Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Connect with Facebook Connect with Google For Doctors
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of Interests
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
What are your interests?
Please select at least 3 interests.
NEXT
NEXT
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of doctors
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
Follow your favourite doctors
We found some doctors you may like. Click continue to follow them.
CONTINUE
CONTINUE
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

or

OOPS!

SOMETHING WENT WRONG.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

OOPS! SOMETHING

WENT WRONG.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

YOUR QUESTION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUESTION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET

BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR THREAD HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION

YOUR THREAD

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO THE FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION!

YOUR REVIEW HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR REVIEW

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

OOPS!

THERE IS SOMETHING

WRONG WITH YOUR EMAIL.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

OOPS! THERE IS

SOMETHING WRONG

WITH YOUR EMAIL.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR EMAIL

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR CONSULTATION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL

GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY.

YOUR CONSULTATION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS

WILL GET

TO YOU

SHORTLY.

MESSAGES TO

Stubborn Whiteheads: Doctors Share Tips On Removing Them

Stubborn Whiteheads: Doctors Share Tips On Removing Them undefined

Acne comes in many forms, and whiteheads are one of them. You may notice them as small, round, white bumps on the skin's surface. 

Sometimes, whiteheads can be extremely stubborn to remove, even persisting after facial extractions. Also known as closed comedones, whiteheads occur when a pore in the skin is blocked with oil, keratin, and/or bacteria.

This was the plight faced by a DoctorxDentist reader. He wanted to know why his whiteheads were recurring even after thorough facial extractions.

He wondered if he should continue the extractions to remove the whiteheads or if he should try other medication. Doctors from the DoctorxDentist community responded with these pieces of advice.

Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are common and natural occurrences

woman with whiteheads on her face

Whiteheads will most probably always occur. There may be ways to reduce the emergence of comedones. Some may have side effects and some may be safer, more gradual approaches.

There are two types of comedones

open and closed comedones

According to Dr K K Chew, there are open or black comedones and closed or white comedones. White comedones are sometimes enclosed beneath the skin and formed due to the excessive accumulation of sebum, dead skin cells, and debris.

Acne is often a chronic recurring problem that can begin again even after months or years of acne-free skin.

What causes acne relapse?

a stressed person

When acne reemerges, you might be looking at various factors from stress and hormonal changes to dietary issues and other habits. The main culprit is the accumulation of excess sebum and oil which clogs follicular ducts and pores.

This can even cause you to get an infection which leads to the typical inflamed and red look of acne.

Proper skin care is key to minimal whiteheads

skincare products on a table

The solution lies in maintaining relatively oil or comedone free skin through a proper skincare regimen. This will help to both reduce the sebum being produced and exfoliate as well as prevent the clogging up of waste that forms comedones.

There are two common solutions to oily skin

skincare in bottles

To maintain proper skincare, these are typically used:

  • Salicylic acid-based toners (which promote exfoliation, prevent debris accumulation that might congest pores, and reduce sebum secretion)
  • Adapalene/retinoids (which increase the rate of cell turnover and promote collagen stimulation to help tighten pores)

Physical extraction can promote long-term skin health

woman extracting pimples with a tool

For a more thorough and consistent outcome, consider physical extraction (done professionally if possible) every once in a while.

You could also use clay or peel-off masks which help remove the bulk of gunk that could build up even with proper skincare.

Oral isotretinoin is great for severe acne but there's a risk

oral medication for acne

Oral isotretinoin treatment (Accutane is a well-known example) can be an effective option for people with stubborn acne that resists other treatments. However, the benefits come with possible risks (liver impairment and teratogenicity) in some people.

Though rare, it's best that you consult your doctor before use.

Other treatment options are available

woman washing her face in the morning
There are many treatment options including the use of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, adapalene, and Retin-A. Oral medication includes antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline and isotretinoin.

Agnes RF treatment is another option at your doctor’s clinic

closeup of whiteheads on skin

Dr Chew explained the Agnes RF treatment for recurring acne, which uses a fine microneedle that's inserted through the follicle opening and directed at the sebaceous gland.

It then destroys the gland and reduces sebum secretion to treat the problem.

Even then, comedonal build-up can still occur in some people

woman after skincare

Even after all the above is applied, comedonal buildup can start again right after you stop your skincare regimen. Optimising your skincare routine and being consistent should produce satisfactory results in the long run.

Acne is experienced by many people in Singapore and although it is a condition that many can live with, it is good to know that persistent and recurring whiteheads can be treated.

Do remember that with or without medical treatment, consistent skincare and proper consultation from medical experts should be a focus.


youtube video preview

 

 

Would you like to ask any related health questions? 

You can Ask A Doctor right away, or view the complete list of DoctorxDentist Sessions.

 

 

 

References: 

 1. Informed Health Online [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Acne: Overview. 2013 Jan 16.

2. Wise, Emily M and Emmy M Graber. “Clinical pearl: comedone extraction for persistent macrocomedones while on isotretinoin therapy” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology vol. 4,11 (2011): 20-1.

3. Henry H. Roenigk Jr. Liver toxicity of retinoid therapy. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Volume 19, Issue 1, Part 2, July 1988, Pages 199-208. Accessed April 2019.

354 views 21 Feb 2019 Medically reviewed by Dr K K Chew on 16 Apr 2019.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other answers tagged Skin, Hair & Nails Aesthetic Medicine or ask your own question now FOR FREE.
Whatsapp
Dr K K Chew
Call
Dr K K Chew