An open (blackhead) or closed (whitehead) skin pore or hair follicle clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.


Self-care options include over-the-counter acne products to dry excess oil and promote peeling. A gentle cleanser and oil-free moisturizer also may help.

When to seek immediate medical care

Seek emergency help if:

  • An over-the-counter skin care product causes faintness, difficulty breathing, tightness of the throat, or swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

When to make a doctor's appointment

See a doctor if:

  • Home care remedies don't clear up comedos

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