Whiteheads or commonly called as closed pores or closed comedones, are the first stage of acne. They develop when dead skin cells, sebum, bacteria etc., get clogged at the entrance of the skin and hair follicle. These are commonly present on the face as tiny, white protrusions. It occurs in both men and women. Most commonly seen during adolescent.
It is caused by hormonal imbalance which causes increase sebum production. Other reasons are OCP pills usage, familial history, anxiety, stress, pollution, extreme dry skin, foods etc.
They are most commonly seen in T-zone area of the face, chin and cheeks, chest, shoulders, upper back etc.
Treatment is done with combination of topical treatment and physical extraction procedures like:
Benzyl Peroxide: Acts as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It causes additional dryness.
Retinoids: They increase the skin cell turnover rate. They cause severe dryness with photosensitivity.
Salicylic acid: It is BHA which acts on upper layers of the skin. It is used as topical as well as chemical peel.
Other medical treatment: Azelaic acid, Resorcinol etc may be used.
Comedone extraction: When the white head becomes big then it can be extracted with help of comedone extractor.
Chemical peel: Salicylic acid peel, mandelic acid peel, glycolic acid peel can be used to remove the upper layers and to control sebum production.
LLLT: Done to prevent the bacteria to proliferate and cause the acne.
Medifacials: using advanced technology, hydrafacial and dermaclear, both help in extraction of whiteheads and blackheads.
Microdermabrasion: done to remove the superficial dead skin layer along with white heads and black heads.