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Blackheads

Open comedones

Blackheads are tiny, dark spots on the skin. They are caused by a small plug in the opening of a follicle (pore). Blackheads are also called open comedones.

Related conditions include:

Considerations

Blackheads can be treated with creams that contain salicylic acid or tretinoin. They can be removed by a skin doctor.

References

Dinulos JGH. Acne, rosacea, and related disorders. In: Dinulos JGH, ed. Habif's Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide in Diagnosis and Therapy. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 7.

James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM. Acne. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach, MA, Neuhaus IM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 13.

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  • Blackheads (comedones) - illustration

    Blackheads, or open comedones, are common in acne. Clogged hair follicles reflect light irregularly to produce this black hue.

    Blackheads (comedones)

    illustration

  • Blackheads (comedones) - illustration

    Blackheads, or open comedones, are common in acne. Clogged hair follicles reflect light irregularly to produce this black hue.

    Blackheads (comedones)

    illustration

 

Review Date: 10/10/2020

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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