Both whiteheads and blackheads are comedones, which means a hair follicle with a plug made up of oi...
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Both whiteheads and blackheads are comedones, which means a hair follicle with a plug made up of oil and dead skin cells that traps bacteria beneath. Microscopic glands in the skin supply an oily substance called sebum to hair follicles, often called pores. Sebum is designed to lubricate the hair and skin and usually drains to the surface. Sometimes, however, the sebum becomes blocked and bacteria begin to grow. If the build up of sebum and bacteria does not have an opening to the surface of the skin, it is called a whitehead. A blackhead forms if the pore opens to the surface, allowing air to enter. Sebum contains a pigment called melanin - the same substance that gives our skin color. Melanin turns dark or oxidizes if it is exposed to the air, which is why blackheads are dark. They are not dirt and scrubbing does not remove them. Both blackheads and whiteheads can release their contents and heal, although this process can be slow.