Blackheads are a type of acne similar to whiteheads that tends to form during the teen years but can grow at any time. They are essentially comedones that appear as tiny blackish dots on the surface of the skin. It is very common in people of all ages, often occurring on the facial area in cases of teen acne and adult acne.

Blackheads are mild form of acne vulgaris, which dermatologists also refer to as open comedonal acne as it has a wide opening on the skin with a blackened mass of skin debris covering the opening.


The exact cause of Whitehead or Blackhead Acne is unknown, However many doctors and scientists believe that they result from several related factors. Some includes genetics, hormones, some medications, stress, humidity and physical irritation. Typically blackheads are caused by the overproduction of oil, which tends to occur when a person reaches puberty. Remember that a blackhead is not caused by dirt. Scrubbing your face vigorously when you see blackheads will not help.

Formation of blackheads

Blackheads forms when the pores of the skin becomes clogged by dead skin cells. As the tiny skin cell particles keep accumulating, the pores become blocked, therefore; the normal drainage of sebum is obstructed. Because the oily secretions of the sebaceous glands cannot leave the pores anymore, they tend to accumulate beneath the epidermis.

The oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands consist of oils, wax, bacteria and dead skin cells, which contain pigments. When these pigments reacts with air, oxidation takes place and the melanin produces a black discoloration.


Blackheads usually seen as yellowish or blackish plugs in the skin. The dark or black color of blackheads is not caused by dirt or cosmetics. It is most commonly located in the T-zone area of the face, such as forehead, nose, and the area around your mouth and chin, where sebaceous glands are the most active. Remember that a blackhead is not caused by dirt. Scrubbing your face vigorously when you see blackheads will not help.

Prevention and treatment

  • One of the best methods to prevent and treat blackheads is to remove the underlying causes: excessive sebum and dead skin cells. Here are the most common prevention methods:
  • Clean your skin regularly and gently.
  • Don't scrub your skin. Scrubbing or over-exfoliation can worsen the condition.
  • Blackheads can be loosened using steam and then removed from the skin using tweezers.
  • Although some Over-the-counter medications  may be effective at reducing the number and severity of blackheads for some people, consult your doctor before beginning treatment with any OTC acne medication.       
› Blackheads


whiteheads, comedones, Over-the-counter

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