Possibly one of the most common skin conditions are blackheads and whiteheads which are also known as comedones. Blackheads and whiteheads are found on the face especially on the nose and chin and may also be on the shoulders, chest and back area. Blackheads are known as open comedones because they are clogged pores that have a wide opening at the surface of the skin. Blackheads appear blackish in color because the pores are filled with sebum (aka oil) and dead skin cells. Whiteheads on the other hand are known as closed comedones. These are pores that contain the same material but have a smaller opening at the skin’s surface.


Blackheads and whiteheads are very common skin condition and are seen in patients with acne. Those suffering from acne may have only blackheads and whiteheads or they may have other types of pimples known as pustules, papules, cysts or nodules. These other types of pimples are red and inflamed looking whereas blackheads and whiteheads are not.


Look for a face wash or a face cream at the drugstore that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If this does not help improve your blackheads and whiteheads, talk to your dermatologist about prescription strength treatments that may help.