Blackheads, also known as open comedones, are tiny dark bumps on the skin caused by clogged hair follicles. They are a mild type of acne that forms when oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells collect in sweat/sebaceous ducts or pores. Whereas whiteheads have a microscopic opening on the skin’s surface, blackheads have a wide opening, causing the buildup to be exposed to air and oxidize, thus causing the black or gray color.

Blackheads can occur anywhere on the body, including the face, chest, back, shoulders, and arms. The most common areas of occurrence are the chin, nose, and forehead – collectively known as the T-zone. Blackheads can occur in all races, ages, and genders. In the U.S., approximately 8 out of 10 people between the ages of 11 and 30 will develop an acne outbreak. Although they are a mild form of acne and are relatively easy to treat, blackheads can cause permanent scarring.

Causes of Blackheads

Blackheads are commonly caused by hormonal changes, which can trigger glands to increase the production of an oily substance known as sebum. Common life stages that cause hormonal changes include puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking birth control pills can also increase hormone levels and cause acne. Other factors include certain medications, greasy makeup, perspiration, and a family history of acne occurrence.


DermaHealth offers a wide variety of acne treatments. A short description of the options we provide can be found below, or visit our Acne page for a more in-depth description of each.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a non-invasive way to treat acne or oily skin and work great in combination with other treatments and services. DermaHealth in Springfield offers many different kinds of chemical peels – from those with little to no social downtime to more intensive peels with 7 to 10 days of redness and peeling. Visit our Chemical Peels page or call us today for more information on DermaHealth’s wide variety of chemical peel options.

Photodynamic Therapy

Levulan® BLU-U® photodynamic therapy is a gentle acne treatment that applies blue light illumination to kill certain acne bacteria in the skin. This is an ideal approach to treating moderate acne.


Isōlaz is a laser treatment focusing on the elimination of acne and the reduction of large pores. It is a painless, chemical- and medication-free treatment. Isōlaz works by emitting a painless broadband light that destroys acne-causing bacteria, leaving the skin clean and rejuvenated.


The Clarisonic cleansing device employs a soft, gentle brush that oscillates back and forth more than 300 times per second. This effective cleansing technique allows products to better absorb into the skin, leaving the skin softer, smoother, and more radiant. Oily areas and dry patches are reduced, and pores appear smaller. At DermaHealth, we encourage all of our clients to be kind to their skin and use a Clarisonic every day.

For more information and to see if you are a candidate for our acne treatments, schedule a complimentary consultation with DermaHealth today.