What are Blackheads? Tips on How to Clear & Prevent Them!

What are blackheads?

Do you have blackheads? Blackheads are a type of acne that develops when the pores in your skin become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. They can be found on the face, neck, chest, and back. The best way to treat them is by exfoliating regularly and using gentle cleansers.

Get rid of those pesky blackheads today with a few simple steps! Follow this article now for more information about how to get rid of blackheads!

Table of Contents

What are blackheads?

Blackheads are small bumps on the skin that result from clogged hair follicles. They're also known as "comedones." Blackheads form as a result of a natural process. When dead skin cells, sebum, and P. acnes bacteria form together in an opening called a hair follicle or pore which typically contains air as well-- this combination oxidizes over time to create what we call "blackheads."

The blackhead is created when dead skin cells filled with oil get trapped by hairs that lead into pores where they rub against each other until dirt collects around them causing oxidation.


Blackheads are an embarrassing and frustrating problem for many individuals. One of the reasons they may come about is that in puberty when people grow hair on their face as well as under it, sebum production increases greatly to keep your skin soft thereby creating more blackheads- known officially by medical professionals as "open comedones."

The icky buildup can also be caused by other skin-related issues like oily or acne-prone skin from an overproduction of oil which causes pores to become clogged with oils and dead cells.

The best way to combat this type of issue? Stay away from touching your face! It's a good idea not only because you'll avoid rubbing bacteria around but also so that dirt doesn't get stuck between your fingers

Sometimes blackheads can be confused for other skin lesions or skin conditions, like bug bites and boils. If you want to know if it's truly a blackhead or not, the only way is by going to see your doctor.

We will discuss this in the next section. It should be noted that blackheads are not the same as clogged pores (also known as "sebaceous filaments"), which occur when the lining of the pores becomes clogged with sebum and cause the pores to appear enlarged.


Blackheads are black, but clogged pores have a light-gray and yellow appearance. Other types of blackheads that might be mistaken for these include sebaceous filaments, small plugs of oil, or dead skin cells.

There are two types of blackheads, normal and deep.

  • Normal Blackheads can be dealt with in a variety of ways such as using scrubbing products or extractors to remove them gently from the skin.
  • Deep blackhead removal requires professional care because they have been clogged inside pores for so long that their contents need specialist extraction techniques like lasers or hot steam treatment

If you are looking for information on pores, check out our article on how to visibly reduce their appearance.

Blackheads causes

The main cause of blackheads is hormonal changes in your body. Blackheads, like other similar acne outbreaks, are most common during puberty. In this stage hormone levels change and sebum production increases. These changes also cause the skin cell turnover to increase leading to more breakouts.

The hormone changes that we experience during our periods, pregnancy and birth control can cause more hormonal fluctuations. This increased risk for blackheads is often due to these adjustments in hormones.

Other possible factors include:

  • Cosmetics that block or clog pores.
  • Excessive sweating
  • Activities that expose hair follicles, such as shaving
  • Spending time in a high-humidity environment or being exposed to oily substances, such as in kitchens or car repair shops
  • Stress
  • Health problems such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or premenstrual syndrome
  • Steroid medications, such as corticosteroids, and medications that increase the rate of skin cell turnover.

How to reduce the appearance of normal blackheads

You know how gross those blackheads are that show up on the nose and chin, right? You may think they're just because of natural oil production from sebaceous glands but no! They can be caused by clogged pores.

So if you don't want to have a problem with them again in the future it's important not only to remove all your blackheads now but also to keep your skin clean so there won't ever be any more problems down the line.

4 Tips for removing blackheads

What are blackheads?

Do you have oily skin? You may be more prone to blackheads, in which case you will need these tips.

Use homemade oatmeal, yogurt, or sugar mask.

There are three natural exfoliants that any skincare enthusiast needs to know about. The most popular mask for treating blackheads is a mixture of yogurt and oatmeal, which can be used on your face in circular motions to remove all the dirt for clear skin!

Use specific products

Blackheads are the worst. They make you feel like your skin is gross, but luckily there's a solution! There are cleansers that come with special applicators to remove blackheads all day long and others which even work while showering or washing in the morning. These products will eliminate both excess sebum on your skin as well as pesky blackheads for good!

Use steam

The extractions you perform on your skin can be much more effective when the pores are dilated, and this is as simple as using steam.

  • Cover a pot of boiling water with a towel to trap in heat, then put it down before it boils completely.
  • Apply some not-too-hot but still warm water over all parts of your face (allowing each area to cool slightly if too hot).
  • Wait for around five minutes or so until the desired level has been reached; now any extraction will go deeper into those pores!

Use a towel

I recommend using your towel as a hot compress. Soak it in warm water and place it on the stove or put it in boiling water for only a few minutes. You don't want to burn yourself! The warmth will help open up pores, making blackheads easier to extract by smoothing them out with products like lemon juice.

After removing any oil from the skin surface with cold-pressed olive leaf soap, wash off the residue left behind while closing those pesky little clogs at once!

7 Tips to prevent blackheads

Blackheads are difficult to get rid of once they form. But if you keep your skin clean and free of dead cells, you will be able to see the difference between good sebum and bad bacteria. If you don't do this, then your pores may get blocked which can lead to acne or inflammation.

Here are 5 tips from our dermatologist on how we can keep these pesky things away:

Perform twice daily facial cleansing with micellar water

Don't be lazy to remove your makeup in one go! It's super important for preventing blackheads and also taking care of the natural oils on our skin.

Micellar water is a really gentle, effective product that can get rid of any dirt or oil as well so it isn't just good for removing makeup. But you should also use this twice every day if possible-early morning before applying anything else and once at night after all other products have been removed.

Soap and water might be drying out your skin, so it's important to maintain a proper balance. Micellar water will help you do that along with reducing shine.

If you're looking for something different though, consider using a micellar gel cleanser because not only is it effective at removing all types of dirt and impurities. It also provides excellent softness too!

Use products adapted to your skin

If you have oily skin, it's important that use products designed specifically for your needs. However if you're unsure of which product is right for your type of skin, there are some ways to test them out before committing.

Perform deep exfoliations every two weeks.

A deep exfoliation will allow your pores to open up and detach from the skin, while you clean off any dirt that may have accumulated throughout the day.

You can use a deep exfoliating gel in showering at home or invest in professional treatments where someone else does it for you!

Close the pores

After performing these daily cleansings, or exfoliations, the dirt in your pores is gone. But it's important to close them so that no more dirt can enter! To do this just apply a good toner and you're done!

Over the counter treatments

For blackheads, there is an array of over-the-counter treatments that include spot treatment containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These treatments can kill bacteria.

However, if your bumps have not been responsive to home remedies or are damaged as a result of popping them yourself then you should consult with a dermatologist.

Prescription medications

Vitamin A-packed medicine helps prevent plugs from developing in hair and stimulates the turnover process of the skin. These topical treatments are applied directly to your skin and include tretinoin, tazarotene, adapalene.

It may also prescribe an additional kind of topical medical cream that contains benzoyl peroxide or antibacterial drugs for people who already have blackheads or pimples on their faces.

This medication can help to treat blackheads, eliminate ointment by removing scum as well as acne.

Laser and light therapy

Acne is a common condition that can affect anyone at any age. People are often embarrassed or ashamed to talk about their skin breakouts and it's not uncommon for them to suffer in silence.

One treatment option, laser acne treatments, has been shown to be effective to decrease oil production and treating many of the inflammatory conditions caused by acne. But only when done with proper supervision from a dermatologist who knows how best to utilize the procedure for your unique needs!

Who has blackheads?

Blackheads can appear anywhere on the face and body. They are most noticeable in people with acne conditions or who have neglected their skin for a long time- like older adults!

Blackheads are tiny, dark bumps that can easily be seen on the skin. They form due to a build-up of oil and dead skin cells in your pores which then oxidizes when exposed to air.

The appearance of blackheads in people is caused by an excess buildup of sebum trapped inside their pores from old or new keratinocytes moving up through it. The oxidation process causes them to look jet black as they age over time (think about how the wine turns into something brown).

Combination and oily skins are, therefore, the most prone to blackheads, due to the excess sebum production that characterizes them. That's why a good cleansing with suitable products that help balance sebum production is a good way to take care of your skin if you want to fight against blackheads.


Blackheads are caused by sebum and dead skin cells clogging pores, usually appearing on the nose, cheeks, or forehead. The best way to prevent them from occurring is with a simple regime of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin regularly.

This will remove dirt and impurities while promoting healthy cell renewal in order for sebaceous glands not to produce excess oil. (Trusted sources 1*, 2*, 3*)

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josué Alvarez M. D.