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"Are the black dots on my face blackheads?"

ZocdocAnswersAre the black dots on my face blackheads?


Are the little black dots on my face blackheads? I'm 18 and I don't really know what to look for to identify a blackhead, but these things on my face pretty much always go away if I scrub them hard enough, which makes me think they're just spots of dirt or something.


Blackheads are one of the most common skin complaints. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Blackheads are one form of acne that is caused when pores on the skin are almost clogged off by dead skin debris. This forms little black dots, just like you describe, that concentrate on the face. The other type of acne, whiteheads, form when the pore clogs off completely allowing oils and bacteria to build up and form a white liquid. The treatment for blackheads is basically what you describe doing, which is keeping the skin clean to remove the dead skin debris. You can do this by scrubbing the skin with a mild facial soap or even with a preparation that contains microbeads, which can be more effective. If this does not work, sometimes chemical preparations that strip out the dead skin, such as benzoyl peroxide, can provide an additional layer of cleansing. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or dermatologist is advised.

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