What Causes Blackheads?

Why do some people get blackheads? Here's what you need to know. Care for your skin properly to avoid getting blackheads, and learn to remove them.

Blackheads: Symptoms, Causes, and Acne Treatments

Blackheads are tiny bumps on your skin that occur when the hair follicle becomes clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. Many people assume that the black color of this lesion is dirt, but that’s not the case at all. When the pore remains open, the melanin in our skin oxidizes which gives it a blackish color.

It is one of the mildest forms of acne which makes it easier to remove, but blackheads do have a tendency to keep returning. In this article, we will discuss the common causes of blackheads along with treatments that can help you bid them goodbye forever.

Different Causes of Blackheads

What exactly causes blackheads? Let's take a look.


If you are in the growing stage, the main cause for your blackheads is most likely puberty. Due to hormonal changes, there is an increase in sebum production in the skin. A male sex hormone, androgen adds like a trigger for sebum production. Boys and girls going through puberty have naturally higher levels of androgens in their bodies.

Hormonal Changes

This is probably one of the most common causes of acne in general. When there is excess sebum production in our skin then it can lead to hormonal acne which includes blackheads. If you genetically have higher hormones that cause blackheads then that can be a reason, too.


When you are pregnant, you can either have great, glowing skin or not. There are some women who experience acne for the very first time during their pregnancy. Again, the main reason here is the changing hormones which cause an increase in androgen. Also, there are more toxic fluids retained in the body that can give rise to blackheads

Excessive Sweating

Acne can be caused by excessive sweating or heat that leads to the production of yeast on the skin. This type of acne is known as Pityrosporum Folliculitis. This is one of the main reasons why it is advised to take a bath as soon as you are done practicing or exercising.

The hair on Your Face

It’s very important for you to keep your hair off your face at all times. Our hair follicles have a natural tendency to become greasy with time. This greasy hair can spread P.acnes bacteria that stimulate the growth of blackheads on our face and back. If you have long hair, it’s better to keep the hair tied in a high ponytail.

Too Much Stress

Although stress is not a direct cause, it can expedite the appearance of blackheads on your skin. Research has found that high stress can lead to increased secretion of cortisol and androgens in our skin that can cause acne. So for your skin, you literally need to take a chill pill.

Different Treatments for Blackheads Removal

If you suffer from blackheads, don't worry — there are many ways to treat and prevent them.

Removal by Dermatologists

You can visit experienced and reputable dermatologists for your blackhead woes. They usually make a small cut on the blackhead and then use a round loop extractor to unclog the pores removing the blackhead.

Prescription Acne Medications

Depending on the severity, dermatologists can prescribe stronger medication is that contain vitamins to curb blackheads. You may also get topicals containing benzoyl peroxide, adapalene, and tazarotene to unclog your pores.

Over-the-counter Treatments

Acne medication containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide can be used as a spot treatment to curb blackheads. The main focus of these is to control excess oil secretion, kill bacteria and remove dead skin cells.


Here, skincare professionals use special instruments with a rough end on the top layer of your skin. The gentle friction helps to unclog the pores and remove blackheads.

Laser Therapy

This involves the use of intense light and laser therapies to control oil production on the skin and simultaneously killing bacteria. The amazing thing here is that the light beams penetrate below the skin surface to treat acne and blackheads without damaging the epidermis layer.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels help to remove dead skin cells that block the hair follicles causing blackheads. A strong chemical solution (peel) is applied to the skin. This peel will facilitate the gradual removal of the top layers of the skin revealing newer and healthier skin. It is advisable to consult a dermatologist before you proceed with this. Also, if you have sensitive skin it's better to avoid this.

Resources— HealthlineBioclarity

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