Acne blackheads are small, dark spots (about the size of a pinhead) caused by discoloration of the surface of a small plug in the opening of a follicle (pore). The acne blackheads are open and dark in color. Blackheads are follicles that have a wider than normal opening due to the large amount of clogged sebum. They are filled with plugs of sebum and sloughed off cells and have undergone a chemical reaction resulting in the oxidation of melanin. This gives the acne prone material in the follicle the typical black color that could lead to an acne eruption and scarring. This black color is due to melanin pigment and not always dirt and sebum oil. Squeezing a blackhead often leads to the acne irritation and potential scarring causing permanent signs of acne. Blackheads can be more numerous on the face and shoulders than acne red bumps filled with pus.
Whiteheads are like blackheads, but do not have an opening to the skin surface to allow air to reach the follicle and oxidize it. Good consistent acne skin hygiene and Acne-Ltd can help prevent acne blackheads and whiteheads.