Most of us are used to blackheads popping up on our face, around the nose and chin, but why do they appear on our inner thighs? They can also pop up all over the thighs, between the legs, and even at the back of the thighs. Why?
What Causes Blackheads On Inner Thighs?
Blackheads occur when a tiny hole on the skin, called pore, becomes clogged. This tiny pore opens to a follicle containing a hair and an oil gland. If a mix of oil and dead skin cells block the gland, a comedone is formed; if its top is black, it's called a comedone.
How To Get Rid Of Blackheads From Inner Thighs?
Treatment usually requires self-care and follows a 2-step process:
1) Cleansing - clean your skin gently using a mild soap or a facial cleanser. Water-based formula is the best as it will not clog your pores.
2) Exfoliation - exfoliating your thighs will scrub the dead skin cells and dirt buildup off your skin and open up your pores.
How Not To Get Rid Of It?
Do not, under any circumstance, try to squeeze or scratch these blackheads. It will only irritate the skin even further and may even lead to infections and skin scarring.
Do not touch it with your fingertips and abstain from cosmetics that is overly greasy.
Why Do You Get Blackheads On Your Inner Thighs?
Every blackhead starts as a tiny clogged skin pore.
As we already said, skin pore opens up to a follicle which contains a hair and a sebum-producing oil gland. Sebum helps keep our skin soft by lubricating it along with the hair.
Over time, oil and dead skin cells buildup may obstruct this tiny opening and lead to something called a comedo (comedo is just a fancy name for a clogged hair follicle).
There are two main types of comedo:
Not all comedo are created equal, though; for instance, there are situations where bacteria might become trapped in this tiny plug. Our immune system then reacts to it, resulting in the appearance of a pimple.
And if the pimple is severe and deep enough, it may grow into a large, deep, and painful cyst.
When talking about blackheads on inner thighs, we can roughly divide them into 3 categories:
Though there is a predominant belief that acne (inner thigh blackheads as well) are genetic, things are not as simple as that.
There is one interesting study conducted on 20 pairs of identical and non-identical twins testifying to this very issue.
What researchers discovered was that, though identical twins had almost identical rates of sebum production, they had significantly different degrees of acne severity. What does this mean, then?
Well, the study tells us sebum production (how oily one's skin is) is under genetic control. Still, the development of acne will depend on other factors, factors such as environment, way of life, diet, etc.
So, should you discover you are plagued with blackheads between your legs, know that all is not lost; these blackheads are not a product of your genes, there are things you can do to get rid of them and prevent them from reappearing.
Though inherit (as we've seen in the previous chapter), the oil production rate is entirely individual. Not only that, but it may also differ depending on your body part or even on your gender.
For example, I've struggled with oily facial skin my entire life, I've been lucky enough never to have blackheads appear on my inner thighs.
But this does not mean they won't, as I grow older. In fact, researchers state that, due to the volume of oil glands in this region, the area between thighs is particularly prone to blackheads.
Should you notice increased sebum production in this area, your best option is to speak to a dermatologist.
Dirt, Sweat and Irritation
Unlike the other two, this inner thigh blackhead cause is entirely under our control! Though it is not unusual for people to experience increased sweating between their legs (during exercise or in hot weather), this is nothing a well-rounded personal hygiene regiment won't take care of.
Sweating around the inner thigh area might be caused by a lot of things:
- 1Physical exercise
- 2Hot weather
- 3Tight, nylon clothing
- 4Hormonal imbalance
- 6Obesity etc.
Though not a problem in itself, excessive sweating, in combination with poor personal hygiene, might be a contributing factor to blackheads.
How Do You Get Rid Of Blackheads On Your Inner Thighs?
If you've read the section about "Causes" carefully, I'm sure there are already some ideas brewing in your head. You can address blackheads between your thighs in many different ways, you just need to make sure you follow the right procedure and employ a treatment most suited for you.
I'll try to do just that in the following paragraphs, give you the most comprehensive list of practical ways to address your problem. Your job will only be to go through each rout and see the most appropriate one for you.
Self-Care At Home
Since most "sufferers" prefer fighting blackheads in the comfort of their own home, I'm guessing you are going to be most interested in this section.
I already touched it briefly at the beginning of the article by describing it as a 2-step process... I'll expand on it a little bit and turn it into a 3-step routine.
Step 1 - Cleansing
Cleansing the skin of your inner thighs should be the starting point of every good blackhead fighting routine. I know that, at the beginning of the article, I said you could use a common soap, but you need to make sure you pick one that will not make your skin overly dry.
Back in the day, we used to think a good soap for fighting oily skin is the one that will dry it out the most. When I was a kid, I would wash my skin 'till it became so tight I thought cracking a smile would tear my face in two.
I was young and didn't know I was just making matters worse since, when you over-dry your skin, your oil glands kick into high gear to make up for it and make your skin even oilier.
So, how should you cleanse your skin?
Your best bet is to use a mild facial cleanser (using facial cosmetics to treat your thighs is perfectly fine), preferably water-soluble as these products are not comedogenic (won't clog your pores).
Step 2 - Exfoliation
Skin exfoliation is, by far, a favorite part of my skincare routine. It's also the one that made the most noticeable impact in my skin appearance and health. I just wish I tried it sooner.
Anyways... Skin exfoliation is the best way to clean the dirt, grime, and dead skin cell buildup off your thighs without (literally) getting your hands dirty.
Exfoliation falls under two different categories:
- 1Chemical and
Chemical Inner Thigh Exfoliation
Chemical exfoliants are actually acids that react with the top layer of our skin. These acids remove dead skin cells, the excess oil buildup and blemishes.
An interesting fact about chemical exfoliation is that it's more effective and uniform, as compared to the mechanical(mechanical exfoliation is often compared with taking sandpaper to the wood... of course, this statement is a bit of an exaggeration).
How Does It Work?
Chemical exfoliation will remove the top layer of the dead skin of your inner thighs and allow new, healthy skin to shine through.
As for the types of acids used, there are two main categories:
This is the "water-soluble" family and includes glycolic, mandelic and lactic acids, among others.
A water-soluble chemical peel is a more gentle, superficial approach as it will not penetrate deeply into your skin. It will brighten up your skin, rid it of dirt and dead cell buildup, and might also help with sunspots.
These are, on the other hand, oil-soluble acids and able to penetrate deeper into the skin to address the excess sebum buildup... mixed in with dirt and bacteria.
Since skin is more hardened around our thighs (though gentle when it comes to inner thighs), and, in our case, riddled with blackheads, the preferred route is to go with BHA.
Mechanical Inner Thigh Blackhead Exfoliation
As the name suggests, this type of exfoliation employs mechanical pressure and a "tool" (such as a loofah or an exfoliating sponge) to slough away dead skin cells and dirt. The most well-known example of mechanical exfoliation is, of course, microdermabrasion, but salt and sugar scrubs also fall under this category.
Though the process might seem a bit... well, barbaric, I can assure you it's perfectly safe. Especially when it comes to the rough thigh skin, though wrapping your head around inner thigh exfoliation might be a bit tricky.
Should you decide on a scrub, know that the ingredients may vary from coarse - salt, sugar, to fine - oatmeal and rice.
Inner thigh skin is touch and my recommendation is to try with a coarse scrub, maybe one with added charcoal.
Step 3 - Hydration
Both cleansing and exfoliation are somewhat aggressive procedures that run a risk of making your skin overly dry. Which is why I always top off any skincare routine with a good moisturizer.
Three main ingredients moisturize your skin:
- 1Humectants - these are the substances that attract moisture
- 2Occlusives - these oily ingredients help seal the moisture in (and are good to apply after taking a bath) and
- 3Emollients - these are a mix of the two and moisturize your skin while, at the same time, forming a protective layer that seals the moisture within the skin
For nourishing your inner thigh skin after a blackhead treatment, you should go for either humectants or emollients. The most commonly used humectant ingredients in today's moisturizers are glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid and lecithin.
Over-The-Counter (OTC) Treatment
OTC is, by far, the most common way of dealing with inner thigh blackheads (possibly because most sufferers want to take care of the problem themselves before anyone else finds out).
Should you decide to try the over-the-counter treatment, make sure, you follow instructions and be patient.
Following the 3-step process outlined above, I will recommend 2 products for each step (2 cleanser products, 2 exfoliators and 1 moisturizer). So let us begin.
1: Keika Naturals Charcoal Black Soap Bar
Keika Naturals Charcoal Black soap bar is made entirely of natural ingredients.
And its number one ingredient, charcoal, is well-known as a go-to ingredient for managing oily skin. It removes any extensive oil, leaves the skin smooth and soft to touch; but it may also sanitize it, removing the bacteria left on a skin surface. Not only that, but charcoal scrub will also do wonders for your clogged pores, open them up and make it harder for future clogs to form.
So, should you include Keika Naturals soap into your daily routine? Most definitely! It's not so abrasive as to damage your skin but will give you a thorough cleaning. Now, if it were your face we're talking about, I would recommend using it less frequently, but since the topic of today's article is blackheads on your thighs, using it daily should be ideal.
You can use it as a great solution for a post-workout shower, but also as a way to refresh yourself and your skin after a hot summer day.
Keika Naturals Charcoal Black soap bar is not just a great way of dealing with blackheads on your inner thighs, it's a healthy, easy treatment that will improve your skin complexion. Also, it does not contain any artificial chemicals, comes as a generous 5.5oz bar to last you a while, and has a pleasant, discreet scent.
Now, let's talk a bit about the downsides of this soap.
Since it uses natural ingredients, it lacks the artificial ingredients to keep it together. This is why it may crumble down faster when compared to a common soap, and create a slightly bigger mess in your shower.
Another thing to keep in mind is that charcoal, though excellent for oily skin, might not be as suitable for dry, sensitive skin. So, using it daily on sensitive skin may irritate it and make matters worse.
It's best to start slow, introduce it slowly into your routine and see its effects.
2: Bioré Rose Quartz Charcoal Daily Purifying Cleanser
Bioré Rose Quartz Charcoal Daily Purifying cleanser is a gentle product ideally suited for those suffering from deeply rooted, painful blackheads. I can speak from experience when I say these blackheads are hard to get rid of (especially when located on your arms, back, legs, or thigs), so we tend to reach for more aggressive scrubs. The problem with aggressive scrubs is that they can damage and irritate the skin.
This is not the case with Bioré Rose, though. This cleanser will penetrate deep into your skin, eliminate bacteria as well as dead skin cells, but without causing irritation. It contains charcoal in lower concentrations, but still enough to remove excess oil that causes the problem in the first place. Over time, charcoal will reprogram the skin into producing less oil. Rose-based ingredients will calm down any inflammation processes and keep the skin smooth after the treatment.
All you have to do is take a little bit of cleanser, work it out to the foam with your hands and apply it to wet skin. Treat the area for about 2 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly. This cleanser will work best if you add it after a regular shower. This way, you'll finish with immaculate, chemical-free skin.
Optimal using frequency should be once daily. If you overdue the skin, it may become too dry, which can lead to a whole other specter of problems. Also, keep in mind that this cleanser may contain menthol/peppermint. People with allergies on these ingredients reported severe skin irritations. It turns out that menthol/peppermint is not listed under the ingredients, so if you're not sure how your skin will react, you should double-check with a dermatologist.
3: Upscale Activated Charcoal scrub
Upscale Activated Charcoal scrub is a more abrasive product suitable for those blackheads that are not painful or irritated, just annoying. This scrub works in two ways. Raw sugar particles physically exfoliate the skin and remove any dead skin cells from the surface. While rubbing the area, you'll also remove those shallow-rooted blackheads that you'll usually try to squeeze. This scrub is not oil-based so that it won't clog the pores within the suffering area.
Charcoal in this scrub will absorb excess oil that piles up from deeper layers of the skin to the surface. While detoxing the skin completely, Upscale Activated Charcoal scrub will eliminate any bacteria and leave you with smoother, softer skin. Regularly scrubbing will also prevent ingrown hairs that may cause blackheads. Moreover, removing an extremely thin layer of the skin every time you use it, this scrub will also flatten the scars that remain after particularly big and deep blackheads.
Since this is a somewhat aggressive treatment, you shouldn't overdo it. Ideally, you should use this scrub once per week, followed by a calming, water-based tonic or cream. This (or any scrub, on that matter) is not designed for everyday use. Raw, sharp particles can cause micro-cuts is used too often, which can lead to even more blackheads and painful acne. Since the skin is trying to heal, it will produce even more oil and clog the pores you opened with a scrub.
All you need to do is take a hot shower to open the pores, squeeze out the product onto your fingers and start scrubbing the wet skin. Try not to go in too hard. Instead, focus on gentle circular motions. After scrubbing for approximately 2 minutes, rinse it well with water as warm as you can take. Keep in mind that the scrub may be tricky to get off the skin, so take your time rinsing.
Also, make sure you're not allergic to the product before you use it for the first time. Apply some of on your inner hand wrist and wait for 15 minutes. If there's no reaction or redness, you're good to go.
4: SKIN FOOD Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub
SKIN FOOD Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub is another exfoliating product that can help you with annoying inner tights blackheads. Unlike the previous one, this scrub is not that harsh. Black sugar particles are fine and gentle on the skin. Still, this scrub guarantees efficient exfoliation.
Besides black sugar, SKIN FOOD scrub has plant oil that serves to minimize irritation and micro-cuts that can appear if you rub too hard. Moreover, this scrub has rose wine that hydrates and feeds skin cells. Since all-natural ingredients, this product has, you can't be allergic to it (or at least are highly unlikely to be). Your skin will be moisturized and detoxed without redness and dry feeling.
No matter fine black sugar particles that are not damaging on the skin, this scrub is still highly abrasive. Therefore, you should still use it once or twice a week. The skin on inner tights is sensitive, even if it's in perfect shape. Blackheads only add to the care you need to take when treating this area. To fully benefit this scrub, use it as an extra step in your showering routine from time to time, followed with some calming cream or gel.
After steaming your skin with warm water, rub the product gently onto wet skin. After a minute, rinse it with warm water, dry out and apply some water-based calming balm.
Being all-natural with rich, moisturizing ingredients, this scrub is among the priciest on the market. Still, don't let that turn you off. Although the package seems a bit small for that money, the amount of the product there is more than enough for months of use. Since oil makes it easily movable on the skin, you won't need to take a lot of product to cover an area as large as inner tights.
5: TeaTree Hair&Body Moisturizer
TeaTree Hair&Body moisturizer is a product that can serve you both as a step in an everyday skincare routine and as a calming balm, you'll apply after treating your inner tight blackheads with a scrub or charcoal soap. Jojoba seed oil works as a rich moisturizer that will feed your skin without leaving any excess grease that can make your pores clogged once again. Tea tree oil detoxes skin cells and kills all of the bacteria trapped in the upper layers throughout the day. Finally, peppermint cools down the skin and leaves you fresh and energized.
This moisturizer works great after using any charcoal-based product. As charcoal dries out the oil from the pores and clears the blackheads out, this moisturizer will get some natural oil to the skin again and prevent it from producing extensive amount itself. This way, the balance is restored again, and your pores remain clean and free. As a sidenote, TeaTree Hair&Body moisturizer also works as a multitasking care product, since you can use it to style your hair. Those oils will work miracles on dry and stubborn hair as well.
Moisturizer is easy to use. Just take few pumps on your hands and gently rub it in damp skin. Leftover water will make it easy for the skin to suck it all up in seconds. Just be careful if you have menthol allergies. Also, with cooling products like this, it's always best to test it out first, just to stay on a safe side. Take a little amount of the moisturizer and apply in on an inner side of the hand wrist. If there's no itching or redness after 15 minutes, moisturizer is safe for your inner tights too.
Should You Squeeze Blackheads On Your Inner Thighs
I don't know about you, but I find it incredibly hard to resist the urge to squeeze out a blackhead the moment I see it. I don't know, it just seems natural to me that you'd want to remove that foreign, black object from your skin with crude force.
I've learned to resits that urge over the years. Mostly because I think about the consequences. Using your nails will, first of all, damage the cells of the outer layer of the skin.
The next problem is the dirt you've picked up through the day and "stored" underneath your nails. So, even though you squeeze the black gunk out, you might replace it with something just as nasty.
The bottom line is this - even though inner thighs is not as noticeable as, say your face, squeezing out a blackhead will probably do more damage than good. For this reason, I would advise against it.
How To Prevent Blackheads On Inner Thighs
The first step in preventing a future blackhead outbreak on your thighs is keeping your skin clean. Cleansing your skin regularly, using a gentle, water-based cleanser and rinse off with lukewarm water.
This is especially important if you are an active person, love to work out, or an athlete.
You should also try to avoid tight-fitting clothes as it holds heat and moisture, which might further irritate the skin between your thighs. Wearing loose-fitting clothes will help keep your skin dry and allow it to "breathe." Cotton fabrics will also help you avoid skin irritation and blemishes.
Some of the more general prevention practices include: