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Whiteheads: Causes And Treatment

Guide to get rid of Whiteheads: Causes And Treatment

Before we delve into how to treat and control Whiteheads, let’s understand what they are and why do they occur. Read on! 


What are whiteheads?

Just like Blackheads, Whiteheads are also a type of Comedonal acne. While both are a result of clogged pores, with blackhead the pore remains open and with whitehead the pore remains closed. That is why a Whitehead is also referred to as ‘closed comedo’. 

Whiteheads occur when hair follicles get clogged with sebum, dead skin cells, grime and bacteria without opening the pore. The head is usually of pale yellow or white color, hence the name! It is commonly noticed on the face, neck, back and shoulders however, they can also appear on parts of the body that are prone to friction. 

Whiteheads are a mild form of acne and do not usually cause inflammation. If you encounter tender, inflamed bumps looking like a whitehead, it is likely to be a ‘Papule’ with pus at the tip. 


What causes Whiteheads?

Whiteheads are essentially closed clogged pores. Now, let’s have a look at all probable causes of clogged pores that lead to whiteheads. 

  • Hormonal changes - the primary cause for any form of acne are hormonal imbalances that are usually triggered at puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Extreme hormonal changes can alter sebum/oil production and potentially clog the pores.
  • Genetics - Studies have shown that genetics also play a major role in developing various types of acne including whiteheads.
  • Dead skin cells buildup - when the dead skin cells are not regularly shed off, they tend to clog the pores along with the sebum and grime. 
  • Improper cleansing - when exposed to dust and environmental aggressors on a regular basis, it becomes imperative to deep cleanse the skin especially at night to help skin repair itself. 

How to remove Whiteheads

Here are some quick remedies and lifestyle changes one can try to remove whiteheads and control their recurrence - 

  • Facial Steam 
    Steam is an easy and effective way to and get rid of whiteheads. It helps to soften the skin and open up the pores. Take steam once or twice a week for 5 - 10 mins till you feel the pores have opened up. Rinse the face with lukewarm water and gently wipe away the whiteheads and dead skin cells using a soft towel.
  • Oatmeal Scrub 
    Regular exfoliation with a gentle scrub can help gently cleanse the pores. Take 2 tsp oatmeal, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp non-comedogenic carrier oil like Hemp seed oil or Argan oil. Make a smooth paste and apply on the whiteheads prone area. Let it rest till its semi - dry. Gently scrub to cleanse the pores and wash with lukewarm water. You can use this scrub once or twice a week. Patch test is highly recommended.
  • Neem Leaves and Turmeric Spot Masking
    Make a paste of neem leaves and add a pinch of organic turmeric. Apply on the affected area and let it sit for 15 to 20 mins. This helps purify and deep cleanse the pores. You can apply this for spot masking 3 to 4 times a week. Patch test is highly recommended.
  • Besan and Sunflower oil Mask
    Take 3 tsp of Besan (chickpea powder) and add cold pressed sunflower oil to make a smooth paste. apply on the whiteheads prone area. Let it rest till its semi - dry. Gently scrub to cleanse the pores and wash with lukewarm water. This mask helps deeply cleanse the skin and sunflower oil nourishes the skin. You can use this scrub once or twice a week. Patch test is highly recommended.
  • Used green tea bags 
    Do not throw away your used green tea bags. Apply them on whiteheads prone areas and let them do their magic for 5 to 7 minutes. Antioxidant rich green tea helps soothe the skin and improves texture. Patch test is highly recommended.

    If one gets occasional whiteheads then the above home remedies come handy. However, if it is a severe case of whiteheads, we recommend consulting a dermatologist and following a proper treatment under professionals guidance. 

Here are some lifestyle changes that help reduce occurrence of whiteheads - 

  • DO NOT touch your face often 
    Our hands come in touch with a lot of objects and are a carrier of dirt, germs and other unwanted components. Therefore it is best to avoid touching the face often with unsanitized hands.
  • Use non-comedogenic skincare products 
    Certain skin types are more prone to clogged pores and if whiteheads pay you a visit quite often then it is best to opt for non-comedogenic products that do not further clog up your pores.
  • Regularly cleanse tools / gadgets that directly come in contact with the skin
    Use of Dirty makeup tools or dirty phone screens and other gadgets are another major cause of clogged skin. 
  • Use clean laundry!
    It is very important to ensure that you use clean towels, pillow cases and basically everything that comes in touch with your skin regularly.

While the above home remedies and lifestyle changes help to a great extent, following a proper skincare regime must not be compromised. 


Skin Care Routine for Whiteheads with Juicy Chemistry - 

  1. Gentle and Purifying Cleanser - Cleansing is the most important step of your skincare routine. If skin is prone to whiteheads, then pick a cleanser that detoxifies the pores and is rich in antibacterial properties like our certified organic Tea Tree, Neem and Rosemary Cold Pressed Soap or Hemp, Tea Tree and Neem Liquid Organic Face Wash
  2. Pick the right toner - toner helps regulate sebum production, tighten pores and maintain skin's pH. Enriched with antibacterial properties, our certified organic Australian Tea Tree and Basil Toner does it all!
  3. Regularly exfoliate - exfoliation is recommended once or twice a week. Now you may stick to the above DIY options or get one of our certified organic face scrubs as per your skin type. Take steam beforehand to soften the skin to help the scrub perform better. (PS: always exfoliate with wet fingers exercising least pressure)
  4. Mask it up! - masking can really help deep cleanse the pores and dig out all the excess sebum, grime and dead skin cells. Try our certified organic Kakadu Plum, Matcha and Blood Orange Face Mask to not just keep away the whiteheads but also get back your glow!
  5. Non - comedogenic Moisturizer / Facial Oil - your skin needs all the moisture you can give to it but you have to ensure the ingredients are non - comedogenic. You can try our non - pore clogging Saffron And Red Raspberry Facial Oil or even  cold pressed carrier oils like ArganHemp or Rosehip

Frequently Asked Questions!

  • Is it okay to pop whiteheads? 
    No matter how tempting it might seem, DO NOT pop whiteheads or any form of acne for that matter. It may lead to scarring or even enhance inflammation.
  • Is it okay to use oils if skin is prone to whiteheads?
    Yes. Many oils are light-weight and non-comedogenic like Hemp seed, Argan and Rosehip. They nourish and replenish the skin without clogging the pores.
  • How long does it take for whiteheads to go?
    Whiteheads are a mild form of acne. They usually go away on their own over a span of a few days or weeks. However, if they seem to be persistent and keep recurring, we recommend consulting a dermatologist. 

References - 

https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(12)00164-8/fulltext
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16484821/

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