Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are all of these little black dots on my nose?"
I have black dots that cover my nose. They are small and you can't even see them unless you get really close but I would like to get rid of them. What are they?
Those small black dots that you are noticing are a form of acne, known as "blackheads" or "open comedones." They occur when pores on the skin become clogged open with dead skin, oil, bacteria, and other debris. Most simple cases of blackheads are easy to manage. The basic principle involves cleaning out the pores and preventing them from becoming clogged again. One strategy that can work is daily facial cleansing and gentle exfoliation. If this is not sufficient, you may need to add a comedonolytic, which is a type of chemical that can be used to strip debris off of the surface of the skin. Commonly used comedonolytics include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.These can be found in many over the counter acne preparations, and they are also available as prescriptions from your doctor. The next step up from these simple remedies definitely requires a visit to see either your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. There are multiple stronger anti acne medications that can be prescribed, if you and your doctor decide that that is what is needed. Start by making an appointment with your doctor today. I hope you find a satisfactory solution to this problem soon!
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