Blackheads. We’ve all had them. The tiny, pin-sized speck on our skin. A blackhead. And the most annoying part of blackheads–they always seem to show up on the worst day possible. Your first date with someone new, a job interview, school picture day, your wedding–you name it, a blackhead is there to ruin it.
But what’s worse than a blackhead on your face is one elsewhere. Anywhere with skin can get them, but they seem to be most stubborn on our thighs. This article aims to tackle those tough blemishes on your legs, from the science of what causes them to what can help cure them.
No matter how many you have or how long you’ve suffered, we’re here to help.
What causes blackheads?
So what is a blackhead? A blackhead is a type of acne (scientific name: acne vulgaris) and they differ from whiteheads, though they are both considered “comedos” to skin professionals.
While white heads are closed pores, blackheads are open pores or hair follicles that have been clogged with oil and dead skin. Most importantly, while they are a type of acne, they’re not actually pimples, or the aforementioned whiteheads, and they are not painful.
Blackheads look super tiny, like little fine-tipped pen marks, and they most often affect adolescents and young adults going through the hormonal changes of puberty, but adults can suffer as well. Other causes of blackheads are: increased amounts of sebum production, abnormal formation of keratin, and an increase of bacteria on your skin.
This last reason, the increase of bacteria on your skin, is most likely the cause of blackheads on your legs and thighs, though the other reasons could be contributing to the cause as well.
A few more non-medical causes that could be leading to thigh blackheads are tight clothes, poor hygiene, and/or oil-based hygienic products, like lotions, creams, and perfumes.
Another potential cause of blackheads on your thighs is hidradenitis suppurativa, or HS. HS is most commonly found in areas of the body where the skin rubs against other skin. If your blackheads on your thighs worsen or become painful, you should contact your medical provider.
How to remove blackheads
Okay, so you’ve determined that the blemishes on your thighs are actually blackheads. Now what? There are a few different approaches you can take.
The first requires you to consider the cause of your blackheads. You should stop wearing tight clothes, like spandex, leggings, and bike shorts, and wear more breathable clothes. You should also check your beauty products for the oils they may contain, and you may want to swap them out for non-comedogenic products.
Non-comedogenic means that they will not block your pores, thus they will not cause blackheads.
Finally, bring some baby wipes with you! Once or twice a day, just wipe down your thighs with the baby wipes to help remove any built up oil.
If none of those situational changes help your thigh blackheads, there is still more you can do. Here’s a list of some of our favorite products to help you tackle your acne for good through both treatment of what’s already there and prevention for the future!
Black Head Treatments
Peel off mask
The first product we want to recommend that could help your stubborn blackheads is this Nature Nation Black Mask and Blackhead Removal Kit, available on Amazon. This product has several key factors which make it effective, starting with the mask itself.
The Nature Nation Black Mask from Nature Nation is a salon-quality purifying peel off mask. This means that it works by drying on your skin and pulling out the dead skin and oil clogging your pores as you peel it away.
It can be used on your face, back, or thighs, or anywhere else you may have stubborn blackheads. The instructions are really simple, too. Simply wet your face with a clean washcloth that has been soaked in hot water. Once your face (or wherever you’re applying the mask) is damp, smooth the mask on using the silicone brush in the kit.
Allow it to sit on your skin for 15-30 minutes (this can depend on a lot, so your time may vary). Once it’s all dry, just lift the edges and slowly peel it from your skin. For the best possible results, follow the mask with a toner to cleanse and tighten the pores. It’s as easy as that!
The other part of this order comes with a blackhead removal kit with tools to help you root out even the most stubborn of blemishes. The 5-piece extractor kit allows you to remove the blackheads without causing serious damage or scarring (when used properly). Between the clarifying ingredients in the mask and these tools, your blackheads should be cleared up in no time!
Once your blackheads are gone, you want to keep them gone! That’s where this 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant by Paula’s Choice comes into play. Experts say that an acid-based peel is actually better for skin than rough exfoliants, so if you have sensitive skin this might be for you.
This exfoliant works by combining 2 super ingredients: salicylic acid and green tea. The salicylic acid penetrates deep into your skin, causing it to shed dead skin cells instead of letting them clog up your pores, thus leading to blackheads.
As a bonus, it also reduces redness and inflammation. Then the green tea comes in to rejuvenate and leave you absolutely glowing. It also calms redness while soothing sensitive skin.
To use this product, just wash and moisturize your face as usual before bed. Then massage a pea-sized amount of the exfoliant into your skin and go to sleep. That’s it!
This fragrance-free, paraben-free serum gets straight to work evening your skin, giving you a youthful, blackhead-free glow. And yes, it’ll work on your back and thighs as well! Anywhere you get blackheads, this product has you covered.
If you’re nervous to jump on the acid peel bandwagon, we have another tried and true method for you. This collagen and stem cell infused charcoal exfoliating body scrub is a fantastic way to clear out dirt and oil from your skin, no matter where it’s at!
Brought to you by M3 Naturals (a cruelty-free, American-based company), this is perfect for the guy who wants clear skin without the fuss (or anyone else). The charcoal helps to naturally purify your skin as it scrubs away at the build up in your pores.
Since this form of exfoliation can be more abrasive than acid, it’s perfect for areas like your back and legs. The collagen and stem cells help to lock in moisture, promote skin cell longevity, and leave your skin clear and healthy. Other ingredients besides the charcoal, collagen, and stem cells, are Dead Sea salt, aloe vera, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, and olive fruit oil.
All of these additional all-natural ingredients help to reduce the appearance of acne, cellulite, wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, stretch marks, varicose veins, spider veins, and more!
To use this powerful scrub, just rub it into damp skin for 30 seconds. After you’ve rubbed it all in, just rinse or wipe it away! Because the ingredient may be physically rough, test it out on a non-sensitive skin area to see how you react, especially if your skin is sensitive!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do blackheads go away naturally if left untreated?
Yes and no. Some blackheads will go away without any help, but others can be more deeply embedded into the pores and will need a bit of help. It’s definitely best to treat and prevent!
Should you squeeze blackheads?
NO! You should never just squeeze a blackhead. They’re not the same as whiteheads and you actually risk making it worse by pushing it deeper into the skin. It can also lead to more scarring. Instead, you should use extractor tools or facial products to gently cleanse and remove stubborn blemishes. Leave the squeezing to pimple poppers on YouTube.