Facts About Blackheads | Sebum Clogged Pores

Facts About Blackheads

Most of us have little black spots on our face which are very stubborn, and thus, difficult to remove. One must know that blackhead is the first and the foremost step towards acne. Therefore, in order to have clear and smooth skin, one must make sure that you remove your blackheads from time to time. However, it is not necessary that every person having blackheads will definitely have acne, but one must never take a risk in this case. There are certain other myths about blackheads which we will read further in the article. Let us learn some other facts about blackheads.

In technical terms, blackheads are known as open comedones which are basically inside the pore lining. Comedo is a Latin word for Gluttony. It was used to describe parasitic worms. A parasitic worm looks like a squeezed blackhead, therefore, it was named so. A comedone is formed when the oil glands produce excess oil and that oil gets clogged within the skin as it gets mixed up with the debris and dead cells. This mixture then moves out towards the outer layer of the skin, comes in contact with the air and gets oxidized. On oxidizing, it turns black which makes the blackheads visible on the face.

Back in the 1930s, blackheads, pimples, or oily skin was one of the biggest annoying issues. In fact, in the 1960s it was ranked as the most repulsive of all bodily reactions in some of the surveys of disgust.

Facts About Blackheads

  • Blackheads turn up repeatedly after every 20-40 days therefore, there is no permanent way to get rid of blackheads.
  • The only difference between whiteheads and blackheads is that whiteheads have a skin above the bump whereas, in the case of blackheads, there is no outer layer of the skin for protection, thus, it gets oxidized and turns into black.
  • Some studies say that dairy products or foods which can increase sugar levels can cause acne but there are possibilities that food has got no relation with acne.
  • Squeezing and scrubbing can make blackheads worse.
  • It is oxidized melanin and not dirt trapped in the skin.
  • Blackheads appear mostly on face, neck, chest, arms, shoulders, and back.
  • Blackheads are non-inflammatory i.e. they do not cause pain and discomfort.

Factors which can lead to Blackheads

  • Excessive oil production.
  • Hormonal changes leading to a change in the amount of oil production.
  • Presence of Propionibacterium Acnes bacteria on the skin.
  • Intake of heavy drugs like lithium or androgens on a regular basis.
  • Irritation caused when dead cells are not shed on a regular basis.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Improper skin care.
  • High humidity.
  • Use of pore-clogging cosmetic products.
  • Activities that open the hair follicles like shaving or waxing.

Myths about Blackheads

  • Blackheads are an accumulation of the dirt on the skin.
  • They can occur on dry skin.
  • Blackheads cannot be scrubbed away.
  • Blackheads can occur even without acne.

Prevention Measures

  • Use oil-free products
  • Exfoliate regularly
  • Cleanse twice a day


  • Over the counter Medication
  • Chemical Peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Prescribed medication
  • Laser therapy
  • Remove manually

Sebum Clogged Pores

Another fact about blackheads is that there is a very small difference between sebaceous filaments and blackheads. Sebaceous filaments are hair-like formations which help in the regulation of sebum. Everyone has these filaments as these are a natural part of the skin follicles. They help in the flowing of oil in the pores but they do not form acne as blackheads do. Sebaceous filaments are basically sebum clogged pores which are smaller in size than blackheads and they appear in groups. This filament is visible only when the lining of the pore is filled up with sebum. If the sebum in the pore lining comes in contact with the air, then it will be oxidized and turn black i.e. it will change into a blackhead.