ZocdocAnswersAre blackheads the same thing as pimples?

Question

Are blackheads the same thing as pimples?

Are blackheads just like pimples, like are they caused by clogged pores. I have them on my nose and no matter how much I wash my face they won't go away. Why would this be? I don't know what to do.

Answer

I would recommend that you discuss this with your doctor. More specifically, it may be helpful for you to see a skin specialist known as a dermatologist. A blackhead is very much related to a pimple -- although they are slightly different. A blackhead is known as an open comedone -- which is a clogged pore. (Pore refers to the small opening in the skin where the skin excretes an oily substance to protect the skin/hair). This opening can become oxidized by the air and therefore turn black resulting in a blackhead. A pimple is related -- but this is known as a closed comedone. This is where the clogged pore becomes covered up (by skin or by a concentration of the oily substance) and thereby becomes inflamed. Therefore they are both part of the same process -- but a different end result. The nose -- given the size and type of pores often is more likely to result in blackheads. There are ways to treat both blackheads and/or pimples. As you mention, good facial hygiene is an important first step -- but this is often not enough. There are other medications which can be used. In addition, there are some substances (like foods) to avoid. Talk to a dermatologist for more information. Good luck!

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