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Blackheads are tiny, dark spots on the skin. They are caused by a small plug in the opening of a follicle (pore). Blackheads are also called open comedones.

Related conditions include:


Blackheads can be treated with creams that contain salicylic acid or tretinoin.


Habif TM. Principles of diagnosis and anatomy. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 1.

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Review Date 12/2/2014

Updated by: Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.