What Is a Whitehead?

What Is a Whitehead?
What Is a Whitehead? (Image: http://www.acne-treatment-answers.com/images/Whitehead.jpg)

Whiteheads are formed by skin oil and cells that gather and harden on the face. These are formed when the sebaceous glands secrete excessive sebum. The excess oils find their way outside the skin through sebaceous follicles and, combined with cells that have flaked down from around these passages, settle on the follicle ends, becoming a plug,(comedo) that blocks the skin pores.The continuous flow of oils and dead cells accumulate and fill the follicles at bulging point showing up on the surface of the skin as tiny, whitish dots called whiteheads.


Whiteheads are usually seen as tiny, white spots in pearllike pattern in the vicinities of the cheekbones and nose.They can sometimes seem invisible to the naked eye.


Whiteheads and other skin conditions usually manifest themselves among the youth going through puberty when the sebaceous glands are at their most active. This attributed to the growth and prevalence of the hormone androgen both in males and females of puberty age. The androgens' excess levels encourage the enlargement of the sebaceous glands and the overproduction of the sebaceous oil, sebum.

Prevention/solution using chemicals

The beginning of the formation of whiteheads may be prevented and or controlled with regular facial cleansing. Washing of the face must be done daily -- once in the morning and once before going to bed. An oil-free cleanser may be used for a more thorough cleaning. Exfoliants are also advised to be used once a week to remove whiteheads that have formed and prevent the growth of new ones. Masks and peels are only two of a number of skin-cleaning therapies used nowadays. A homemade- scrub of oatmeal can also help reach a state of whitehead-free face.

Other medications for more serious cases are salicylic acid, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and topical and oral antibiotics. In the most severe cases, surgery may be the only solution.

Prevention/solution the natural ways

Natural ways are also often recommended for the prevention of whiteheads. This includes the intake of lots of water and other natural fluids. This allows the skin to get enough moisture for circulation and cleansing. Ample supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts (in moderation) everyday will insure the presence of essential vitamins and minerals in the body. A natural daily body detoxifier is warm water with lemon juice.

Facial pastes and packs for the treatment of whiteheads can be concocted at home. Roasted and powdered pomegranate skin mixed with lime juice can be made into paste and applied in the infected area of the face, Other pastes that can easily be mixed are sandalwood and rosewater, groundnut oil with fresh lime juice,

Herbal, natural cosmetics

Those having skin problems should avoid cosmetics containing harsh ingredients. When needed, they should choose herbal products instead. These are now readily available in skin care counters and stores.

Less stress

Stress triggers hormonal imbalance. Simple daily physical exercise may help reduce stress and insure normal body circulation thus a healthier skin less prone to whiteheads.

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