ZocdocAnswersCan whiteheads on feet be filled with blood?

Question

Can whiteheads on feet be filled with blood?

Sometimes I have bumps on my face that appear to be whiteheads, but if I clean them out, they turn out to be full of blood. Is that typical for a whitehead, or does the presence of a lot of blood signify that they aren't whiteheads at all?

Answer

Whiteheads and other forms of acne are one of the most common skin conditions. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Whiteheads are a form of acne that occurs when a skin pore is mostly blocked by dead skin debris, allowing for natural skin oils, the bacteria that feed off of them, as well as immune cells ("pus") to form behind the blockage. This gives the whitehead its typical white appearance. When you 'clean out' a whitehead by squeezing it, you are essentially just applying enough pressure that the blockage pops out and the white liquid can drain. However, when you apply this pressure, you are also damage this skin and tissue around and under the whitehead with the pressure. This results in the rupture of small blood vessels, and it causes the whitehead to fill with blood. The best strategy for deal with whiteheads is good hygiene and facial treatments to remove skin debris. On the other hand, squeezing usually just traumatizes the skin and can also lead to infection or scarring. As always the diagnosis and the management of your specific skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist might be recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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