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What Are the Treatments for Blackheads & Whiteheads?

What Are the Treatments for Blackheads & Whiteheads? What Are the Treatments for Blackheads & Whiteheads?

People of all ages can suffer from blackheads and whiteheads. Hormones can cause the oil glands to overproduce oil. When the excess oil cannot all escape to the surface of the skin, the pores may become clogged, resulting in blackheads or whiteheads. Although persistent acne may require a doctor's intervention, there are many treatment options that can be used right at home.

Face Wash

The Mayo Clinic website encourages acne sufferers to wash the face two times a day with a gentle face wash. The cleanser should be oil free so that it does not further clog pores. Avoid scrubs, masks and toners because they can irritate the skin. Refrain from washing more than twice a day. Over-cleansing can strip the skin of its natural moisture and cause irritation--leading to more blackheads and whiteheads. Make sure to remove make up every night before bed. Cosmetics, especially creamy ones, can clog the pores.

Topical Medications

The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a topical medication to treat whiteheads and blackheads. Many topical medications contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Both are good acne fighters. After washing face, wait five to 15 minutes before applying an acne medication. Applying medication to soon may cause irritation and create future pimples. An acne sufferer must be consistent and give the medication time to work. It can take around four to eight weeks before improvement is noticed. Virtually clear skin can take six months or more to achieve.


Sometimes even whiteheads and blackheads are persistent enough to seek the care of a dermatologist or doctor. The American Academy of Family Physicians says a dermatologist can decide the best course of treatment. He may choose prescription-strength acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide, sulfur medications or washes or retinoids. Retinoids derive from vitamin A and come in the form of creams, liquids or gels. Topical antibiotics like erythromycin may also be prescribed. Antibiotics work by actually killing the bacteria that causes acne. A dermatologist may even use a combination of these treatments to fight comedonal acne.

Protect the Skin

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person suffering from blackheads and whiteheads can treat acne by only using oil-free and noncomedogenic makeup and facial products. Be careful of watch touches the face. Hands, phones, hats and hair can all leave oil on the skin that may clog pores. Refrain from popping or picking at white or blackheads. This can spread infection, creating more acne and may even lead to scaring.

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