Saturday, 28 April 2012

Q&A: What's the difference between a whitehead and a blackhead?

Q: What's the difference between a whitehead and a blackhead?

A: Your skin is covered in tiny sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum, a substance which moisturises your skin. When these get clogged with plugs of sebum and keratin, you break out and get whiteheads and blackheads, which are a type of acne that is not inflamed.

A blackhead (open comedo) is a wide plug near the surface of the skin. Because it's exposed to air, it becomes oxidised and turns a dark colour. The dark colour isn't dirt!

A whitehead (closed comedo) is made up of the same sebum and keratin, but there is only a small opening to the surface. Since it's protected from air, the plug doesn't oxidise, and stays a white colour. The difference between a proper whitehead and a pimple is that a pimple is inflamed from bacterial infection.


  1. Kinda gross but interesting!!

  2. At first I though yeah I know, the colour! Now I really know. Thanks! :)

  3. It all makes sense now!

    I have a question: Is the aspirin mask actually good for acne?

  4. i learnt something new! fantastico.

  5. Yay! Glad you all found it interesting (though a bit ick)!


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