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What is the difference between Blackheads and Whiteheads?

Dr. Dhananjay Chavan

Mar 6, 2020

What is the difference between Blackheads and Whiteheads?

Frustrated with blackheads and whiteheads on your face, don’t know difference between blackheads and whiteheads. Don’t worry, we will explain to you all about blackheads and whiteheads in this blog. This blog will help you to understand difference & how to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads, so read this blog till the end.


What are blackheads?

Blackheads are nothing but tiny bumps which appear on the skin as a result of clogged hair follicles. These bumps are known as blackheads because on the surface, they look dark or black. Blackheads are basically a mild type of acne which are usually seen on the face. It is also seen in various parts of our body, which is rarely seen. 

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What are whiteheads? 

Whiteheads on the other hand, are a mild form of acne which comes up as small, round, white bumps on the surface of the skin. This type of acne ends up occurring when a pore becomes clogged with sebum, some dead skin cells, and also debris. If the clogged pore gets covered with a thin layer of skin, then it will appear white on the surface. The whiteheads may end up appearing on the face, shoulders, neck, chest, as well as back.


 Causes of blackheads

There can be various reasons why blackheads are caused, but the main ones are:

  • When the buildup of the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria on the skin starts to happen, then blackheads start to occur. 
  • They are also a result of irritation of the hair follicles, especially when the dead skins cells do not shed on a regular basis
  • When one undergoes hormonal changes, the increase in oil production during the teen years, during menstruation, or while taking birth control pills can also occur. 
  • Taking certain drugs, such as corticosteroids, lithium, or androgens can also be a cause. 
  • The production of too much body oil can be another reason. 


 Causes of whiteheads

There are a variety of factors which play into the growth of whiteheads, which include:

  • Cleansing routines
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes 

Other causes such as:

  • Puberty
  • Hereditary-Factors
  • Stress
  • Life’s Hormonal Changes
  • Life Habits


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How to get rid of Whiteheads?


How to remove blackheads?

Let’s check the treatment for blackheads and whiteheads:

Treatment for blackheads

  • Leave a salicylic acid gel on your blackheads.
  • Try a retinoid.
  • Use an enzyme exfoliator at least twice a week.
  • Take acne medicine.
  • Go for a regular face cleanser.’



Treatment for whiteheads

  • Get your face cleaned regularly.
  • Over-the-counter and prescription washes and ointments can treat them.
  •  Products that contain benzoyl peroxide can help reduce oil production in your pores. 
  • Products which contain salicylic acid work by directly breaking down existing whiteheads. 
  • You should know, there is no overnight cure for whiteheads.


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How to get acne free skin?


Home remedies to remove blackheads and whiteheads

You may always don’t get proper opportunity to visit a clinic, but still you can get your problems solved. There are many easy home remedies, but today let’s discuss 5 main points.

  1. If your blackheads have increased then take a facial steam. This method will be easy to perform at home.
  2. Using apple cider vinegar is also a better remedy. 
  3. You can exfoliate your skin using oatmeal scrub.
  4.  Also you can use honey and sugar as a mixture.
  5. Charcoal masks are really good to remove your blackheads and whiteheads. 



Blackheads Vs Whiteheads

  • Blackheads are referred to as ‘open comedones,’ because they remain open on the top part of the skin. Since the contents of the follicle are exposed to the air, the debris inside the follicle oxidizes and becomes darker in appearance. Hence it is named ‘blackhead.’ Treatment useful to treat blackheads with topical retinoids, Isolaz acne treatment, microdermabrasion, medical facials, and chemical peels.
  • Whiteheads are referred to as ‘closed comedones,’ because the follicle is completely plugged and are not exposed to the air. The oil and debris trapped inside the pore remains whitish in color. Hence it is named ‘whiteheads.’ Treatment to treat whiteheads is with benzoyl peroxide and some OTG products.


It’s always better to consult a dermatologist, if you see it reoccur every time. Do comment to us, if you have any query. We will be happy to help you out. 

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