A blackhead, medically known as an open comedone, is a hair follicle or pore that's clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells and sebum–an oily substance naturally secreted by your skin. “Blackheads are non-inflammatory acne lesions.
A blackhead is a blockage or plug at the top of a pore. The plug prevents oil from escaping through the pore. A sebaceous filament is a thin, hair-like structure that lines the inside of the pore and helps sebum travel to the skin's surface.
It's true. The gray or blackish speckles that dot your nose aren't necessarily blackheads. They could be sebaceous filaments, which, unlike blackheads, don't consist of the same oh-so-squeezable gunk. “Blackheads develop when a clog or plug forms in the opening of hair follicles in your skin,” notes David J.
But here's the thing: It turns out those so-called blackheads you've been dead set on eradicating may not be blackheads at all. Yep, sad but true (or maybe happy but true?) —those little spikes sticking out of your Bioré strip may actually just be sebaceous filaments.
If skin covers the comedo, it's known as a whitehead. If the comedo remains open to the air, it's a blackhead. The comedo turns black from exposure to the air. A blackhead can form from a sebaceous filament.
Complications from a blackhead
If pores are infected, the skin can become inflamed and cause acne, which is the inflammation that results from clogged pores. The pores can also become inflamed if the blackhead isn't treated. Other conditions can occur as a consequence of the inflamed tissue if you pop pimples yourself.
It can be very tempting — and satisfying — to squeeze out or pop blackheads. However, squeezing out blackheads can create several problems: You may not remove the entire blackhead. You may even push the blackhead further into your skin, which can cause painful irritation.
Sebum consists mainly of oil which is excreted by a network of tiny glands all over the body. Sometimes the sebum becomes trapped which can result in skin problems such as acne and cysts. Sebum can develop a `cheesy ` smell which is why some people have `smelly` feet.
"They're clogged pores or hair follicles that collect sebum (the natural oil that the glands on our face make), dirt, skin cells, and bacteria," she said. "They are more likely to form on the nose because the nose has lots of glands." Sarkar noted that not every black spot on your nose is a blackhead, though.
Every pore or hair follicle contains a hair, a sweat gland, and a sebaceous gland (oil gland). The oil produced from this gland is often referred to as sebum and it is how your skin gets its hydration.
Blackheads are small bumps on the skin that result from clogged hair follicles. They have dark or black surfaces and are generally very small. Blackheads are a mild form of acne and usually form on the face, especially on the nose and chin, but they can also appear on the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders.
Pores are just glorified hair follicles
Each follicle/pore contains or has the ability to grow one shaft of hair, whether that hair is visible or not.
Sebaceous filaments occur in the lining of your pores, and control the flow of sebum—or oil—in your skin. These filaments only become noticeable when your pores fill with oil and dead skin. For many people sebaceous filaments are noticeable on the nose, with many mistaking them for blackheads.
The sebum and other materials plugging your pores as sebaceous filaments can eventually become blackheads. As the pore fills, the sebum is exposed to air and turns black, becoming a blackhead. Sebaceous filaments can also be the foundation for various forms of acne, such as: papules.
The stuff you squeeze out of them is pus, which contains dead white blood cells.
Bacteria make the pore swell up and turn red. Pus, a thick, white substance made up of bacteria and white blood cells, sometimes fills the pimple.
Are Pore Vacuums Effective at Clearing Pores and Blackheads? “Pore vacuums certainly can be an effective tool in helping to regularly clear pore congestion, however they're not essential component to a skincare routine,” says Dr. Reszko.
Along with blackheads, these devices can remove oil and dirt from your skin pores as well. They are also effective in removing any residual makeup from your skin pores. You can also use blackhead remover strips specially designed for your nose to keep it free of blackheads.
Whiteheads and blackheads consist of the same material, which is typically a combination of dead skin cells, oil, and sebum. However, whiteheads are closed pores, while blackheads stay open. This key difference impacts how you should go about treating each type.
Acne conglobata (AC) occurs when acne cysts and nodules begin to grow together deep below the skin. It's a form of nodulocystic acne, a rare but serious inflammatory skin condition that primarily forms on your face, back, and chest. Over time, AC causes significant, and sometimes disfiguring, scarring.
An abscessed tooth is a severe dental infection. It occurs when the pulp inside the tooth decays. This may lead to a bacterial infection, which can result in pain, swelling, and breath that smells like feces due to a buildup of pus.
If the boil gets infected with the bacteria in the skin, it becomes an abscess filled with pus which has an unpleasant odor when it drains. It is not clear why the keratin overgrowth and follicle clogging occurs in some people, but hidradenitis is not caused by poor hygiene, nor is it contagious.
If you've ever had blackheads on your face, then you've probably noticed holes on your skin after they're removed. These are just enlarged pores, and they should heal on their own. However, if this is taking too long, then you might have a scar or loose pores. This sounds bad, but don't worry!
In fact, blood-filled pimples happen as a result of the picking or popping of a regular pimple. The forced trauma to that area of the skin not only pushes out puss — the white or yellow liquid bacteria — but also blood where the skin or pimple is infected or irritated.
Just remember to apply both by using a cotton swab or clean washcloth to avoid spreading germs from your hands to your face. What happens if you don't pop a whitehead is that it goes away on its own, usually in 3 to 7 days.