Whiteheads, known as closed comedones, refer to pores that are filled with the excess grease and sloughed off cells, but that allow only a microscopic opening to the skin's surface.
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Unlike blackheads, clogged sebum is not exposed to air in areas where whiteheads occur. Whiteheads are formed when sebum and bacteria are trapped below the skin's surface. Oxidization doesn't take place, so the tips of pimples aren't darkened as in the case of blackheads. Whiteheads form pearly, tiny, white raised spots called milia. When bacteria enter these plugs, the condition can lead to cystic acne.
Whiteheads are commonly seen on the forehead, cheek and nose - almost wherever the skin is fine. Whiteheads should never be removed forcibly - with picking or popping. Since the pores aren't open, forcible removal will damage the skin tissue and spread infection.
To decrease your development of whiteheads, clean the skin gently at least twice per day with a deep cleanser. Look for a cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide, the key ingredient in the over-the-counter topical medications because it kills bacteria and prevents whitehead build up effectively. Oil-free and fragrance-free moisturizers also protect your skin from external irritation; while providing nutrients to your delicate skin.