Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are blackheads bad for your health?"
I have blackheads on my nose and face. I know that their just clogged pores, but can bad skin be bad for your body? Like your overall health?
Absolutely not! Blackheads are simply, as you said, pores in the skin that have become filled with dead skin, bacteria, and other debris including natural skin oils. The black color is caused by a chemical reaction between this debris and the oxygen in the air. Although blackheads can be cosmetically unpleasing, they don't represent a serious medical problem that you need to worry about! That being said, you shouldn't have to live with them! There are many effective treatments that you can use to help clear them up. I would suggest starting with a simple skin care regimen if you are not currently doing anything. This might include a daily wash with a facial soap and maybe an exfoliating regimen. If this doesn't work, the next step up would be to add a 'comedonolytic.' Comedonolytics are chemicals that help to strip away the debris clogging the pores, and they including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which are both found in multiple over the counter acne preparations. If these strategies don't work, then it would be time to see your primary care doctor or your dermatologist, who can recommend other, stronger prescription medications to help you clear up this skin problem!