What are Blackheads?

BlackheadsQuite simply one of your little pores that has filled with sebum and turned black.  

They look like either a slightly raised bump or can also be flat looking like lots of black dots on the skin. They are also called an open comedone. They make your face look dirty and unloved.

A medical practioner may describe a Blackhead as the beginnings of acne because it is the first stage of oil and bacteria gathering in the pores.   If left this will grow and take over the pore and  can result in inflammation and then infection. The next stage is a spot, a pimple or zit and in worst cases acne starts.  although it is usually in conjunction with hormone changes at puberty.

Read our take on What causes Acne?

Ordinarily Blackheads appear when the skin is producing too much oil  if it’s not cleansed off in a timely fashion. The usual factor here is puberty when there are more hormones in the skin. More hormones jumping and racing around means a stimulation of the glands (sebaceous)  that produce oil. 

This can also happen in later life leading up to and during menopause again when your hormones go a little crazy again.

So excess oils in your skin mean that pores fill up with sebum and when that sebum oxidises and mixes with any dirt and grim on the face a ball forms which in turn goes black – yet another Blackhead.

Even if you have dry skin an unwanted little blackhead can arrive – they are however more common in people with oily skin, and don’t knock that as oily skin ages more slowly!