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Conditions> Blackheads


First Health Medical Centre


  • Information

Blackheads are a symptom of acne also known as ‘open’ comedones:- a skin condition in which the pores of the skin become blocked. The pores of the skin are known physiologically as pilosebaceous units – the hair follicles and their accompanying sebaceous glands, which secrete the oily substance sebum.

Blackheads are normally caused by the overproduction of oil.

Sebum has a protective role in the skin, helping to keep it supple and hydrated. When sebum is overproduced, however, it can form plugs in the pores by clumping with epidermal cells that shed from the skin.

The plugs are known as comedones, with black-headed comedones known as open comedones; white-headed comedones (so-called whiteheads) are known as closed comedones. Blackheads are open to the air; the plug turns black because the sebum becomes oxidized, whereas whiteheads are not open to the air.

Following are types of Comedones – acne lesion:

  • Comedones – blackheads and whiteheads (noninflammatory acne)
  • Pustules (inflamed pimples with pus) and papules or nodules (deeper inflamed lesions that may be hard and painful and can involve more than one hair follicle)
  • Cysts (large nodules).


Causes of blackheads

There are many reasons why blackheads occur;

  •  Blackheads form as a result of excess sebum produced at the base of hairs, often as a result of hormone changes, especially during puberty.
  • Sebum contains a dark pigment, melanin, which oxidizes and turns black when exposed to the air; this is why blackheads have a dark appearance.
  • A number of persistent myths circulate about the causes of acne, the most outlandish of which is to link it with sexual activity.
  • There is some evidence that blackheads are more likely to arise when poor diet or disease leads to increased insulin levels, increased levels of IGF-1 and rapid growth of skin cells that lead to clogged pores.
  • Blackheads are also known as open comedones and are considered a mild form of acne unless accompanied by more severe types of acne lesions.
  • Simple blackheads do not normally cause pain or other symptoms, but the development of more severe acne can result in such symptoms, along with social and psychological effects.
  • Medical diagnosis involves physical examination to assess the number and severity of lesions. The psychological impact is also considered, especially for more severe acne.


At our centre we use several techniques to treat blackheads. Upon your consultation, our doctor will advise you of the best option for your individual case.


We offer a number of peels that are designed especially for spot-prone skin. Our doctor will be able to recommend the most appropriate peel depending on your skin type and condition. Our peels clear blackheads and other spots by sloughing away dead skin cells lead to fresh, healthy skin to be revealed.


Microdermabrasion produces a superficial depth of skin removal to help promote new skin cells and a healthy top layer of skin. The exfoliation process is carried out using a buffing and vacuum mechanism to remove stubborn blackheads and clear pores.

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