While there are always new questions to answer, many of the factors that tend to produce acne have been well researched.

In the surface of the skin are pores, tiny openings called a hair follicle. Deeper inside the pore, near the base of the follicle, there are sebaceous glands that produce sebum, a natural type of oil. That oil helps keep the skin flexible and protected.

Pores can close, causing them to become clogged with that excess oil. That encourages the growth of whiteheads. Also, the resulting pressure can cause follicles to rupture. The bacteria have a more ‘friendly’ environment in which to grow. At the same time, bacteria and the white blood cells that deal with it (normally without any problem) get trapped. Often, however, the material doesn’t break the skin, but simply pushes it up, forming a small, white bump. The result is pus and inflammation – acne.

The term ‘pus’ is an adaptation of ‘pustule’, a type of acne that results when the follicle wall bursts and the white blood cells rush into the area as part of a healing process. By contrast, a papules is a small lesion, a change or break in the skin, that is smaller than 5 mm, in the form of a bump that rises above the surface.

One form of these whiteheads is known as ‘milia’. Babies often get this type of small whitehead, but can affect people at any age. It may take 3-6 weeks for the baby acne to disappear, which it generally does, spontaneously.

While natural skin oil (sebum) plays a role in developing acne, removing every trace of it is not beneficial. Sebum helps keep skin flexible, which discourages microcracks from forming. These can provide a pathway for bacteria. It also keeps the skin from becoming excessively dry, which can again lead to small cracks in the outer layers.

Poor cleansing habits can play some role in the formation of acne, because bacteria that lie near the surface sometimes remain undisturbed. Regular use of a good cleanser can help in removing whiteheads. Take care that the skin doesn’t become excessively dry, however. That causes other problems.

Keeping pores open in order to allow for natural oil movement and shedding dead skin cells is key to minimizing whiteheads. Proper skin care practices aid both.

Another area of significant importance in the development and control of acne is diet. Proper nutrition is essential to a healthy mind and body. Lack of the appropriate vitamins and minerals that the body needs to perform at optimal health is a key factor in developing acne. A diet rich in nutrient dense foods – dark leafy green vegetables, fruits, and whole grains – with minimal highly refined, processed, high fat foods and animal products – will make a significant difference in removing whiteheads and blackheads completely. Couple this with vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements to help repair damaged skin and maintain a healthy internal balance, and you have the recipe for vibrant, clear skin.

For more information on removing whiteheads, visit www.ClearAcneSite.com, a popular website that provides tips, advice, and resources on getting healthy, clear skin.

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