How to Deal With Whiteheads

by Jonathan Croswell ; Updated July 18, 2017

Washing your face regularly is one of the best ways to deal with whiteheads.

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Whiteheads are easily identifiable blemishes caused by acne. They are created when a skin pore is completely blocked by the oils of your skin. They are not as resilient as blackheads but still can disrupt your complexion. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help treat these whiteheads and expedite the healing process. But you also should be careful not to create a new open wound on the skin, providing an entry point for bacteria and other contaminants that may worsen your acne.

Wash your skin twice daily with soap and water. Pat dry. This will keep the skin clean, preventing buildup on whiteheads; it also can dislodge whiteheads over time.

Use noncomedogenic cosmetics and toiletries on the skin. Noncomedogenic products don't clog pores easily and are unlikely to worsen whiteheads. The name comes from the word comedo, which means blackhead. Noncomedogenic products should be oil-free and thinner in consistency that other facial products.

Apply over-the-counter acne medications to whiteheads. Most of these are topical, although some may have to be taken orally. Apply these as directed for the recommended length of time. It can take up to four weeks for a medication to start yielding results, according to Gannett Health Services at Cornell University.


  • Do not pop, squeeze or pinch your whiteheads. This can exacerbate acne and injure your skin, opening it up to possible infection.

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About the Author

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.