Comedones: What are they?


Have you heard the word Comedones from conversation, articles or your dermatologist and wondered what it means? Well, we have answers for you today.

What are Comedones?

Comedones are small bumps caused due to the clogging of hair follicles which results in blackheads or whiteheads. These forms of Comedones can appear with or without acne.

What are open and closed  Comedones? 

Blackheads are considered to be the open form of Comedones, whereas whiteheads are the closed form. These Comedones result in a chronic inflammatory condition called acne when they’re both found together with pimples.

What do Comedones look like?

Blackheads can appear as small bumps or big ones; they are black in colour because the melanin that is contained in these pores gets oxidised when it is in contact with oxygen in the air. This oxidation happens because blackheads are open pores free to interact with the environment. Whiteheads, on the other hand, are closed pores due to the skin that grows over them.

What causes Comedones? 

Trapped hair follicles cause comedones. This can be due to excessive oil secretion and clogging due to dead skin cells or other debris such as Keratin found in the hair. Usually, there is an excessive release of oils by your skin when you are a teenager, and your hormones are all over the place. That is when your skin remains oily, and your pores get clogged.

The causal factors that cause Comedones can be the following:

The pores on your skin are often clogged by makeup, leading to comedones
Comedones are also caused by makeup which often clogs your pores

1. Hormonal Imbalance

Comedones can be seen in any age group. Most women go through certain milestones in their life which causes fluctuations in their hormones. This can happen during puberty, pregnancy, monthly periods as well as menopause.

2. Thyroid problems

Fluctuations in hormones can also happen when you have a thyroid problem. The thyroid gland is responsible for your metabolism and also helps in regulating your hormones.

3. Genetics

It’s also seen that there can be a genetic factor to this. If your parents are prone to Comedones, then you can be too. This applies to acne and most of the other skin conditions as well.

4. Skincare products

Comedones can be caused due to a reaction to certain skincare products. Certain elements in the products you use make your skin oily and retain moisture. This could result in causing more of them because it’s going to add to the oil trapped in your pores. Along with this, makeup can often clog your pores and cause Comedones.

For example, there are certain products such as Vitamin E oil and cocoa butter that aren’t suitable for your skin since your skin will be oily. That’s why it’s better to go for non-comedogenic products for your skin. Comedones are often found in the T-zone and the centre of the face.

Comedones on the face are seen most frequently in the center of the face and in the T-zone

Treatments for Comedones

Comedones may or may not result in inflammatory pimples. Blackheads and whiteheads may appear at different spots, and that might be where they stop. Nevertheless, the treatment is not that entirely different from that of pimples.


Retinoids are topically applied and are a chemical compound found in the synthesis of Vitamin A. These products help in promoting new skin cells, which can push out the dirt clogging up pores.

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide basically helps in drying out Comedones and kills the bacteria that are there in them. This can be used on acne as well since it helps in pushing out of the bacteria causing acne.

Chemical peels

These can also help in the removal of blackheads and whiteheads.


The natural remedies mentioned in the blog are the widely popular ones. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Avoid using these if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. 

Before trying any natural remedy, always test a small quantity on your skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergies to any particular ingredient. In case of emergency or any reaction, immediately connect with a doctor who can offer the proper treatment.

The silver lining

It turns out that Comedones are not too scary after all. With a bit of self-care and a doctor’s opinion, you can have them under control in no time.


1. What are Comedone extractors?

Comedone extractors or lancets are a kind of tool used to press out and remove blackheads and extract whiteheads.

2. Are Comedone extractors bad for your skin?

Comedone extractors are not bad for your skin if they are used with the correct technique. Too much pressure to remove acne and incomplete extraction of it can lead to a scar being left behind.

3. Is it possible to treat Comedones naturally?

It is possible to make natural scrubs at home. These can be made of oats and milk. Tea tree oil may not suit your skin if it’s already oily. A honey mask or clay mask can also help in the removal of Comedones. But we do not recommend these as they can cause allergic reactions and don’t have any scientific evidence.

4. Do Comedones turn into pimples?

They can turn into inflammatory acne if left untreated or infected.

Comedones giving you problems? Don’t know how to treat them?  Download the CureSkin App now by clicking here to get the best treatment. It’s easy, fast and affordable!



Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.