Whiteheads: What They Are, Causes, And Treatment

What Is Whiteheads?

Whiteheads also referred to as comedo, On our faces, we have a lot of fine and tiny hair known as villas hair.

Whenever there is a blockage of this hair follicle with sebum, keratin, or skin debris, then this results in the formation of comedo.

If the thin layer of skin is on top of the collection of skin debris, and oil, then this leads to the formation of whiteheads.

Whiteheads are known as closed comedones and are commonly found face, nose, shoulder, and back.

If comedo comes into contact with the environment, that leads to oxidation which causes the appearance of blackheads.

Whiteheads are not contagious, which means – they can not spread from one person to another person through skin contact.

Causes of Whiteheads

As we know clogged pores are the main reason for whiteheads, and your pores become clogged for several reasons.

One common reason for blocked pores is hormonal changes, which are commonly triggered by acne.

There are several reasons for clogged pores including:

Acne affects around 9.4% of the global population, making it the 8th most prevalent illness worldwide (4)

When the oil and dead skin cells come together, they clog the follicles and plug and attract the bacteria, causing acne, and leading to inflammation, and redness.

Whiteheads Vs Blackheads

A blackhead is a tiny pore filled with sebum, oils, and dead skin cells, and when this oil or dead cells come into contact with the air.

They get oxidized, then they turn black, causing blackheads, and poor hygiene or dirt plays a vital role in appearing black.

Blackheads are known as open pores, and whiteheads are known as closed pores (5)

Mostly black and whiteheads occur on the forehead, nose, and chin area, which is known as the T-zone areas (6).

Whiteheads can occur at any age, and anywhere in the body, and are commonly found in the face, chest nose, shoulder, arms, and back.

How To Remove Whiteheads

There are several ways to remove whiteheads, which include:


Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive (cuts) process used to novation overall skin tone and texture.

It gently removes away the thick outer layer of the skin and also improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and other skin conditions.

Creams & Gels

Retinoids cream – A person can use prescribed Retinoid creams but make sure to use them under the supervision of a dermatologist.

These retinoid creams are sensitive to the sun, so make sure to use sunscreen during day time (2)

If you have dry and combination skin then don’t use retinoids, because they may lead to irritation of the skin (3)

Gels – The doctor may suggest you salicylic acid gel if you have a lot of whiteheads on your face areas and other parts of your skin.

But remember, people who have oily skin type are only eligible to use salicylic acid gel.

Dry, sensitive, and combination skin types may experience irritation to salicylic gel use, so those people can use these gels such as:

  • Zitcares-S
  • sebonac gel
  • adapalene gel (deriva-MS and adaphrin)
  • sebogel gel

This can be used in small quantities you can apply it on your lot of blackheads area.

Combination Therapy

In this, where two medications are combined with each other and then use e.g retinoids, and antibiotics which are more effective treatments (4).

However, these agents should be applied at a separate time, unless they are known to be relevant (5).

OTC (over-the-counter) Medicine

Many people, frequently use OTC medicine, for acne, scars, and whiteheads, due to less expensive, irritating, and easily accessible (6)

Remember, use prescribed medication only, and drink plenty of water during these days.

There are several OTC medicine which is well-popular, but make sure to consult your doctor before buying any medicine. these include:

  • Proactive
  • adapalene
  • benzoyl peroxide

Also, antimicrobials, including antibiotics, and benzoyl peroxide is effective in treating acne-causing inflammation, and whiteheads.

Chemical Peel

It is a process, where specialists use chemical solutions on your skin, to remove dirt and bacteria, and reduce whiteheads (7)

The result is, the skin grows back smoother and is usually done alone or with combined with cosmetics on the face (8)

Comedone Extractor Tools

You can buy it online, use it gently, and do not apply too much force, because it may just deeper the blackheads under the skin.

If some blackheads are not come out, then leave them, and It will be best to remove them from a dermatologist.

Most of the lady or gents’ parlor use comedone extractor tools to remove black or whiteheads.

Other ways

There are several other ways to remove whiteheads including:

  • Intralesional cortico-steriod infection
  • high-intensity
  • narrow-band blue light
  • laser skin resurfacing
  • injectable fillers

Is That The Same Treatment Used On Children And Pregnant Women?

No, there are some other treatments available for children, because adult therapies or treatments may irritation in children.

Erythromycin is preferred for children under 9 of age because it can affect growing teeth, and cartilage.

It is very important to choose the proper treatment for pregnant women as many acne therapies can react with the unborn children.

Some oral treatments such as retinoids, antiandrogens, and tetracyclines, not consider using during pregnancy.

Check Out – Why Am I Not Getting Pregnant? 10 Unexpected Reasons

How To Remove At Home

Note that do not use lemon or any kind of harsh scrub on your face because it may cause redness, and harsh dryness on the face and other body skin.

You can do these at home. Here are line-wise ways to remove black and whiteheads at home are:

Wash Your Face – Use salicylic acid face wash, leave it for about 30 sec, and then wash it off with regular water.

Steaming – It is one of the best ways to open pores and help in removing whiteheads and deeper dirt.

After washing your face, take steam for about 10 minutes, and remember not to open your eyes and not go too close to the water.

Use the comedone extractor tool – This tool is very effective to remove black and whiteheads, and it has been done by an expert.

Because if it goes deeper into the skin, which may cause the formation of acne, as well as darkness and scarring.

What About – Popping whiteheads?

Blackheads (open pores) and whiteheads (white pores) are non-inflamed acne which is a comedo.

The only whitehead suitable for popping is one that looks like it’s just about ready to explode.

If you don’t know how to pop or remove blackheads or whiteheads, then should not try because it goes deep into the skin.

Which causes acne, inflammation, as well as darkness, and scarring.

Before popping pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, make sure to follow these safety steps include:

  • Wash your hands before touching your face
  • make sure, to wash your face with a prescribed face wash for whiteheads
  • use a cotton ball to clean the area of the pimples
  • remember pimple removing instruments such as a needle, and comedone extraction should be clean.
  • now pop the whiteheads gently, when it comes outside completely, then clear gently that area.

How To Prevent Whiteheads?

There are several things that should be avoided to prevent blackheads or becoming blackheads worse including:

  • Do not touch your face frequently, especially after some work
  • avoid online hackers such as glue and toothpaste that removes whiteheads
  • remember, always take shower after exercise
  • avoid pressing or forcefully removing them, because it may deeper the whiteheads under the skin
  • Avoid excessive makeup, and try to use non-comedones products.
  • If you don’t know how to use an extractor, then leave it and do it supervised by a professional, because this gadget can hurt the skin
  • Avoid using lemon, hand scrub, etc that may hurt the face-sensitive skin.
  • Use moisturizer, and sunscreen before going outside, especially daytime or generally doing daily work.
    • If you have oily skin then avoid these oily products, like sunscreen, moisturizers, lotions, etc it may worsen the problem.
  • Avoid smoking

Down Line

Whiteheads are known as open pores.

Steaming is a very effective way to open pores and remove both white and blackheads, and also improve blood circulation.

Apart from home remedies, there are several ways to remove whiteheads, like face wash, extractors tools, prescribed medicine, etc.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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