Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How round are blackheads?"
Are blackheads always round? The area on the bridge and sides of my nose is always a problem, but now I'm starting to get these deep, dark blackheads. One spot has something that looks like a blackhead, but it's more stretched out and pointed than a normal one. Is this probably something different, or just a weird blackhead?
Blackheads are one of the most common skin problems, and at times they require medical evaluation and treatment. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Blackheads are a type of acne which are caused by clogging open of skin pores, usually on the face, by dead skin debris. Usually these blackheads are uniformly round and look similar to each other. However, occasionally, the blackheads can become very distended if the clogging of the pore is greater than usual. This may give them a different appearance such as you describe. The best way to test this possibility is by treating the area like the other usual blackheads. If it is a black head, it will respond to the same normal treatments. One other possibility is that this dark spot is a mole, not a blackhead. If it is larger and raised, this possibility is more likely. Rarely, moles can become melanoma, a form of skin cancer. If the area is greater than 6 mm, has irregular borders, multiple colors, or growing rapidly it should be check out soon. As always the diagnosis and the management of your specific skin condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is recommended.
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