Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How to get rid of a persistent whitehead?"
I have a whitehead in the middle of my forehead that just doesn't seem to be going away. It looks like a normal whitehead, but I've had it for weeks. I've tried squeezing it before, and it goes away for a little while, then just comes back. What should I do?
A whitehead is a common problem. This is medically known as a closed comedone. There are many treatments for this. I would encourage you to speak to your primary care doctor regarding this. In addition, a skin specialist, or dermatologist, can be helpful for this treatment. In general, whiteheads are part of the spectrum of acne vulgaris. Acne is a process in which the sweat glands and pores become clogged with sebum. The sebum is an oily substance used to lubricate the skin. If this remains open it can become a blackhead. If it closes off it becomes a whitehead. If it becomes infected and inflamed it can become a pimple. This is all part of the acne spectrum and therefore requires treatment specifically for acne. There are many such treatments. Some topical treatments include salicylic acid which tries to clear the dead skin covering the pores. Some antibiotic creams are also helpful. There are also stronger pill medicines that can be used--although speaking to your doctor prior to this is essential as there are many complications that can occur. Keep in mind this might not be a whitehead. Other skin tags or bump can form. See a dermatologist. Good luck!