If you’ve ever had a pimple, you know the difference between blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are those pesky little black dots that seem to pop up out of nowhere, while whiteheads are the red, inflamed bumps that can be painful to touch. But what’s the difference between these two types of blemishes?
What are blackheads and whiteheads?
Blackheads and whiteheads are both types of comedones, which are small, raised bumps on the skin that can be filled with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Blackheads get their name and dark appearance from the oxidized melanin in the sebum that fills them. Whiteheads get their name from the whitish appearance of the sebum filling when the comedone is closed.
What causes blackheads and whiteheads?
Blackheads and whiteheads are both types of acne, but they have different causes. Blackheads are caused by a clogged hair follicle that is filled with oil and dead skin cells. The dark color of the blackhead is due to the oxidation of the oil and skin cells. Whiteheads are also caused by a clogged hair follicle, but they are filled with pus instead of oil and skin cells. The pus is white because it is made up of white blood cells.
How are blackheads and whiteheads treated?
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with blackheads and whiteheads. A number of treatments are available, including:
Proper skin cleansing. Washing your face twice a day and after sweating heavily helps remove dead skin cells that can clog pores. Use a mild soap or cleanser designed for your skin type (dry, oily, normal). Avoid using astringents, which can strip your skin of important oils.
Exfoliation. Gently removing the top layer of dead skin cells lets newly generated cells move up to the surface more easily. This process can be accomplished with a facial scrub, an electronic facial brush, or special chemicals known as keratolytic agents. Be sure not to overdo it — exfoliating too often or too aggressively can irritate your skin and make existing blemishes worse.
Topical treatments for acne. These include benzoyl peroxide (Clearasil, Proactiv), salicylic acid (Apricot Scrub), topical antibiotics (such as clindamycin [ Benzac AC]), and azelaic acid (Finacea). Stronger versions are available by prescription from your doctor or dermatologist.
Oral medications for acne. These include antibiotics such as erythromycin (Ery-Tab) and tetracycline (Sumycin), as well as the oral contraceptive Yaz. Higher doses are usually needed at first, then the dosage can be reduced once your acne is under control. You’ll probably need to take these medications for at least six months to see significant improvement
How can I prevent blackheads and whiteheads?
You can prevent blackheads and whiteheads by washing your face every day. This will remove the dirt and oil that can clog your pores.
Are there any home remedies for blackheads and whiteheads?
There are a few things you can do at home to try to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads.
First, make sure you are cleansing your face regularly and using a good exfoliator. This will help to remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to blackheads and whiteheads.
You can also try using a homemade mask made with honey and lemon juice. Just mix equal parts honey and lemon juice and apply it to your face. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
Finally, remember that these are common skin problems and they usually go away on their own after a few days. If they don’t, you can always see a dermatologist for further treatment options.
What are the risks of blackheads and whiteheads?
Blackheads and whiteheads are two of the most common types of acne. They’re both caused by oil and dead skin cells clogging pores, but they differ in one key way: blackheads are open at the surface, while whiteheads are closed.
While neither blackheads nor whiteheads are dangerous, they can both lead to other types of acne, like pimples and cysts. So it’s important to treat them early to prevent them from getting worse.
There are a few different ways to treat blackheads and whiteheads, including over-the-counter treatments and prescription medications. In some cases, surgery may also be an option.
What are the complications of blackheads and whiteheads?
If you have blackheads or whiteheads, you may also have:
-Red, inflamed patches of skin
Can blackheads and whiteheads be prevented?
Blackheads and whiteheads are both types of comedones, which are clogged hair follicles in the skin. Blackheads get their name and dark color from a reaction between oxygen in the air and the sebum, or oil, inside the pore. This reaction turns the sebum black. Whiteheads occur when the follicle is completely blocked, trapping sebum, bacteria, and skin cells inside.
Although they’re both types of comedones, blackheads and whiteheads have different causes. Blackheads are caused by excess sebum production and dead skin cells that accumulate in pores. Whiteheads are caused by bacteria that build up in pores that are already clogged with sebum and dead skin cells.
Blackheads and whiteheads can be prevented by keeping the pores clean and free of oil, sebum, and bacteria. This can be done by cleansing the face twice daily with a mild soap or cleanser, exfoliating regularly to remove dead skin cells, and using products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to kill bacteria and dry up excess oil.
Are blackheads and whiteheads contagious?
No, blackheads and whiteheads are not contagious. They are caused by a build-up of sebum (oil) and dead skin cells in the pores of your skin.
What should I do if I have blackheads or whiteheads?
If you have blackheads or whiteheads, you should:
-Wash your face at least twice a day.
-Use a mild soap or cleanser.
-Avoid scrubbing your face.
-Apply a light moisturizer if your skin is dry.
-Gently exfoliate once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells and help unclog pores.