Acne can occur on anyone's skin at any time of life. It often appears as simple whiteheads, which look like small, pus-filled pockets on the face. When pores get clogged with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria, the material gets trapped inside and forms pus, according to Brown University Health Education. Sometimes, these whiteheads are severe and are deeply embedded into the pore, making them hard to treat. Though it may be tempting to pop those pimples, it's a much better idea to use dermatologist-approved treatment methods to remove embedded whiteheads.
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Use a gentle facial soap and warm water to wash your face each morning and night. Make sure the soap is oil-free so it won't clog your pores, says the American Academy of Dermatology on AcneNet. Avoid scrubs, as they can irritate embedded whiteheads and break them open, leaving the possibility of scarring.
Use an over-the-counter acne treatment on your embedded whiteheads. Look for products with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid as main ingredients, says AcneNet. Dab this cream directly onto your embedded whiteheads after cleansing to dry up the blemishes and prevent their return.
Apply a prescription cream to your embedded whiteheads if over-the-counter solutions don't work. Stronger topical forms of benzoyl peroxide may be prescribed as well as topical antibiotics or retinoids, according to Brown University Health Education.
Schedule an appointment to have your embedded whiteheads professionally removed. Using a sterile tool, a dermatologist will push down on the skin surrounding whiteheads that are deeply embedded into the skin, forcing the material inside to come out, says AcneNet. This may need to be repeated to completely remove the severe whitehead for good.