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.
Comedones are small, flesh-colored, white, or dark bumps that give skin a rough texture. The bumps are caused by acne. They are found at the openin...
Related conditions include:
Blackheads can be treated with creams that contain salicylic acid or tretinoin. They can be removed by a skin doctor.
Habif TP. Acne, rosacea, and related disorders. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 7.
Patterson JW. Diseases of cutaneous appendages. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2016:chap 15.
Blackheads (comedones) - illustration
Blackheads, or open comedones, are common in acne. Clogged hair follicles reflect light irregularly to produce this black hue.
Review Date: 10/31/2016
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.