Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do blackheads form around the lips?"
Why do I get so many blackheads around my lips? I'm a 24 year old guy and it's extremely frustrating because that's such a visible place. Is it because I'm doing something wrong like touching my mouth too much or eating greasy foods?
Unfortunately, blackheads are one of the most common medical problems, and it is unlikely that they are related to what you are eating or frequent touching of your mouth. They are more likely related to your particular skin chemistry and hormone levels. Luckily, there are solutions that you can use. All blackheads, including those around the mouth, form when skin pores become clogged open by dead skin and other debris, leading to a wide open pore filled with black material. The solution is to clean out and prevent this buildup of debris. To start with, you can use a facial soap every day to clean off the skin. You can also use an exfoliating preparation or scrub to remove extra dead skin cells and other debris. If these two strategies do not work, then the next step is to add a comedonolytic (debris removing) chemical. The two most common comedonolytics available in over the counter preparations are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Multiple brands of acne treatments contain these agents. If you have tried all of this with no luck, then you should set up a visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist who can prescribe stronger medications.
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