What's the Difference Between a Blackhead and a Whitehead?

Blackheads and whiteheads might look different, but they have similar causes, and you can treat both at once.

Acne is acne, whether your spots are black, white, or red. But understanding the difference between various types of acne can better equip you to combat the problem and prevent future breakouts. Blackheads and whiteheads are ultimately caused by the same thing, but the two forms of acne produce different skin reactions.


What's the Difference Between a Blackhead and a Whitehead?


Blackheads vs Whiteheads: What's the Difference?


Both blackheads and whiteheads occur when oil, dead skin, and bacteria become trapped in your skin's tiny pores. With blackheads, the pore remains open, so the material is exposed to the air and changes colour. The scientific name for a blackhead is 'open comedone'.

Whiteheads occur when debris gets trapped in a pore. But unlike with blackheads, the material in a whitehead does not stretch the pore. The pore closes over the plug, creating a white or yellow bump. Scientists refer to whiteheads as 'closed comedones'.

You can easily differentiate blackheads from whiteheads by their appearance. Blackheads appear black or brown, like enlarged, 'dirty' pores. Whiteheads are closed pores that typically have either a head or a clear covering.

 

What's the Difference Between a Blackhead and a Whitehead?


Can Blackheads and Whiteheads Be Treated the Same Way?


Both blackheads and whiteheads occur when oil, bacteria, dirt, sweat, and other substances get trapped in your pores. The only difference between the two blemishes is that blackheads remain open, while whiteheads are closed.

Thus, blackheads can be effectively treated with products that reach directly into the pores, such as blackhead strips, while whiteheads cannot. Because most people with acne have both blackheads and whiteheads, you can improve your skin and save money by using products that treat both issues.

Wash your face daily, and never sleep or exercise while wearing makeup. If you tend to sweat a lot, rinse your face with cold water after sweating, but never cleanse more than twice a day. Gentle exfoliation can help remove trapped oil and dead skin. ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub is an excellent and nonirritating choice for acne-prone skin.

Increase the power of your daily cleansing routine by using a spot treatment designed to unclog pores. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Plus: Corrective and Unclogging Care is an effective and skin-friendly option.

 

What's the Difference Between a Blackhead and a Whitehead?