Acne is no fun. It can be painful, disrupt your looks, and stick with you for years and years despite your best efforts to get rid of it. But there are ways to fight acne and its effects, including ugly whiteheads that pop up on your nose.
Whiteheads form the same way as blackheads when your skin pores get clogged up with oil, dead skin, and festering bacterial colonies. The only difference is, with whiteheads, the pore remains closed; whereas, with blackheads, the pore is exposed to the air (which is what turns it black.)
If you’re wondering how to get rid of whiteheads located on your nose, you’ve come to the right place! Many of these same tactics will work as well with whiteheads on the face, chin, or back – but we’re focusing on the nose here since nose-borne whiteheads are especially visible and distressing.
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Whiteheads or Pustules?
Whiteheads are whitish bumps or spots that commonly appear on the nose, face, chin, and back. They have a thin layer of skin covering them and are relatively hard inside – you can’t just squeeze and pop them since the pores are not open unless you want a very painful experience.
Pustules are similar to whiteheads in three ways:
- They tend to be white or lightly colored.
- They are skin bulges that often appear on your nose.
- Pustules are frequently caused by acne and are essentially infected skin pores.
However, skin pustules differ in that they are filled with pus or other body fluids. The surrounding skin often turns red, and if you pop a pustule (not recommended), it will squirt fluid all over your face and might result in an acne scar.
Whiteheads and pustules form in much the same way, and both are caused by acne. But be sure you are dealing with whiteheads before applying the whitehead treatments recommended below.
To learn more about what causes whiteheads, follow the provided link.
Here’s How to Get Rid of Whiteheads on the Nose
Acne leaves several different types of skin damage, potentially on your nose. If what you’re dealing with looks black or dark, here’s some help on how to get rid of blackheads on the nose.
But if your nose has bumpy, white or light spots on it, then here are three main approaches to getting rid of whiteheads that have proven themselves effective over the years.
First, for the most abundant and doggedly persistent cases of whiteheads (on your nose or elsewhere), a retinoid cream prescribed by a professional dermatologist might be in order.
Prescription retinoids for whiteheads will be in higher doses of active ingredients and therefore more powerful than what you can get over the counter.
Some of the most common and best prescription retinoid creams are:
However, there are many more options available. Your skin doctor will know how to find the treatment best suited for you and your nose.
Only the most extreme cases of whiteheads will require a prescription, however, so start out by trying over the counter and home remedies such as those listed below. It will save you money, and usually, it will cure your whiteheads.
Over the Counter Treatments
You’ll find an endless array of over the counter whitehead treatments sold at your local pharmacy or grocery store drug aisle, but the two most common active ingredients they are likely to rely on for effectiveness are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Whitehead treatments may have up to 2% concentrations of salicylic acid, which is valued for its ability to open up clogged pores and slow down the process of shedding old skin cells inside of your pores. In the category, look for gels or ointments for milder afflictions, but for facial cleansers and washes for more problematic cases.
Many over the counter drugs using benzoyl peroxide, in concentrations of up to 10%, to go beyond just cleansing clogged up nose pores. Benzoyl peroxide will also be effective in killing off the bacteria that are causing the problem to begin with.
If you’re the DIY type, you’ll be happy to hear you may already have the ingredients you need to fight whiteheads at home. Or, you could easily obtain them at a local grocery store.
Here are a few of the best home remedies against whiteheads on your nose:
- Create your own pore cleansing “strips.” Take 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder, and 1 tablespoon of charcoal powder. Mix the ingredients and microwave them briefly. Spoon out and apply to whiteheads. Wait 15 minutes before removing the “strip” that dries on your skin.
- Make your own skin toner. Take advantage of the salicylic acid in aspirin and the malic acid in vinegar to fight whiteheads. Crush two uncoated aspirins, dissolve them in 7 fluid ounces of water and mix in 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply to nose with a cotton ball and wash off after 20 minutes.
- Concoct a DIY exfoliating scrub. To moisturize skin, kill bacteria, and get the dirt out of your pores, make your own exfoliating scrub. Mix equal parts of coconut oil, honey, and brown sugar. Then apply to problem areas and gently massage them to get this powerful substance deep into your pores.
You can find multitudes of remedies for whiteheads through a quick online search, and we’ll mention a few more just below; but the above-listed prescription, over the counter, and homemade treatments are some of the very best.
When a speed in ridding yourself of whiteheads is of the utmost importance, you don’t have time to waste messing with ineffective cures. Using a spot treatment of over the counter whitehead removal creams at the same time as a prescription retinoid can often get the job done fast.
Some OTC creams are marked as “fast acting” and can finish your whiteheads in only 4 or 5 hours.
Another option for extreme cases would be acne surgery performed by a licensed, experienced dermatologist.
Popping your whiteheads on your own may be tempting, but it can leave scars and prove very painful. And the ugly mark left after the “pop job” would be as bad as the whitehead, thus defeating your whole purpose.
You can buy pore cleansing strips that might get rid of smaller whiteheads no problem. So if you’re nose is dotted with a constellation of tiny white spots, definitely try strips as a fast and easy way to get rid of them.
Whiteheads tend to appear in greater numbers in the “T” Zone, which runs across the forehead, down through the nose and ends on the chin. The reason is that these skin areas produce more oil than other areas, and whitehead-causing acne bacteria love to colonize oily, dirty skin pores.
One more simple way to clear up the whiteheads is to get them warm and moist. You can use a warm towel to “coddle” them before cracking down on them with any and all other methods. And, if you have the right equipment, you can also loosen them up by steaming them.
Finally, don’t overlook the power of a good skin toner to combat whiteheads. There are powerful, fast-acting toners out there that will prevent whiteheads or even get rid of existing ones.
Skin toners unclog pores, reduce skin oil production, shrink pores so less dirt gets into them, and add a protective layer to your skin to ward off dirt and bacteria. Finally, toners also restore pH balance, hydrate skin, and soothe irritated areas.
12 Overnight Methods
Eradicating whiteheads sometimes can be done in a matter of hours, or it might take days with slower methods. But with many natural and home remedies, you treat them before going to bed, and the whiteheads disappear during the night or next morning.
A similar process can work for getting rid of blackheads. Click here to find out how to get rid of blackheads overnight.
Here is a full dozen of the most popular ways to get rid of whiteheads overnight:
- Cinnamon and Honey. A paste of cinnamon plus honey makes a great anti-acne face mask. Put it on, go to sleep, and wash it off next morning for a remarkable difference!
- Basil leaf extract. Buy a few fresh basil leaves (or grow them). Crush the leaves and let them soak in warm water for 20 minutes. Then apply to your face with a cotton ball as you sleep.
- Pure, fresh lemon juice. Use fresh-squeezed lemon juice only. Simply apply it to your problem spots with cotton and see the results in the morning. You can also add cinnamon to give it some extra “kick.” Don’t use this method if your skin is very sensitive, however.
- Aloe vera gel. Get some 100% pure Aloe Vera gel and apply it generously to your whiteheads before bedtime. Don’t be afraid to put on enough to create a mask. Wash to see results come morning. Read more here.
- Garlic water. While your whiteheads are not Dracula, exactly, they also die when confronted with garlic. Crush two or three cloves of garlic and let them soak in a cup or two of water for 10 minutes, then apply with a cloth. Never use undiluted garlic, however, since its powers would constitute an “overdose” of sorts.
- A tea bag massage. Don’t throw out those used tea bags! They are free whitehead removers, but you just didn’t know it. Lay them over whiteheads and gently massage the area in small circular motions to open up your pores and try to get that stubborn whitehead to fall out.
- Orange peels and OJ. Use one orange peel per whitehead so as not to spread germs. Gently rub the peel over the relevant area. Then follow up with an orange juice bath. Vitamin C works wonders against acne and its effects.
- Coriander face mask. Coriander leaves can both cleanse your skin and unclog whitehead pores. Make a paste of coriander, with a pinch of turmeric and a dab of lemon juice. Wear it all night and wake up with a cleaner face.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush treatment. You’re supposed to brush your teeth anyway before bed, so put some paste on your whiteheads too. The fluoride helps control acne and whiteheads, and a gentle soft-bristled toothbrush massage (with a designated brush!) can help as well.
- Banana peels. The lutein in banana peels contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that will help correct whiteheads. Blend up a banana peel and apply the paste to whiteheads.
- Rice Scrub. Soak half a handful of hard rice in water for six hours, before grinding it to a gritty, grainy mush in your blender. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice, then use it as a face scrub before bed and just after waking up.
- Potato-sugar face mask. The natural bleaching agents in potatoes can help in the fight against whiteheads, and sugar is great for exfoliation of the skin. Blend one small, raw potato (without skin) and add two tablespoons of brown sugar. Wear as a face mask. You can wash off before sleeping or wear it all night – it’s up to you.
It’s not guaranteed that any of these methods will eliminate all whiteheads overnight, but the fact is, they often do. Try several of them until you find what works best for you.
The war on whiteheads isn’t at all hopeless, no matter how helpless you might feel about it at the moment. There exist a veritable plethora of possible treatments, all of which have won loyal followings as well as detractors.
Try natural home remedies, over the counter, and prescription approaches as needed, but remember: your nose is unique, so what works for you may not be exactly what worked for someone else.
You can find further details of Acne here.