Clogged pores occur when a hair follicle or gland becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This is a problem that can affect people of all ages but it is more likely to be found in teenagers and young adults. Making the identification of this problem is extremely important so that it can be cured quickly. If clogged pores are allowed to linger without treatment they can lead to acne or infections that can occur deep under the skin. However, identifying this problem is relatively easy because there are some subtle clues.
Pimples are one of the most recognizable signs that you have clogged pores. Pimples are caused when the sebaceous glands become clogged with dried oil and dead skin cells. These pimples can be few in nature or can encompass the entire face, chest or back. If the pimple is not treated with some type of antibacterial treatment it can become infected and will lead to more serious problems such as infected acne cysts and abscesses. To prevent this side effect it is essential to wash your skin very well and keep it as clean as possible. Fortunately, there are many over the counter treatments as well as prescribed treatments if your problem is severe.
Whiteheads can be another sign that you have clogged pores. A whitehead is a semisolid white plug that develops in a pore. According to the University of Maryland, whiteheads are caused when there is a complete blockage of the hair follicle. A more serious problem with whiteheads can develop when the whitehead is not treated and becomes infected. This infection can worsen and become deep seeded leading to acne cysts that need treatment by a physician. One thing you should avoid at all costs in pinching your skin when you have a whitehead because this can lead to scarring of the skin. Instead, try using a very warm washcloth to hold it against the skin until the blemish pops out.
Blackheads are another visual sign that you have a blocked pore. According to the University of Maryland, blackheads are caused by an incomplete blockage of hair follicles. They have a black appearance because of their exposure to air. It is not due to the common belief that dirt has gotten into the pore. According to the University of Washington, blackheads can worsen and bacteria can form causing more serious problems to develop deeper in the skin. This can lead to nodules or cysts to form which are painful and more difficult to heal. If the blackheads do worsen into cysts or nodules you may need to see a physician for medical treatment because oral medication may be needed to heal the problem.
University of Maryland Medical Center; Acne; 2010; http://www.umm.edu/dermatology-info/acne.htm
University of Washington; Acne; 2010; http://depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/article-detail.php?ArticleID=510&ClinicID=17