheads and whiteheads is that the material that composes the whitehead is not oxidised.

Effect of chemical peels upon blackheads

Blackheads can prove to be a major challenge to remove, often despite medications prescribed to reduce the abundance of blackheads these unsightly marks remain. 

Excessive or stubborn blackheads can be removed with a chemical peel treatment. These enlarged pores rarely warrant being treated by the deepest chemical peel (phenol chemical peel) it is most likely that this would be an additional side effect from improving another skin complaint.

AHA peels are often particularly effective in clearing the skin of blackheads. These superficial chemical peels act to dissolve the upper layers of the skin, lightly penetrating the skin.  Moreover in the process they unplug the clogged pore of the unwanted contents, which means that when the skin heals (approximately a week later) the pores should be unclogged. Thus blackheads should not reoccur.


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