What are black dots?

Blackheads are the result of blockage of hair follicles by skin cells and a material called tallow , which is naturally secreted by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is excreted in much larger amounts as children reach their teens, accounting for red pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. These blockages are very similar to whiteheads, but the main difference lies in the fact that the follicles involved are larger and remain open.

When an open pore becomes blocked with dead skin cells and sebum, this material is exposed to the air and begins to oxidize. This causes the material to discolor and turn black, resulting in blackheads. Whiteheads, on the other hand, are covered by a small amount of skin that prevents this oxidation, so they remain white.

Both blackheads and whiteheads are also called comedones , which are essentially hair follicle plugs. They are also called open comedones closed comedones, respectively. They tend to be more prevalent on the skin of the face, neck, and chest, although technically anywhere one has hair follicles can produce these blemishes.

Using a good scrub, which helps clean dead skin material from your pores, can often reduce the number of blackheads. In addition, an astringent can help reduce the oil excreted from the pores, which tends to block skin material and form these annoying plugs. Most dermatologists recommend having blockages removed professionally, as improper removal can lead to scarring of the skin. However, over time, most people can remove them simply by using daily exfoliation and daily application of astringent.

As with all pimples, some blackheads are stubborn and may not respond to over-the-counter medications or treatments. In these cases, dermatologists may prescribe medications that help remove dead skin so fewer plugs form. Teenagers and adults who have some blackheads are certainly not alone. About 85% of teenagers suffer from one form of acne or another.

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