Blackheads. Bye-Bye. Easily Treat and Prevent Blackheads.

Updated: 10/3/23

Are you struggling to get rid of blackheads or are you looking for ways on how to prevent them? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Blackheads can form due to a variety of causes, from oily skin and hormonal changes to excessive makeup. The good news is there are easy-to-follow tips that can help treat and prevent pesky blackheads. In this blog post we’ll be sharing simple yet effective remedies that will help not only treat but also prevent those annoying pimples from returning. So buckle up as we unveil the secrets behind successfully treating and preventing bothersome blackhead breakouts!

What are Blackheads?

Blackheads are small, slightly raised lesions with dark tips that appear on the skin. Although they can develop on any part of the body, they are more common on the face and neck. These lesions are usually a feature of acne. However, they can appear without any other accompanying acne symptoms. Contrary to the common misconception that blackheads contain trapped dirt, they actually oxidized skin pigment called melanin.

One reason that patients may develop blackheads is hormonal changes if the skin produces more oil called sebum. Blackheads occur when sebum and dead skin cells block the skin’s pores. When the clogged substances come to the surface, they react to oxygen and turn black. Blackheads are not a serious medical condition and usually do not require any specific treatment because they do not cause bodily harm. However, most patients wish to remove blackheads and other acne symptoms for cosmetic purposes. Luckily, blackheads are preventable and treatable.

Are Blackheads Acne?

Yes, blackheads are a form of non-inflammatory acne. They are not as severe as inflammatory acne, such as cysts and nodules, but they can still be frustrating to deal with. Blackheads often result from excess sebum production, hormone fluctuations, poor nutrition, and improper skincare.

Blackheads Characteristics

Although blackheads are a similar symptom, they are not the same as regular acne. For starters, blackheads are not inflammatory, which means that they do not cause any form of physical discomfort the way pimples can. They also have a lower texture than pimples.

Psychological Effects

Blackheads and other types of acne can significantly alter a patient’s physical appearance. It can even interfere with a patient’s social and emotional health. It can cause low-self esteem or poor self-image and may even cause depression and anxiety.

Blackheads vs. Sebaceous Filaments

Most of the time it can be hard to differentiate between blackheads and sebaceous filaments because they are both dark in color. In addition, both blackheads and sebaceous filaments often appear on oily areas of the skin like the chin and the nose. However, sebaceous filaments are entirely different from blackheads.

Unlike blackheads, sebaceous filaments are not a type of acne. In fact, they are a natural part of skin function that brings oil to it for moisture. Everyone has them and they do not cause any issues.

Sebaceous filaments are smaller than blackheads and they do not contain any dirt, oil, bacteria or dead skin cells. If someone squeezes a blackhead, it may extract fluid, but squeezing a sebaceous filament will not have the same effect. These may be irritating, but patients should not squeeze them because they are a natural part of skin function. 

Blackhead Causes & Triggers

Hormonal Changes

Puberty causes hormonal changes that may trigger the oil glands beneath the skin’s surface to produce excess sebum. Coupled with dead skin cells, the sebum may block the pores, which can trigger blackheads. If the body continues to produce a large amount of sebum, the blocked pore may continue to grow and eventually form plugs called comedones—either a whitehead or a blackhead. Blackheads may also worsen over time and if they trap bacteria, they can turn into cysts, nodes or pustules depending on the type of bacteria.


In some cases, blackheads may develop or worsen during the menstrual cycle or before it begins. Menstruation is triggered by hormonal changes that may affect sebum production in the body. At the beginning of the cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and they rise again at the end of menstruation. When these hormones decline, it triggers follicle stimulating hormones to rise and these fluctuations in hormones is what causes menstrual symptoms or PMS, including appetite and mood changes or acne.


Some forms of contraception may trigger skin changes, including blackheads because they also interfere with hormones in the reproductive system. For example, some birth control pills can help clear acne, but others trigger sebum production. Birth control pills with androgen-based progestin may cause acne and blackheads.


In some cases, acne and blackheads may worsen or appear for the first time during pregnancy, specifically in the first trimester. Pregnancy causes the hormones to shift as well, particularly the hormone progesterone, which may increase sebum production. In addition, the body may retain more fluids during pregnancy, which may contain toxins that can cause blackheads.

Excessive Sweating and Heat

Sweating on its own may not cause blackheads. However heavy sweating, paired with oils, dead skin cells and bacteria may cause acne symptoms. Patients who perform hard manual labor or engage in intense workouts may experience acne on the body. For example, wearing sweaty clothes or workout wear can cause blackheads on the chest or on the back.

Excess Sebum Production 

One of the primary causes of blackheads is the overproduction of sebum, the oil that our skin produces to keep it moisturized and healthy. When there is too much sebum being produced, it can mix with dead skin cells and bacteria to create clogged pores, leading to blackheads. Hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy can also increase the production of sebum, making young adults and expectant mothers more susceptible to blackheads.


Stress does not directly cause acne. However, research indicates that there is a close relationship between stress and skin health. In stressful situations, the body produces more cortisol, which triggers excess sebum production in the skin glands. When the sebum mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria, it can form blackheads. In addition, stress weakens the skin barrier so that it cannot protect itself as well and lead to other skin symptoms, such as inflammation and signs of aging.


Studies also cite a connection between smoking and blackheads, as well as other types of acne. Smoking restricts blood flow, which impacts how much oxygen and nutrients reach the skin, such as Vitamin A. If the skin doesn’t get enough oxygen or nutrients, it cannot recover from damage, including acne.

Environmental Factors

Our skin’s condition is also influenced by various environmental factors, such as pollution, humidity, and climate. Exposure to pollution and dirt can clog the pores, leading to blackheads and other types of acne. High humidity levels increase the skin’s oil production, leading to more breakouts. Similarly, extreme climates can cause the skin to become dry or irritated, leading to the formation of blackheads. To keep your skin healthy and prevent blackheads, it’s essential to protect it from environmental stressors by using an antioxidant-rich moisturizer, wearing sunscreen, and avoiding prolonged exposure to pollution and the sun.


Finally, your genetics can also play a role in the formation of blackheads. If your parents have a history of acne or oily skin, you may be more prone to blackheads. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to change your genetics, but you can take steps to prevent blackheads and keep your skin looking healthy and radiant. Be sure to follow a regular skincare routine and avoid any triggers that can worsen your blackheads.

Causes of Blackheads

Can Blackheads be Removed?

A blackhead removal tool can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine. It is a small metal instrument with a loop or a spoon-shaped end that is used to extract blackheads gently. However, it is important to use caution when using this tool, as pressing too hard or using it too aggressively can cause scarring or broken capillaries. Always sterilize the tool before and after each use, and consult a skincare professional if you’re unsure how to use it correctly.

Blackhead Treatment and Prevention

Blackheads do not necessarily require treatment because they do not cause any adverse physical health effects. However, they can have serious psychological effects and may interfere with self-esteem and self-confidence. If the condition is severe, dermatologists can prescribe topical medications or antibiotics to eliminate blackheads and other types of acne. In some cases, physicians may extract blackheads physically. 

Avoid Extraction

One of the ways to worsen or further irritate a blackhead is to pick, scratch or pop it. Still, there may be temptation to find a tool to extract those blackheads, such as pore strips and masks. However, they also risk extracting other beneficial skin elements or damaging adjacent skin. Pore strips and masks can strip the skin of beneficial hair follicles and oils, which may irritate the skin and dry it out. The irritation may cause the skin to produce more oil, which may lead to more breakouts. Dermatologists use professional grade tools designed for blackhead extraction to remove them without damaging the skin.

Avoid Touching your Face

Constantly touching your face transfers bacteria and oils from your hands onto your skin, which can lead to clogged pores. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your hands away from your face as much as you can.

Avoid Heavy, Comedogenic Products

Using heavy, comedogenic products can clog your pores and make it easier for blackheads to form. Look for oil-free, non-comedogenic, and lightweight products that will not suffocate your skin. If you do wear makeup, try opting for non-comedogenic products or find an oil-free primer that can help keep your skin looking and feeling fresh throughout the day.


Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two main active ingredients in skincare products, but they play different roles. The former removes dead skin cells that clog pores, while the latter fights bacteria. There are benefits and downsides to each ingredient, but they may both be good options to cleanse the skin and fight and prevent blackheads or other forms of acne. Speak to a dermatologist to determine which ingredient may be most effective.

It is also important to cleanse the skin regularly to remove excess oil or bacteria. However, there is a common misconception that more cleansing equals cleaner skin. But excessive cleansing can actually have the opposite effect. It can cause irritation, which may make acne worse.

Exfoliate Gently

Many people believe that exfoliating can have a negative effect on breakouts, including blackheads. However, exfoliation may actually eliminate dead skin cells that clog the pores. Gentle exfoliation may even remove existing blackheads. Consider using a soft skin brush to exfoliate to help remove dead skin. However, use it sparingly to avoid irritating the skin. Consult a dermatologist for advice on the best way to exfoliate.

Clay and Charcoal Masks

Clay or charcoal masks can help remove excess oils from the skin and extract bacteria or dead skin from the pores. They may eliminate blackheads or help prevent them. Again, consult a dermatologist first for advice or product recommendations.

Incorporate Retinoids in Your Routine

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that can help improve skin cell turnover, unclog pores, and reduce blackheads over time. If you are dealing with stubborn blackheads, try incorporating a retinoid product such as a serum, cream or gel into your routine. Do not overuse retinoids, start with a low concentration and gradually increase, following up with a sunscreen during the day.

Avoid Sleeping in Makeup

Sleeping in makeup may be a habit, but it is very harmful to the skin. If makeup stays on the skin overnight, it can clog the pores and cause blackheads. Oily cosmetic products can also cause excess oil on the skin and cause breakouts.

Blackheads vs Sebaceous Filaments

The key difference between blackheads and sebaceous filaments is that blackheads are clogged hair follicles that have been oxidized by exposure to air, leading to their characteristic black color, while sebaceous filaments are just hair follicles filled with sebum that look like tiny dots on the skin.

Will Blackheads Go Away on Their Own?

It’s clear that blackheads aren’t necessarily there to stay – but they also won’t just go away on their own without some effort on your part. By taking a proactive approach to skincare, using effective treatments, and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can improve the look and feel of your skin and reduce the frequency and severity of blackhead breakouts.

Supplements for Healthy Skin

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is present in a wide range of foods, including meats, fish, and dairy. It is also found in vegetables like carrots, apricots, yams, pumpkins and dark green vegetables. This vitamin helps promote eye, bone and skin health. It has antioxidant properties that can counteract free radicals and oxidative stress, which can trigger acne. In addition, it can also treat other skin conditions like psoriasis or keratosis pilaris. Vitamin A further cultivates healthy embryonic development in the womb. As a dietary supplement, the recommended dosage for Vitamin A palmitate powder is 30 mg a day. Consult a doctor before taking this supplement to avoid any complications or side effects.

Side effects are uncommon with the recommended dosage. However, exceeding the dosage may cause adverse side effects, including toxicity. In addition, Vitamin A may cause fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, flaky skin and even inflammation in the brain in some cases. Reduce the dosage in case you experience any of the side effects. Store the supplement in a clean area away from moisture, heat and light. Do not supplement with Vitamin A if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that’s been shown to have many benefits for the skin. It helps to reduce the production of sebum, which can help prevent blackheads, as well as reduce inflammation and improve the skin’s barrier function. Niacinamide is available from in supplement form.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to premature aging. Vitamin E can also help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin. It acts as a natural moisturizer for the skin, which can prevent blackheads by keeping the skin hydrated and reducing the production of excess oil.


Selenium is a mineral that has antioxidant properties and can help to protect the skin from damage caused by environmental pollutants and UV radiation. It also helps to improve the skin’s elasticity and keep it looking young and healthy. Selenium supplements can also help to reduce inflammation and regulate the production of oil, which can prevent the appearance of blackheads. If you like to purchase this supplement for, you may purchase it from our multivitamins for men and women.


Zinc is a natural mineral that encourages skin, digestive, immune and reproductive health. It also helps regulate hormones. If the body does not have enough zinc, it can lead to colds, infections, diarrhea and pneumonia. As a dietary supplement, the recommended intake for zinc gluconate powder is 225 to 450 mg once per day. Side effects are uncommon, if you adhere to the recommended dosage. However, pregnant women and those who are nursing should not take this supplement.

Discuss supplementation with a physician if you have diabetes, bleeding disorders or zinc allergies. In addition, do not take zinc with ginkgo biloba, especially in cases of bleeding disorders. Common side effects include itching and abdominal discomfort.

Krill Oil 

Fish supplements contain omega-3, including krill oil. They are rich in amino acids, which boost cardiac, digestive and skin health.. It also boosts the immune system by increasing a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells that fight help the immune system rid viruses. As a dietary supplement, the recommended dosage for krill oil softgels is two softgels up to three times a day.

Pregnant and nursing women should not use this supplement. In addition, krill oil is not recommended for those with a shellfish allergy. If it causes abdominal discomfort, reduce the dosage or take it with meals. Consult a physician before taking this supplement.

Bottom Line

Blackheads are a type of acne, a raised lesion characterized by a dark tip that results from oxidized melanin and a combination of dead skin cells and excess oil (x). There is no direct cause for blackheads, but there are several factors that may trigger them, such as menstruation, stress, excessive sweating, birth control or smoking (x). Blackheads do not cause any medical harm, so they do not usually require treatment. However, they can interfere with self-esteem and self-confidence.

Healthy skin is achievable, but it takes effort and a good skincare routine that includes both internal and external factors. Supplements can be a great addition to your skincare routine, as they can help prevent and treat blackheads, as well as promote healthy skin overall. By incorporating zinc, vitamin A, krill oil, selenium, and niacinamide into your diet, you’ll be well on your way to achieving that clear, glowing complexion that you’ve always wanted. Remember, healthy skin is a journey, not a destination, so be patient and consistent with your routine, and you’ll see results!

Fortunately, they are treatable and preventable. Dermatologists can prescribe topical treatments or antibiotics and there are tons of skin care options that may help. Consult a dermatologist for instructions or recommendations. Supplements may also help promote healthy skin and rid the body of bacteria. But they are not a replacement for medical treatment. Consult a doctor before starting a supplement regimen. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: BulkSupplements Staff