Whiteheads are composed of lipids/oils and sebum, that combine with cellular fragments. Because whiteheads tend to be more solid than liquid, they plug the hair follicles and grow in size, sometimes developing into painful acne cysts. Milia requires special whitehead products as well as special treatment for whiteheads. Whiteheads are closed from the skin's surface by cellular debris at the follicle opening. Because they have no contact with oxygen, they do not oxidize or turn brown, as blackheads do. They form a light or yellow-white lump and are called milia (or milium, singular). Bacteria enters the follicles, leading to acne infections, especially cystic acne. Milia requires special whitehead products as well as special treatment for whiteheads. In the sidebar, you will find Skintactix kits that are specially formulated for whiteheads and blackheads. Select the right kit for you by choosing the one that best fits your skin type.
Dry sebum (rather than liquid sebum) is a probable cause of both whiteheads and blackheads, leading to the formation of mila plugs rather then the more typical form of liquid sebum that flows out of the follicles. Historically people have eaten foods that contain a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils (two essential fatty acids) and the production of sebum is based upon this available balance of oils. The :"western diet" has radically changed the balance of fatty acids people consume, leading to a greater intake of Omega 6 and trans fats at the expense of Omega 3. This imbalance has been associated with the development of whiteheads and blackheads.
When there is an imbalance of available Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, the sebaceous glands produce sebum with another fatty acid, oleic acid. Oleic acid produces sebum that is firmer. It is also irritating to the follicle lining which promotes irritation and excessive cellular debris. This promotes plugs that lead to whiteheads and blackheads and may lead to acne infections. Sebum should not be confused with skin lipids/oils, as they come from two different sources (sebaceous glands and lamellar bodies) and have different composition. Some people with whiteheads and /or blackheads have dry skin and dry sebum. But, it is also possible to have dry sebum and at the same time have oily skin.
Skintactix Blackhead Dissolver provides effective blackhead and whitehead treatment. This special blackhead and whitehead product dissolves blackheads in about 3 weeks, while whiteheads dissolve in about 3-4 weeks. Blackhead Dissolver is make largely from natural plant extracts. Some extracts are natural anti-inflammatory agents to reduce irritation and excessive cellular production. These same extracts are used in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff. Other extracts act like enzymes to breakdown dry sebum plugs. Additional ingredients slow the production of dihydrotestosterone, which is the stimulant of sebum production.
During your Skintactix treatment for whiteheads and/or Blackheads, it is important the skin does not become dry or dehydrated. Allowing the sebum plugs to become dry and then harden again is counter productive to your whitehead treatment. If the skin is dry or becomes dry during the initial 3-4 week treatment period, use a non-oily moisturizer to prevent the skin from becoming dry. You can also consider essential fatty acid supplements, if not pregnant or nursing.
During the first 3-4 weeks of whitehead treatment use the Dissolver twice daily, following cleansing. Apply a small amount immediately following cleansing, using a finger and do not use cotton or gauze. Lightly rub it into the skin to help it penetrate more deeply in the follicles. For stubborn whiteheads the Skintactix Glycolic Exfoliator can be applied following the Dissolver. Again lightly rub both products into the skin to assist penetration. Skintactix Glycolic Exfoliator will not cause dryness but will help break up stubborn milia plugs.
It may appear during weeks 2-3 of whitehead treatment that more whiteheads have developed. Do not be alarmed, the Skintactix whitehead products are bringing smaller, less visible plugs to the surface, where they become more visible. Blackheads may appear around the third week. As the whitehead sebum plugs are exposed to oxygen the sebum oxidizes and turns dark brown, becoming blackheads. These plugs will dissolve within a week.
Following the initial whitehead treatment phase, continue to use the Dissolver once daily or once every other day, following cleansing, to maintain the results. This type of maintenance treatment for whiteheads will help prevent the development of cystic acne, which can be painful and disfiguring.
Use of the Blackhead Dissolver is compatible with all of the other Skintactix acne products. The Dissolver should be used first following cleansing and lightly rubbed into the skin.
Benzoyl peroxide is frequently used in blackhead and whitehead treatments. It can be counter-productive to softening and dissolving blackheads as it can dry the skin and irritate sensitive, normal and combination skin. Normal/Oily Cleanser and Dry/Sensitive Cleanser do not dehydrate the skin. They effectively cleanse and reduce bacteria to inhibit the development of acne infections.
People with chronic whiteheads (milia) and/or cystic acne that have not responded to whitehead products or whitehead treatments may have an inability to digest or absorb the essential fatty acids discussed previously, resulting in and oleic acid form of sebum. Please read the Acne & Essential Fatty Acids page for additional information on this subject.