ZocdocAnswersWhat helps clear clogged pores of blackheads and whiteheads?

Question

What helps clear clogged pores of blackheads and whiteheads?

I'd like to get rid of my blackheads with one of those pore-cleansing strips, but I'm afraid that they would tear off my whiteheads as well, which I just want to leave alone and not irritate. Is there a good way to clear them all?

Answer

Acne is one of the most common medical problems and people commonly seek medical advice for treating it. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you in greater detail include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Acne is caused by dead skin and other debris clogging pores on the face. Blackheads occur when the pores are clogged open, allowing the debris to blacken in the air. Whiteheads occur when the pores are clogged closed, allowing white blood cells, bacteria, and skin oils to build up creating a thick white fluid. Both whiteheads and blackheads can be treated the same, by focusing on removing and preventing skin debris buildup. Using a daily facial soap is the most important step. Following this many people add an exfoliating preparation, such as one containing microbeads. This can be followed in most cases with a comedonolytic (debris removing) treatment. The most common over the counter comedonolytic is benzoyl peroxide, which is found in many products. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist might be advised.

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

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