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Will Microdermabrasion Remove Blackheads?



Microdermabrasion may remove some blackheads, but it’s not the optimal treatment for their removal.

How Blackheads Form

Blackheads, also called open comedomes, are formed when sebum and bacteria become trapped in a hair follicle.  The hair follicle naturally secretes a waxy oil called sebum the role of which is to lubricate and waterproof the skin.  When a hair follicle becomes blocked, the sebum as well as bacteria becomes trapped within the follicle.  When air hits it, it oxidizes and turns black forming what is visible as a blackhead.

Why Professional Blackhead Removal Treatments Are Best

Many people self-treat blackhead breakouts by pinching or squeezing the skin to force the trapped material out of the hair follicle.  Though this method may seem innocuous, there are several factors to consider before relying on this method as a habitual solution.  The first thing to consider is that you are dealing with bacteria.  Pinching and squeezing the follicle filled with this bacteria could force it deeper into your skin, could spread it to clean pores when it is extracted, or your fingers may contain bacteria that you will newly introduce to the surrounding pores.  Next, squeezing your skin can damage your skin cells and cause scarring. Professionals wear gloves and use specialized sterilized tools. [1]

How Microdermabrasion Works

Microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin by using an instrument that blows tiny crystals across the skin surface.  This removes the thickened, outer layer of the skin with its many dead skin cells revealing the fresh skin beneath.  The procedure is most successful when used to treat light scarring, sun damage, discoloration, and stretch marks.  It can reduce the appearance of fine lines, pores, and acne scars. [2]

Can Microdermabrasion Remove Blackheads?

“Microdermabrasion literally lifts blackheads out of your facial pores by blasting your skin with hundreds of tiny, smooth micro crystals.”  This claim is similar to many that you will come across when seeking a reputable clinic.  Though most professionals agree that microdermabrasion will help to reduce the appearance of blackheads, it does not seem to be the first choice treatment for most.  [3]

What Is the Best Treatment for Blackheads?

The best treatment for removing stubborn blackheads is a medical facial with extraction.  With this procedure a dermatologist, or a certified esthetician under the guidance of a dermatologist, will perform a facial designed to open pores followed by the blackhead extraction using sterilized tools.  A chemical peel is often recommended to clear the face of the dead skin cells that can block the pores and cause blackheads. [4]

Why Microdermabrasion May Be a Good Preventative Option

While microdermabrasion may not physically extract all present blackheads, it does help to reduce pore size and reduce the oiliness of the skin, which in effect can help to minimize future blackhead production.  The procedure is focused on removing dead skin cells from the surface layer of the skin including the skin debris blocking the pores.  By removing these dead skin cells, the pores are opened, which can be beneficial in inhibiting sebum becoming trapped resulting in a blackhead. [5]

Can I Prevent Blackheads from Forming?

You can keep blackhead breakouts to a minimum by maintaining healthy skin.  Keep your skin oil free by washing with an irritant free cleanser.  Use a light exfoliant periodically and a non-greasy moisturizer.  Keeping hair away from the face also helps to keep the surrounding skin free of contaminants.  [6]




[1] “What to Know Before You Pop a Pimple.”WebMD. WebMD. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

[2] “Microdermabrasion TreatmentsMinimally Invasive Procedure.” Microdermabrasion. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

[3] “Blackout The Blackheads.” Blackhead Removal. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

[4] “Medical Extractions.” Clear Clinic Acne Acne Scar Treatment Centers. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

[5] “Clogged Pores, Milia, Blackheads – Montana Medical Aesthetics Clinic.”Montana Medical Aesthetics Clinic Clogged Pores Milia Blackheads Comments. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

[6] “Black Heads.” Look Younger Clinic. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

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