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Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is this a normal blackhead?"

ZocdocAnswersIs this a normal blackhead?

Question

I have a blackhead on my back that's reocurring. As it is being busted it Excretes the blackhead and masses of brown Smudge that is long. There also seems to be a core stuck on the inside that will not come out. Is this a normal blackhead?

Answer

I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor. It is very difficult to determine if this is a blackhead without seeing it -- but it certainly sounds atypical. I would recommend you see your doctor for evaluation and potentially treatment. Even if this is a blackhead -- the fact that it is recurring and troubling you means that it should be treated. If necessary, your doctor may refer you to a skin specialist known as a dermatologist. A blackhead, or as its medically known a comedone, is when a pore in the skin gets clogged with the natural oil of the skin (known as sebum). This is related to a pimple, but simply a different stage of evolution. A blackhead is based on a pore -- so is a relatively small defect in the skin. If it is large, this is unlikely a blackhead. Also, blackheads can recur, but not often in the exact same spot. That being said the back is a common location. In addition, the core you speak of is likely the sebum from a blackhead. This requires evaluation and eventual treatment. Other possibilities such as skin infection or cancer should be ruled out. This very well could be a folliculitis or skin abscess. Talk to your doctor.

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