Causes and Treatment of Closed Comedones {2023}

The first cosmetic skin problem we face as we grow up and try to fight for most of our adult lives is comedones or blackheads. After reading this article, you will learn what comedones are and the reasons for their appearance, what they are, and how to deal with them at home.

What are comedones

What are comedones

Comedones are clogged hair follicles in the skin. Dead skin particles, sebum (sebum), bacteria, and makeup residues accumulate in the pores. Over time, this substance begins to oxidize in the air, and we see on the skin those same black dots that are a natural result of our skin’s life, but so aesthetically unattractive.

Since there are pores over the entire area of ​​the epidermis, they can become clogged in the most unexpected places: in the ear, on the back, or on the lip. Most often, we can observe comedones on the nose and face.

Open and closed comedones

Comedones are distinguished by their appearance. They can be:

  • Open – when the pores are open on the surface of the skin. Such formations are traditionally called black dots.
  • Closed – when the skin and excess sebum interfere and clog the hair follicle. Such formations are called blackheads or white dots.

Do not confuse the opening of comedones with sebaceous filaments – minor accumulations of sebum and cells around the hair follicle. This is a natural part of our skin and their removal leads to skin damage.

Open comedones

Closed (subcutaneous) comedones are most often confused with papules (inflamed comedones) and pustules, which are inflamed areas of the skin and the main symptom of acne. They cannot be removed mechanically, i.e. squeeze. In this case, it is better to consult a dermatologist for a specific treatment.

Causes of comedones

At different ages, the causes of the appearance of comedones on the body and face are different. During puberty, the amount of sebum in teenagers increases, which can lead to acne. In adult women, the appearance of rashes depends on the menstrual cycle. Even if you are 30, you should not relax, because dirty city air and insufficient skin cleansing are the main causes of age-related acne and clogged pores.

Another significant reason for the appearance of comedones is skincare and decorative cosmetics. Its components can accumulate in the pores and, if not cleansed enough, cause clogging. If your skin is prone to breakouts, choose non-comedogenic cosmetics. Its formulas are water-based and contain ingredients that are easy to remove.

Closed comedones can also be the result of ingrown hair that is blocking the follicle. Such formations can quickly develop into a papule, followed by increased inflammation.

Comedones in a Child

A child who has not yet become a teenager can also have comedones. A very common acne in newborns is vesiculopustulosis. It manifests itself in the first months of a baby’s life. The main cause is considered to be the mother’s hormone, which was passed on to the child before birth. This condition is considered normal and does not require treatment. It is enough to choose the right care and wait.

Visit: How to Remove Puffiness From The Face 7 Tips

Older children rarely have comedones, since sebum production is negligible and pores are minimal. In the presence of acne in a child who has not yet passed into puberty, it is better to consult a specialist.

Comedones in a Child

How to get rid of black dots

Uninflamed blackheads and closed comedones do not require treatment and are more of an aesthetic problem. They are located very close to the surface of the skin, so you can easily deal with them with the help of cosmetics.

Among the readers of this article, there are probably fans of the video on TikTok, on which acne is removed in their favorite way – squeezing with Uno’s spoon or fingers. Do not repeat what is happening in the video, as this will lead to severe trauma to the skin and increased inflammation. Yes, some formations, such as black dots in the ear, cannot be removed in another way, but in most cases, mechanical cleaning is not needed. If it seems to you that the black dot on your nose has reached the size of the planet, go to a beautician who will professionally save you from an unwanted life partner.

Preventing Comedones

Acne is a problem that the modern beauty industry is successfully solving. The most popular blackhead removers are:

  • Special strips;
  • Clay and film masks;
  • Peelings;
  • Mechanical exfoliants: scrubs and rolls .

You don’t have to buy everything the brands have to offer. But we advise you to pay attention to products with AHA / BHA acids, antimicrobial, soothing, and anti-inflammatory components. It is also important to choose a gentle cleanser according to your skin type.

In general, all the recommendations of cosmetologists, bloggers, and dermatologists can be reduced to 5 basic rules:

  • Remove makeup carefully. Hydrophilic oil is ideal.
  • Do not wash yourself to the squeak. This will only cause more sebum production.
  • Use mild exfoliants instead of scrubs. Toners and tonics with acids, and enzyme powders perfectly remove dead cells.
  • Be disciplined. Even a noisy party should not interfere with evening skin care.
  • “What’s overdone, it’s not healthy.” Use cosmetics according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Comedones are clogged pores, so the focus should be on gently but thoroughly cleansing and moisturizing. Hydrated skin releases less sebum, so pores will be less clogged. Share in the comments, do you always pay enough attention to facial care? If not, at what stage does your care system most often fail?


1. Can you prevent comedones completely?

While it’s not possible to stop comedones completely, you can take steps to reduce them. Keeping your skin clean, using gentle products, and washing your face regularly can help prevent comedones from forming.

2. Do comedones happen more to certain age groups?

Comedones can happen to people of all ages, but they are more common during teenage years. That’s because when you become a teenager, your body goes through changes that can lead to more oil on your skin. This excess oil can clog your pores and cause comedones.

4. How long does it take for treatments to get rid of comedones?

The time it takes for treatments to work can vary. Some treatments that you can buy at the store might take a few weeks to show results. If you use stronger treatments prescribed by a doctor, you might see improvements faster. It’s important to keep using the treatments as directed and be patient.