What Actually Are Blackheads?

A close up of a man's face with blackheads around the nose and cheek
Blackheads are hair follicles clogged by dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria and grime. Some people get blackheads and acne much worse than the rest of us. Popping them on your own is generally not a good idea because you could make the situation worse. Consult our experienced dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene to learn your treatment options. Dr. Greene has specialized extraction methods to remove the blackhead without damaging surrounding skin.

Have you seen Dr. Greene’s blackhead videos? Check out the one below:

How to Prevent Blackheads

So, if blackheads are caused by clogged follicles, what can you do to prevent them? Here are a few tips:

  • Adopt a skin care routine, if you haven’t already. Cleaning your skin reduces the grime and excess oil on your face. Use a gentle cleanser once or twice daily, and an exfoliator once every 1-2 weeks to remove dead skin. Always remove makeup before going to sleep.
  • Consider using a product that contains salicylic acid, which breaks apart excess oil that clogs pores.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat well.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and other pollutants.

The actual phrase “blackhead” came about because they look dark/black in color on the surface of the skin. While a whitehead is still buried beneath the skin, a blackhead is exposed to the air, which oxidizes the junk inside the clogged pore, causing it to appear black.

Blackheads may appear on the:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Chest
  • Arms

Certain people are more prone to blackheads for various reasons. You may produce more oil than other people, or there may be a buildup of certain naturally occurring bacteria on your skin. Your dead skin cells may not shed very well, or the blackheads may be the result of hormonal changes or certain medications. Dr. Greene can help you get to the bottom of your skin problems.

If you live in Seattle or the surrounding cities and are searching for an experienced, skilled dermatologist, please call the practice of Dr. Steven Greene at 206-402-4797. Dr. Greene is board certified in dermatology and is passionate about helping his patients achieve great skin.