Blackheads are open comedones that are small black bumps on the skin, they're called blackheads because the surface looks dark or black. Milia are whiteheads that are closed comedones and are small white bumps on the face. They are both a mild type of acne that usually form on the face but can also appear on the body. Blackheads on the nose tend to be more common where as Milia on the eyelid or around the eyes is regularly experienced especially during puberty.
The concern with blackheads is that when left untreated they can stretch the open pores and make them enlarged pores. Open pores on the face become more noticeable with age as we lose collagen and elastin. Open pores or large pores can make the skin texture look uneven and rough.
What causes blackheads and whiteheads
Blackheads and Milia are formed when the hair follicle become clogged with dead skin and oil. Whiteheads remain white as the skin is not broken which means the dead skin cells and oil are not exposed to the air. The pore goes black because the air exposure causes the clogged pore to oxidise forming a blackhead. Although blackhead removal and Milia removal is very tempting we strongly advise against all blackhead extractions yourself. This is because pimple popping and extractions damage to the skin and can cause long term acne scars.
How to treat blackheads and whiteheads?
The best way to treat blackheads and whiteheads are with natural acids to help breakdown and dissolve the excess oil and dead skin cells that are clogging the pore. The best blackhead remover is using natural acids and chemical peels. We love salicylic acid and often prescribe prescription strength salicylic for home use to tackle the most congested skin. A form of Vitamin A such as Retinol or prescription strength Tretinoin is also recommend to deeply exfoliate the skin and peel the skin if required to also improve large pores. Naturally these should all be combined with an SPF to protect the skin.
(see Fitzpatrick scale Blog too)
Treatments for blackheads and milia
IPL Acne treatment (only suitable for Fitzpatrick 1-4)
Skin Clear Biome
Our skin care for all skin tones: (Fitzpatrick 1-6)