Many people are well-versed in how to deal with facial acne. However, the less common inner thigh acne can be just as frustrating to treat. When blackheads pop up on the inner thigh area, most people wonder what is causing them. Read on to learn about the causes and treatments for your inner thigh blackheads.
What Causes Blackheads on Your Inner Thighs?
1. Oil and Impurities
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the inner thigh blackhead breakouts. The external buildup of sweat, oil, and grime can all clog the pores and lead to the formation of blackheads. This region of the body is particularly prone to blackhead breakouts when the area is not washed after strenuous exercise or dancing. Sebum buildup can also cause blackheads form. This oily secretion of the sebaceous glands can lead to both acne and inflammation of the hair follicles.
2. Your Genetics
Genetics can also play a role in the risk of developing inner thigh acne. In addition, hormonal changes that come with the territory of puberty, menopause, or perimenopause can cause the pores to produce excess oils and become clogged. Because this is not a lifestyle or environmental cause, it can be even more challenging to accept.
3. Friction and Sweating
Friction in that region of the body is also an underlying factor in the development of blackheads. Leggings, tight jeans, and nylons can all chafe the thighs and cause excessive sweating in the inner thigh area. Perspiration contributes to clogged pores and overproduction of bacteria. Wearing unlaundered clothing can also be contributing to the problem. Fabrics such as rubber, vinyl, and polyester do not allow for the skin to breathe properly and can lead to excessive perspiration between the thighs, further exacerbating the situation.
Can You Use Biore Strips on Your Thighs?
There is no research that supports pore strips as an effective way to treat blackheads. According to Nava Greenfield, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, “I am not a fan of pore strips. They occasionally do a fair job at removing keratin buildup in pores, but the pores will fill right up again. The underlying issues, which are enlarged pores and overactive sweat glands, are not addressed with the strips.”, published in Byrdie. Ultimately, there are better alternatives than using pore strips on your thighs.
What About Blackhead Masks?
Much like their Biore strip counterparts, blackhead masks are also not a great solution. “I have yet to see actual evidence that peel off face masks work for blackheads,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky, in an email to Bustle. It’s not surprising, considering their ingredients. Nothing in blackhead masks can actually help your inner thigh blackheads. In short, don’t waste your time with blackhead masks – there are better alternatives.
How to Prevent Blackheads on Your Thighs?
Like many health and beauty issues, it is a lot easier to prevent blackhead breakouts before they start than it is to contain them once they have sprung. A solid preventative plan with a diligent skincare routine is your best defense against thigh blackheads. Read on to learn how to prevent inner thigh blackheads.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Inner Thighs
Fortunately for sufferers of blackheads, there is a myriad of treatment options available. The challenge lies in finding the best treatment for your specific case. Here are just a few of the treatment options on the market today so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.
1. Cleansing Your Thighs
Cleansing is the best place to start when wanting to eradicate these unsightly inner thigh blackheads. No need to specifically look for cleansers formulated for your thighs. Use the same cleanser you use on your face, or use a liquid body wash. Because they are water soluble, liquid soaps will also be effective at cleansing without exacerbating the issue of clogged pores.
You will want to avoid using bar soaps in the cleansing routine. Because this type of soap is generally high in pH, they are not water soluble and are likely to cause unnecessary drying of the skin. Bar soaps also leave a residue on the outer layers of the skin, causing blackheads to form because the pores are being blocked by the soap buildup.
2. Exfoliating the Skin
One of the best ways to stop blackheads right in their tracks is through a proper exfoliation routine. By sloughing off dead cells from the surface of the skin, you reveal a cleaner and brighter layer of skin. Because everybody has a specific skin type and level of tolerance, an exfoliation routine should be personalized. Exfoliation falls into two major categories, mechanical and chemical:
1. Mechanical Exfoliation
This type of exfoliation process uses a tool to physically slough off the dead cells. Examples of tools that might be used include sponges, loofahs, or brushes. The abrasive materials or substances used in the mechanical exfoliation is what is able to pull the dead skin away and leave the remaining layers fresh, bright, and free of oil and grime.
Mechanical exfoliants must be used with care in order to avoid leaving scratches or causing undue irritation. Face masks and blackhead scrubs are also types of mechanical exfoliants because the ingredients in the products work to slough off dead skin cells. Because your thighs are less sensitive than your face, mechanical exfoliation can be an effective solutions for blackheads.
2. Chemical Exfoliation
The second type of exfoliation employs the use of chemicals to peel away blackhead culprits. The use of salicylic acid (a BHA), or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), “unglue” the bonds holding dull, dead skin on the surface. Once those bonds are broken—gently and evenly—skin naturally sheds. Additionally, AHA’s are naturally occurring acids derived from plant sugars, making them a natural remedy to this problem.
Chemical exfoliation can also decrease the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and hyperkeratosis. Because these products can leave your skin extra sensitive to the effects of the sun, it is important to wear sunscreen after using chemical exfoliants.
Over the Counter Products
The vast amount of over the counter products on the market today can make it overwhelming to choose the best option for your needs. Here are four of the best tried and true products to consider. I have personally used all of them, and had great results with each. FYI: I only recommend products I stand behind and have tried.
1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
This gold standard cleanser can also be used on your inner thighs during your normal shower session, making it an extremely versatile skin care product. It is also one of the best face washes for whiteheads. The excellent formula uses a combination of three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to deliver a fresh and moisturizer clean. The gentle foaming action removes oils from clogged pores without disrupting the protective outer layer of skin. The hyaluronic acid is designed to trap in moisture in the skin. In addition, the niacinamide is an anti-inflammatory that works to calm irritated skin and combat acne. This fragrance-free and non-drying formula is ideal for normal to oily skin types.
2. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
This product has a cult-like following because of its supreme effectiveness and gentleness on the skin. The unique leave-on BHA (beta hydroxy acid) is designed to not be washed away, increasing its reach and ability to truly penetrate even the deepest of pores. With an optimal pH range of 3.2–3.8, this exfoliant is gentle enough to be used on all skin types without fear of irritation. The active ingredient BHA (beta hydroxy acid) works to slough off uneven and dead skin to reveal a younger and fresher look to your face. Additionally, salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory that works to combat acne.
3. Konjac Sponge
This mechanical exfoliation method is designed to harness the power of activated charcoal and dispense it through an easy and convenient facial sponge. As the active ingredient in the sponge, the bamboo carbon works to help clean clogged pores on thighs while removing excess bacteria. The gentle sponge is made with authentic Konjac plant root and is safe for all skin types. The large size equips it to effectively clean a surface area such as the thighs. The versatile sponge can also be used with your favorite cleanser for added benefits.
4. RESIST Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment 4% BHA
If the Paula’s Choice 2% salicylic acid product is not meeting your needs, this is a stronger option. Boasting a higher 4% salicylic acid, this extra-strength product is designed to fight even the most stubborn case of thigh acne. Because of its relative strength compared to some other products, this option should be introduced slowly so that it does not dry out the skin. This product should be applied after cleansing and left on the skin for maximum results.
How to Patch Test Products
When patch testing products, it is imperative that you do not test them all at once or you will not be able to discern what is working and what is not. To start this process, apply a dime-sized portion to your inner thigh and then completely rinse it off. It is then important that you wait 24 hours to make sure that no irritation or discomfort has occurred as a direct result of the product.
When to See a Dermatologist
After you have exhausted all of the treatment options and you are still struggling with blackhead outbreaks on your inner thighs, it might be time to consult a dermatologist. A professional is trained to look at your individual case and prescribe the best course of treatment specific to your personal needs.
A dermatologist should also be consulted if the blackheads are becoming painful and more than just a cosmetic nuisance. Lastly, if the blemishes are starting to erode your self-confidence, it is time to seek professional treatment so that you can clear up the issue and get on with your life.
1. How long does it take to get rid of blackheads on inner thighs?
It can take up to 4-8 weeks to get rid of your thigh blackheads. However, it will ultimately depend on the treatment methods and how diligent you are at preventing and treating your blackheads.
2. Can you get rid of inner thigh blackheads naturally?
I tend to avoid “natural” cures. While many plants seem to have inhibitory effects on the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses in vitro, there are a few clinical evidences about the effectiveness and safety of these plants in the treatment of acne and blackheads.
3. What about clogged pores on my inner thighs?
Treat clogged pores how you would treat blackheads. Start with prevention, and then into treatment. Feel free to apply the advice above for preventing clogged pores on your thighs.
Blackheads on Inner Thighs: Summary
- Genetics, build-up of sebum, dirt oil and sweat lead to clogged pores
- Biore strips are not effective at removing or preventing blackheads
- Blackhead masks are also not very effective
- Over the counter solutions include: regularly cleansing and exfoliating your thighs
- If your self confidence is being affected, see a dermatologist