Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do you know when a blackhead is infected?"
How do you know if a blackhead has become infected? I have a blackhead on my nose that is surrounded by a puffy, red area, and I'm beginning to worry about it. If it is infected, what is the best way to treat it in order to ease the infection?
Blackheads are a common skin problem that affects many people. If you have specific questions about this issue, you could discuss it with your dermatologist or with your primary care physician. Blackheads are a form of acne in which a skin pore becomes clogged with dead skin debris, give the pore a black texture. Blackheads are usually treated simply by keeping good skin hygiene. Occasionally, blackheads can get infected. Actually, the most common reason for infection of a blackhead is trauma - such as picking too much at the skin. For this reason the most important treatment for blackhead is not picking them, to avoid infection! Signs of an infected blackhead are similar to signs of any skin infection. They include swelling, pain, warmth, and redness at the location. Sometimes your doctor will advise you to treat a minor skin infection just by keeping the area clean and perhaps with warm water soaks. However, if the condition does not resolve, occasionally infected blackheads, like other skin infections, can require antibiotics. These antibiotics can include topical creams or even at times pills that you take by mouth. As always the diagnosis and the management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician.
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