What is the cause of whiteheads?

What Causes Whiteheads? 

While they can cause great stress, whiteheads are nothing to be too worried about. Their formation is similar to that of blackheads—dead skin cells plug the opening of pores. But whiteheads are even more common.

Whiteheads are most often found on the face—particularly the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead—but can appear anywhere on the body, especially in areas with a lot of hair follicles.

Whiteheads are caused when dead cells block the pores, creating a sticky situation. They also occur when oily dirt is trapped inside pores. The buildup is bound to make its way out of the pore, even if it takes a few days.

With many products available nowadays that claim to reduce the appearance of whiteheads, it is important to understand the causes so you can take the best approach to tackle this common skin concern. In this article, we shall be discussing some of the causes of whiteheads.

The main reason for the formation of whiteheads is the clogging of the pores on the skin surface. This problem can be caused due to a combination of factors including the following:

  1. Improper hygiene: Dirt and bacteria lie on our skin and when one does not cleanse properly, this leads to a build-up of toxins and dead skin cells around the pores leading to clogging. People who do not wash their face regularly or thoroughly are more prone to this condition.
  1. Using dirty towels: Wiping your face with a towel that has been used previously by someone else can lead to the spread of infection and bacteria from one person to another. It can also lead to acne breakouts.
  1. Using too much makeup: Many people use too much makeup on their face which clogs up their pores and leads to acne problems.
  1. Excessive dead skin cell production: Dead skin cell production can increase for various reasons such as stress, hormonal changes (e.g. at puberty), acne treatments (like salicylic acid, retinol) or using products that are too rich or heavy (e.g. creams with oil).

Whiteheads & Blackheads

There are many common issues that we come across while we start our daily routine. This includes common issues like pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. You might be using different creams and lotions for the treatment of such issues but you don't get the result for that. So, it is important to understand such issues and how to get rid of these issues.

The blackhead is the most common type of acne. It appears when a tiny hair follicle (opening) in your skin clogs up with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells (called squames). The pressure from the sebum being trapped builds up until the tiny glands are completely blocked. This causes them to swell up. The result is a black or dark coloured spot on the skin, which is actually the enlarged sebaceous gland.

The whitehead is similar, but not quite the same. A whitehead is very similar to a blackhead, except that it does not have a black/dark appearance. Instead, it looks milky or white. This is because only the sebum has gotten trapped, not dead skin cells.

Whiteheads look different to blackheads because they are caused by oily skin, usually on the teenage face, while blackheads are caused by older people who get older and use make-up.

So now that we know what they are and how they work, how do we treat them?

Blackheads: To treat blackheads, we need to gently remove them using a chemical exfoliator.

How to Get Rid of Whiteheads?

Unfortunately, squeezing a whitehead will only worsen the situation as the pore is being damaged from the outside instead of from within - this can cause further pain and inflammation as well as scarring.

It is also best not to scrub the area to get rid of whiteheads because it can cause redness or irritation. If you are looking for a safe way to get rid of whiteheads, you should try using a facial steamer.

The facial steamer helps clean out dirt and oil while also killing bacteria that causes whiteheads while also reducing swelling. Another good tip on how to get rid of whiteheads is to use a headband to hold back your hair when exercising so it won't fall over your face.

Another important rule in getting rid of whiteheads in the morning is to control the amount of stress. No need to go too hard in the morning with an active schedule, all for you or someone else. You can go with a book in the park if it suits you, look for a piece of music, relax in front of your favourite TV series, just do not allow yourself to succumb to stress.

Next rule when getting rid of whiteheads before bed - no alcohol, drugs or cigarettes! All these products are extremely harmful to the skin and body.

The last tip is to avoid touching your face with your hands frequently as we touch and feel numerous things throughout the day which makes our hands full of germs and bacteria. So it is extremely important to limit touching our face with unclean hands.

Never Squeeze Whiteheads

Skin infections could actually occur if you try to squeeze a whitehead or any pimples, but especially whiteheads. The infection is caused by the surrounding bacteria and the usual outcome, skin inflammation. Due to this, the skin surrounding the whitehead would become red and inflamed. The pus-filled pimple will then be surrounded by this redness making it look bigger and much more noticeable than it really is. It may seem like a great idea to squeeze a whitehead to get rid of it, but if you do so, you'll be left with a bigger problem as opposed to a smaller one.

In addition, it can cause side effects such as scarring if given enough time. This is because it opens up the pore, thereby allowing bacteria to go deeper into your skin.

Folliculitis is a common skin condition caused by bacteria in an infected hair follicle. It looks like a small red bump that quickly swells into a red, tender lump. After a few days, a yellowish crust forms, then a small hole in the center. The draining pus can spread the infection to other hairs in the follicle, causing more whiteheads. Be sure to treat any existing folliculitis with antibiotic ointments such as bacitracin or Neosporin and avoid picking or squeezing any bumps or lesions.

Take Away

The whitehead can be easily seen on the face, especially around the nose area. They are similar to blackheads although they contain no hair. Whiteheads are actually an acne condition caused by dirt and oil buildup beneath the skin.

Never try to pop a whitehead. Squeezing or picking can cause inflammation, infection and scarring. So instead of squeezing a whitehead, you can use a product that clears your pores without causing you any further harm.