British Skin Foundation - Acne and Spots

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White heads

Postby Lara J C on Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:34 am

Hi. My main problem is tiny hard white heads, especially in the forehead. Why do these occur, and how is it best to prevent them?
Lara J C
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Re: White heads

Postby Dr Rachel Abbott on Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:24 pm

Many thanks for your question.

‘White heads’ are usually closed comedones – when debris blocks the oil gland or hair follicle. Mild comedonal acne may be helped by avoiding greasy moisturisers/ make-up and using a cleanser containing salicylic acid/ glycolic acid. If further treatment is needed then I suggest that you see your GP or a dermatologist to discuss prescription-only treatments. Further information is available here:

Another possibility is that the ‘white heads’ on your forehead may be ‘milia’ which are small cysts in the skin. Here is a link to some further information on milia:

With best wishes,

Dr Rachel Abbott
Consultant Dermatologist and Mohs surgeon - MBBS, BMEDSCI(HONS), MRCP (UK), MRCP (DERMATOLOGY) (UK)
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Dr Rachel Abbott
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