What is a pimple head, whitehead & blackhead?

The "pimple head" you are referring to is commonly known as a "comedo" in medical terminology. Comedones are the primary signs of acne vulgaris and can be either open or closed. An open comedo is colloquially known as a blackhead, while a closed comedo is commonly referred to as a whitehead.

The "dirt" inside a comedo is actually a combination of sebum, dead skin cells, and sometimes bacteria. Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands to lubricate the skin and hair. When sebum mixes with dead skin cells and gets trapped in a hair follicle, it forms a comedo. In some cases, the trapped sebum and skin cells provide a breeding ground for bacteria, specifically Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), leading to inflammation and the red, swollen appearance of acne.

Key Components Inside a Comedo:

  1. Sebum: The oily substance produced by sebaceous glands.

  2. Keratinocytes: Dead skin cells that are a component of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin.

  3. Bacteria: In inflamed acne, P. acnes bacteria can proliferate inside the trapped sebum, exacerbating the condition.

Understanding the scientific aspects of what comprises a comedo can be helpful for effective treatment and management. With this knowledge, you can consult healthcare professionals for targeted treatments that can address the root causes of comedones, paving the way for healthier, clearer skin.