THE first blemish to form as acne begins to appear, is called a comedone and it is critical to all the blemishes that eventually develop.
A comedone is a plug that forms within the pore. It is made up of dead skin cells from the lining of the pore that are mixed with sebum produced by the oil gland.
(1) Open Comedone (blackhead) – The open comedone, also called a blackhead, is visible on the skin because the plug has formed in the surface opening of the duct.
Blackheads are not black because of dirt; they take their colour from the normal skin pigment that is within the dead cells.
(2) Closed Comedone (whitehead or milia) – A closed comedone /whitehead is a similar plug within the pore, but is deeper under the surface of the skin.
Closed comedones appear as small, pale elevations, without any obvious openings. This is removed using an electrolysis machine on diathermy mode, whereby the milia are lanced whilst the diathermy current passes through the needle.
When the milia are punctured, the contents are squeezed out. They can be caused by products that are too rich for the skin, oily make up, incorrect skincare.
Preventing Comedones (whiteheads & blackheads) – Daily use of deep penetrating products containing (natural sources of glycolic, salicylic & lactic acid), which dissolve pore clogging dead skin cells deep within the pores of the skins as well on the surface of the skin.
Ideal product to use; Active Serum, Cleansing Complex, as well as hydra cool serum. Products not to use: make up that is oil based or has artificial colour, ideally use a mineral make up which is oil free & artificial colour free. Fake tan with artificial colour (a guide colour) clogs the pores. Cleansers containing mineral oil, moisturisers with mineral oil.
A course of skin peels containing natural sources of glycolic & salicylic acid which will draw out impurities from the skin, resulting in tighter pores & smoother skin i.e. Fire & Ice facial peels is an ideal treatment for this problem. Closed comedones can be lanced with electrolysis.
Mary Ferry is the proprietor of the Genesis Skin Care & Laser Clinic in Upper Dore, Bunbeg. Tel 07495 32575, www.genesissalon.ie. If you have a query you would like answered in Mary’s column confidentially, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org