Difference Between Blackhead and a Pimple

Pimples and blackheads are common skin conditions that come under the label of “acne”, and are common for people with oily skin. Generally acne develops after a person reaches the age of puberty, but it can also affect adults and children.

Blackheads are clogged pores containing sebum and dead skin cells and look like embedded black pockets on the skin, whereas pimples are infected, clogged follicles, that appear as reddish, swollen bumps on the skin. The former does not affect the surrounding areas, but the latter can cause the infection to spread if popped up.



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    Blackheads are considered as the initial stage of acne, as they tend to form before the bacteria and other microorganisms invade the clogged pores. However, if not looked after and treated properly, the oil and dead skin in the clogged pores allow the bacteria to thrive and grow, causing the blackhead to develop into a pimple.

    The best method to prevent blackheads and pimples is to clean and exfoliate your skin regularly. This will open up the clogged pores, allowing your skin to breathe easily. You can also use over the counter acne aid products containing sulphur and salicylic acid, to combat these conditions.

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    The hormonal imbalance during teenage leads to overstimulation of the sebaceous glands, causing your skin to produce more oil and sebum. If not cleansed properly, this sebum combines with hair follicles, dead skin and dust and clogs up the open pores. The content in the clogged pores, when exposed to air, oxidises and turns black and hence becomes a blackhead. They actually look like embedded black pockets on the skin and develop in the oily areas, especially on and around the nose.

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    Pimples are infections that can occur anywhere on the skin, but they are concentrated where there is a high concentration of sebaceous glands. Face, chest and back have higher concentration of oil glands and are more susceptible to pimples. The oil secreted from these glands brings dead cells to the surface of the skin and clog the hair follicles. The clogged follicle creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. The bacterium causes infection in the hair follicle, causing redness and swelling on the skin, resulting in a pimple.


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