What Are Blackheads and What Causes Them?

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2 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Blackheads are small bumps that appear on your skin due to clogged hair follicles. These bumps are called blackheads because the surface looks dark or black. Blackheads are a mild type of acne that usually form on the face, but they can also appear on other body parts. Blackheads form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. Each follicle contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil. This oil, called sebum, helps keep your skin soft. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump called a comedo. If the skin over the bump stays closed, the bump is called a whitehead. When the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black and a blackhead forms.
How do I get rid of them?
Would you try a DIY facial mask? The recipe is:

Activated Charcoal (absorbs excess oil and impurities) – 1 teaspoon
Unflavored Gelatin (fights acne and contains collagen) – 1 teaspoon
Distilled Water – 1 tablespoon

Blend the ingredients on a low heat boiler. Cool it and apply to face, leave it 10-15 minutes, peel it off. Wash and pat dry your face, apply a toner with witch hazel. Witch hazel is good in shrink the pores. After pealing, the most important thing is to shrink the pores, otherwise, the pores are open, soon dust will mix with oil and for new blackheads in the open pores.
Pealing ..... means a bell if ringing!!!
peeling, a typo.

Blackheads are black small bumps that appear on the surface of the skin.  Those bumps are black in color hence the name.  Blackheads are small acne and usually appear on the face, mostly on the nose and chin.


Blackhead occurs when a plug or clog develops in the opening of hair follicles of one's skin. Plug develops when dead cells and sebum collect in a hair follicle and clogs up a pore. There are few reasons why pores become clogged:

  • hormonal changes that increase oil production (during teen years, menstruation, some medical conditions that cause hormonal imbalances or when taking birth control pills)
  • producing too much body oil
  • build up of bacteria on the skin that cause acne (Propionibacterium acnes)
  • inability of dead cells to shed on a regular basis
  • use of some medications (corticosteroids, lithium etc.)
  • use of some lotions, sunscreens and cosmetic oils that cause clogged pores (for example almond, olive and coconut oils can plug pores)

If the skin over the clogged pore stays closed, then a person has a whitehead (white inflamed pimple); when the skin over the affected pore opens, then exposed to the air, dust and environmental pollution cause acne to look black. If you squeeze a blackhead out, the white or yellowish stuff comes out — this is a clog itself, it is always white or yellow in color.

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