The medical term for whiteheads is closed comedones. These are small, whitish or flesh-colored spots or bumps. They usually have a white, circular center surrounded by a red halo.

The skin around a whitehead may appear to be tight or wrinkled, especially when the whitehead is large or especially raised.


Causes of Whiteheads

Clogged Pores

Clogged pores are the main cause of whiteheads. Your pores can become blocked for several reasons. Certain life stages can increase the amount of sebum or oil, your pores produce. The increased oil production causes clogged pores and whiteheads.


Most cases of whiteheads come about during puberty, when hormonal changes cause an increase in the production of sebum. The brain releases a GnRH hormone, which tells the oil glands found beneath the skin to produce more oil. As excess sebum fills up the pores, the skin is unable to completely expel dead skin cells and bacteria, resulting in blocked follicles.


Parents with a history of acne are likely to have children who struggle with the same skin condition. Genetics can impact your inflammatory response; some may respond to bacteria with a stronger inflammatory reaction than others, which could affect the severity of acne.

Hormonal Changes

Many women also find that the appearance of whiteheads and other forms of acne worsen during their menstrual cycle. As estrogen decreases, progesterone levels increase, signalling the glands to produce more oil. Other hormonal causes of whiteheads also include pregnancy, menopause, or birth control pills.


Treatment of whiteheads

Salicylic Acid is a trusted skincare ingredient for whiteheads and acne-prone skin. This beta-hydroxy acid which is incorporated in our Hydrafacial treatment, helps reduce blemishes, promote exfoliation and can also control the amount of oil your skin produces.