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How To Get Rid of Whiteheads: At-Home Remedies, Treatments, and Tips

In this article, we will cover the basics of getting rid of whiteheads and keeping them at bay.

Read on

Everyone has had them, but nobody wants them, and they always seem to pop up at the worst times.

Whiteheads occur to nearly everyone, but what exactly are they, what causes them, and how do you get rid of the darn things?

In this article, we will cover the basics of getting rid of whiteheads and keeping them at bay.

First off - What is a whitehead?

You have little hair follicles all over your body, and when those follicles get clogged with a combination of oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria - you get a blemish.

When these clogged follicles are open, the exposure to the air oxidizes all of the clogged materials and shows up as a black dot, also known as a blackhead.

But, when these clogged follicles have a thin layer of skin over them, they tend to have a whitish or tan color and are normally referred to as whiteheads.

Sometimes blackheads are called open comedones and whiteheads are called closed comedones.

What causes whiteheads

Since you now know that whiteheads form from hair follicles getting clogged with oil, dirt, dead cells, or bacteria - it makes sense that anything that increases those things on your face will likely increase the development of whiteheads.

Excess oils from puberty, poor diet, oily face products, hormone fluctuations, hair products, or just not washing your face enough could contribute to more whiteheads.

Dirt and bacteria from touching your face, sweating, polluted air, not washing your face, or dirty phones and pillows can increase your risk of getting a few whiteheads.

Excess dead skin cells from not exfoliating enough or having overly dry skin can end up in those pores causing whiteheads.

How to get rid of whiteheads without popping

Always resist the urge to pop and pick at whiteheads, since it probably won’t help and you could end up scarring your skin or causing even more inflammation.

Plus, your hands and fingers are full of just what you need to clear away - dirt, oil, and bacteria.

Instead, keep reading to figure out your options for clearing up those whiteheads using home remedies or medications.

Home remedies for whiteheads

While home remedies might not do the trick for you, most of these options can’t really do much harm, so they may be worth a try.

But, if your whitehead breakouts are severe, you may be better off heading straight to an OTC or prescription treatment.

Home remedies for whiteheads include:

Steaming pores open

Diluted apple cider vinegar

Lemon juice

Tea tree oil


Witch hazel


Medications for whiteheads

If you have tried all the home remedies to no avail, or you are just ready to try out something strong, these OTC or prescription whitehead treatment options pack a stronger punch.

Over the Counter

  • Salicylic acid wash or solution
  • Benzoyl peroxide wash or solution
  • Weak retinoid creams


  • Strong retinoid formulas

Strut Acne Formula

Our Strut Acne Formula contains topical Tretinoin (a strong retinoid) for those stubborn whiteheads.

Tretinoin is a prescription-only medication so you will need to speak with a doctor to make sure this medication is right for you.

You can schedule an Online Visit with our U.S. licensed doctors today to see if Strut Acne Formula is a good option for your whitehead woes.

Tips for keeping whiteheads at bay:

  • Wash your face once or twice daily with lukewarm water to avoid irritation or stripping off too many protective oils.
  • Exfoliate (but don’t over-exfoliate) a few times weekly with a gentle exfoliant to help keep those dead skin cells out of your pores.
  • Wear sunscreen, but one made for the face, to avoid pore-clogging ingredients.
  • Keep your hair clean, and avoid hair products touching your face.
  • Replace make-up and cosmetic products regularly to avoid bacterial build-up.
  • Wash things that come in contact with your face: your phone, glasses, pillowcases.
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