What are Blackheads?
Blackheads are small bumps that appear on your skin due to clogged hair follicles. These bumps are called “blackheads” because the surface looks dark or black. Blackheads are a mild type of acne that usually form on the face, but they can also appear on the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders
Symptoms of Blackheads?
Blackheads are easy to spot on the skin because of their dark color. They are slightly raised, although they are not painful because they are not inflamed like pimples. Pimples form when bacteria invade the blockage in the hair follicle, causing redness and inflammation.
Causes of blackheads
[Excess sebum in the hair follicle]Blackheads are a symptom of acne, a skin condition in which the pores of the skin become blocked
Blackheads form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. Each follicle contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil, called sebum, which helps keep your skin soft. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump called a comedone. If the skin over the bump stays closed, the bump is called a whitehead. When the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black and a blackhead forms.
- The open comedone exposes this plug of sebum to the air, resulting in oxidation of the oily, waxy substance, turning it a black color.
- Hormonal change during puberty is the most common trigger for excess sebum production. Less common are changes due to menstrual periods, Pregnancy and birth control pills.1,5
- The male sex hormone androgen triggers greater secretion of sebum and higher turnover of skin cells, and its production surges in both boys and girls during adolescence.1,5
- An excess of androgen hormones in adult women may increase the risk of blackheads and other forms of acne, as well as hirsutism (excessive hair growth). Androgen disorders are also linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), with some evidence that acne is more likely in people with PCOS. 15
In our next post, we would be looking at Other factors involved in acne and the formation of blackheads and also how to prevent Blackheads.