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Whiteheads are a form of acne and look like small white closed bumps. Whiteheads tend to appear in larger concentrations of sebaceous glands. They commonly affect your face, neck, back, and chest. Here is everything you need to know about whiteheads.

What are whiteheads?

Whiteheads are a type of acne, which form closed bumps when oil, dead skin cells, or bacteria trapped your pores, hair follicles, or sebaceous glands. You can prevent the formation of whiteheads by changing lifestyle habits and using medical treatments.

What causes whiteheads?

The main cause of whiteheads is clogged pores. Whiteheads develop when sebaceous glands/ hair follicles become inflamed. Excess sebum production, abnormal formation of keratin, and the presence of bacteria can also lead to clogged pores and skin inflammation.

What are the differences between blackheads and whiteheads?


How to treat whiteheads?

Non-prescription medical treatments can treat whiteheads.

  • Salicylic acid

You can go for a cleanser or a lotion containing salicylic acid, which helps dissolve and remove the dead skin cells of damaged skin. It can prevent the hair follicles from clogging.

  • Azelaic acid

Using skincare products containing azelaic acid help kill microorganisms on the skin and reduces swelling.

  • Benzoyl peroxide

Applying the facial wash or the gel treatment containing benzoyl peroxide can kill the bacteria and reduce skin irritation.

  • Retinoids

Using retinoids every other day can break up whiteheads and prevent clogged pores.

If non-prescription medical treatments can’t help you to get rid of whiteheads, you can consult with your medical provider for the prescription treatments.

  • Prescription-strength retinoids

Prescription-strength retinoids are stronger than non-prescription ones.

  • Oral antibiotics

Oral antibiotics help reduce the bacteria that cause blackheads and whiteheads.

  • Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion means a dermatologist uses a specialized instrument to remove the top layer of your skin and clear the clogged pores.

  • Chemical peels

Using a mild chemical solution to remove layers of skin and reduce whiteheads.

  • Laser skin resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at your whiteheads to reduce the amount of oil production.

How to prevent whiteheads?

You can change your daily habits to help prevent whiteheads.

  • Use a mild facial wash and wash your face with warm water
  • Apply moisturizer
  • Use non-comedogenic makeup products to reduce clogged pores
  • Completely remove makeup at the end of the day
  • Wash your hair regularly
  • Keep your hands and hair styling products away from your face

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