What Are Blackheads And Whiteheads?

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The name “blackheads” or “whiteheads” itself might look a bit odd itself but what would you say if I told you that probably all of us have had those appearing on our skin especially during puberty?

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The truth is that they can appear at any period of our lives. For example, I still get one or two whiteheads close to my chin especially at times when I don’t exfoliate as often as I should although, generally speaking, my skin has a tendency to them if I don’t stick to a proper cleansing skin care routine.

So, before checking upon the difference between blackheads and whiteheads first let’s see what blackheads are and if they are an early stage of acne.

According to the Dermatologists, blackheads are an early stage of acne. So, if they are not cleaned and treated, then the possibilities are that more oil will secrete from the sebaceous glands, which could ultimately result in an infection that can lead to a more severe form of acne.

The sebaceous glands are tiny glands which can only been seen through a microscope and their job is to secrete an oily substance, known as sebum, to lubricate the skin. These glands are in almost all parts of our body except for palms and soles. Even the tears are a form of sebum released by the sebaceous glands to lubricate the eyes.

How Are Blackheads Formed?

Blackheads are usually formed when excessive oil and the dead skin cells develop within a pore. The top of these oily spots turn dark due to their exposure to oxygen. It is in fact the melanin within the cells which actually creates the dark color.

So, when you see the black spot, it is not because of dirt, they are black mainly due to oxidation. A simple example of that could be if you cut fruit, like an apple and leave it outside, it will turn dark for the same oxidation reason.

Blackheads mainly appear in the parts of our body where the skin is more oily, such as the nose, cheeks and chin. Nose is the most common target for them.

Now that you have an idea of what blackheads are, let’s see the difference between blackheads and whiteheads.

What Is The Difference Between Blackheads And Whiteheads?

In medical terms, blackheads and whiteheads are also referred to as comedones. Blackheads are open comedones, they build in the follicles of hair and also have a wider opening.

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Whiteheads are closed comedones, they develop under the hair follicle and remain beneath the skin. What this means is that they don’t oxidize and turn black.

Blackheads can appear at any age but they are more common for teenagers due to their hormonal changes.

The gland starts to produce more and thicker oil which leads to the drying up of the oil, forming a plug on the opening of the pore.

If you notice blackheads on your skin, you should look for ways to remove blackheads.
The reason is that once these spots are formed and the oil from the gland cannot drain out, the oil goes back into the gland which makes the gland enlarge. Then, it breaks up under the skin and this is the start of an acne pimple.

In case of blackheads, Dermatologists often prescribe products like retinoic acid, benzoyl peroxide and others. Still, it is a fact that 79% of the people who use a benzoyl peroxide product experience stinging, burning, itching and dryness.

So, why not try out some home remedies for blackheads and whiteheads first to see if you can deal with them in a more cost effective and natural way?