How to Get Rid of Whiteheads from Face and Nose?

It is very easy to prevent and get rid of whiteheads.

Unfortunately, many are caught up in the myths and false information surrounding the comedones’ type of acne.

This type of acne is not a big issue, but many are unnecessarily vexed and worried over this skin problem that leads to personal depression and low self-esteem. Most of the patients keep restlessly picking at the whiteheads that make it worse and also develop harsh acne scars and dark spots on the skin.

If your skin, especially the face, nose, and lips, are under attack for acne, don’t panic and fret. In this article, I will explain how to eliminate acne with simple natural remedies.

What Are Whiteheads?

Whitehead is a type of acne known as ‘closed comedones.’ It usually forms when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria become trapped within the skin pores. Unlike a blackhead, a whitehead forms under the surface of a closed pore.

Comparatively, women are more prone to comedones than men because hormonal changes are more frequent in them.

In men, whitehead attacks are mostly confined to the puberty stages, and when they turn adults, the occurrence of comedones becomes very rare.

Almost every individual, female and male, is sure to have got whiteheads or blackheads at least a few times in their life.

Unfortunately, in some young women and men, sporadic and severe attacks of whiteheads do occur; the recurrent eruption of many comedones on the skin takes a toll on their physical and emotional health. Worst of all, it also leads to the development of stubborn acne scars on some patients’ skin.

Whiteheads on the Nose and Face

Comedones can appear on any body part where the skin pores get clogged. This acne most commonly appears on the nose and face (cheek, foreheads, temples, and chin).

Whiteheads on the nose are quite painful for some. As the nose is an extremely sensitive area of the body, any little acne eruption is quite distressing to the person. Whiteheads on the face appear in maximum numbers on the cheek and temples.

The sebum (skin oil) secreted by the sebaceous gland is most active in the facial skin tissues. For this reason, facial skin is more prone to develop acne-related issues than any other part of the body. In rare cases, some patients develop comedones on the chest, arms, shoulders, and back of the body.

Whiteheads appear as small white or yellow-colored bumps, and they remain under the surface of the closed pores of the skin, unlike the blackheads that develop out of open skin pores.

What Causes Whiteheads?

Causes Of White Heads

Knowing the causes of acne helps you solve your doubts about removing the whiteheads.

It is the blocked skin pores that cause whiteheads. A couple of reasons result in the blockage of the skin pores.

Some people have very active sebaceous glands that produce excess sebum that can block the tiny skin pores. When combined with sebum, the dead skin cells become a thick substance that easily blocks the pores on the skin.

The acne-prone skin is also characterized by the stickier cells lining the pores, which can easily get clogged.

The production of sebum is found to be at its peak, especially in boys and girls in the teenage period, when they undergo many hormonal changes as part of becoming an adult.

The skin debris (Keratin) combines with oil and dead skin cells to block the hair follicles and give rise to comedo (white or black bumps). In Latin, the word “comedo” (plural form ‘comedones’) means ‘appearing like a worm.’

The clogging of the skin pores leads to an inflammatory condition; the inflamed papules and pustules (pimples) are called acne. As the inflammations in the skin pore progress, the dead skin cells and sebum are turned into pus that will be dispelled through small eruptions on the skin.

In some patients, the comedones and infections could lead to large, red, and painful breakouts deep in their skin, called cystic acne.

The biggest cause of all types of acne is the hormonal changes in the body. Particularly in the youth, the skin pores develop an excess amount of sebum that causes whiteheads or other types of acne. The hormonal changes in the body are high during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause stages.

It is noticed that most women get acne attacks in certain stages of their menstrual cycles, especially after birth control pills intakes are stopped.

Another reason for the whiteheads is the genetically acquired conditions of the body. If there were persons in your family who faced bouts of comedones, your physical conditions too are prone to acne.

It is also noticed that people of some of the human races are more prone to acne than others. For example, a majority of Caucasians are more likely to experience severe acne issues than people of other races.

Medications like certain psychiatric drugs and hormonal birth control pills can also cause whiteheads.

How to Get Rid of Whiteheads?

Everyone likes to maintain their face as beautiful or handsome as possible—none of us like to have a face and skin infested with ugly-looking comedones and scars.

Many people, especially the youth, are deeply perturbed by the severe attacks of comedones and actively seeking a solution on how to get rid of whiteheads.

It is easy to eliminate whiteheads as they are a mild form of acne. But in some cases, it could develop into cystic acne that would require a lot of care and medication to heal.

All normal cases of whiteheads can be treated and cured with the help of ointments and prescription medicines. There are also varieties of skin cleansing lotions that help remove oil.

The physician would normally prescribe antibiotics (taken orally) to decrease the presence and growth of acne-causing bacteria (P. acnes) on your skin. Some of the common oral antibiotics are tetracycline, erythromycin and derivatives, and oral contraceptives (for a woman).

The acne medications that contain benzoyl peroxide are one of the primary recommended treatments for comedones.

Benzoyl peroxide destroys the bacteria found in the pores when acne is present. This can be included in the external application of ointment, face washes, and lotions.

Another effective medicine is salicylic acid, which directly helps in faster reduction and breakage of the whiteheads. Salicylic acid helps the skin shed dead cells, and the clogged skin pores get opened. It also helps dispel the sebum (skin oil) clogging the skin pores.

Topical retinoids obtained from Vitamin A are quite effective in clearing the whiteheads and preventing their recurrence. However, it does not suit some skin, which might cause irritation and rashes.

Before applying the prescribed ointments, it is important to cleanse your skin with mild skin cleansers.

In addition to topical and oral medications, other solutions to whiteheads are laser treatment, surgical procedures, and chemical peels. These solutions normally need to be adopted when the oral and topical treatments fail to cure you of whiteheads or acne.

The physician can physically remove whiteheads using a sterile extraction device to dislodge the material clogging the pores.

Microdermabrasion peel could be used to remove the dead skin cells to open up the clogged pores.

Regular Treatments For Whiteheads
Removing Acne Causes Treatments Prescription Medicines
Unplugging skin pores and stopping them from getting plugged with oil


Tretinoin/ Retin-A


Benzoyl peroxide

Salicylic acid

Topical and oral antibiotic

Topical retinoid medicine

Azelaic acid,

Isotretinoin, an oral retinoid.

Low-dose birth control pills that contain estrogen

Androgen blockers

Killing Bacteria Antibiotics
Reducing the amount of skin oil Isotretinoin
Reducing the effects of hormones in producing acne Avoiding certain foods and medicines, contraceptive pills for woman

As you are trying to cure the whiteheads, you need to be patient and persistent with the prescribed medication, as it might require up to eight weeks to experience the total effect of the medications.

What Needs to Be Avoided?

Some people have the misconception that washing your face frequently will help eliminate comedones. It is not true. Avoid washing very frequently, excessive rubbing and caressing of the affected areas, facial masks, and other hydrating facial cleaners, as all these can aggravate acne.

It would help if you were not trying to eliminate the whiteheads by squeezing, picking, popping, or using an at-home extraction device. It may temporarily help remove the pus, but it will create deep scar marks and could form a blister-like projection on the skin.

Cautions on Whitehead Treatment

The use of all medications and ointments must be under the recommendation of a professionally qualified dermatologist.

The ointments or lotions used for treatment can cause a skin rash, intense itching, redness, or blisters for some people, and in such cases, immediately consult your dermatologist.

Be careful of the overdosage of the medicines, as it can lead to the development of other skin disorders.

If you find acne nodules or cysts, you must consult your physician to get the right remedy. Acne nodules and cysts are severe forms of whiteheads, and they can cause deep scars on the skin if not treated well with care.

Natural Remedies for Whiteheads

Almost all mild cases of acne and whiteheads can be easily removed and prevented with the help of simple home remedies. You will not require the help of prescription medicines and costly treatments to get rid of whiteheads by following natural remedies for acne. Below are five simple whitehead or pimple DIY remedies.

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains a good amount of alpha-hydroxy acids, which are good for exfoliating the dead skin tissues that clog the skin pores. This also helps maintain the oil balance on the skin.

The application is a simple procedure…with the help of cotton balls, gently massage the lemon juice over your face. After 15 minutes of the application, wash the face with normal water. Do it regularly, once a day, preferably before you retire to bed.

2. Facial Steam

You can get rid of the whiteheads by opening up the clogged skin pores and removing the dead skin tissues and dirt from the pores. For this, facial steam or sauna is a real solution. It also helps in adding glow and beauty to the facial skin.

The procedure is simple: allow your face to get soaked in steam from a jug of boiled water for 5 minutes, then pat dry your skin with a clean towel.

Another way to steam is to soak a clean towel in warm water and place the semi-soaked warm towel on your face for a couple of minutes (repeat the same three times in a sitting).

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can eliminate the bacteria causing acne inflammation. This also works as an astringent in removing the sebum clogged in the skin pores.

Take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and dilute it into one cup of water. Then, massage your face with a cotton ball soaked in this solution for a couple of minutes, and wash the face after 15 minutes with lukewarm water. If this process is done once daily for a few weeks, the acne issues will disappear soon.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is commonly used for bleaching the skin as it can gently exfoliate the dead skin tissues and remove the dirt and oil from the skin pores. It is also good for maintaining the pH balance of the skin.

Make baking soda paste with water, and apply it like a mask on your face; wash it after 5 minutes. This procedure must be repeated three times a week for best results.

4. Tea Tree Oil

It is found that the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil work well in getting rid of whiteheads. Once a day, apply the tea tree oil onto the facial skin with the help of a cotton ball. Within a month, the occurrence of whiteheads becomes rare on your face. Pure tea tree oil is harsh on the skin; using a lotion or liquid containing up to 10% tea tree oil is better.

Several other common natural remedies for acne will work for whiteheads, too.

How to Prevent Whiteheads?

The common adage says, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ By following simple preventive methods, you can be free of whiteheads.

  • Make sure to cleanse your face twice a day and use only mild cleansing solutions (non-abrasive cleaner)
  • Avoid using chemical-rich skincareskincare products like astringents, masks, toners, and exfoliating soaps.
  • Limit the usage of strong body sprays and alcohol-based skincareskincare.
  • Always use only good quality cosmetics and sun-block lotions as the bad ones will clog the skin’s pores.
  • Avoid heavy foundation creams and cosmetics as they will clog the pores…and if you use them, remove them completely from your face before you sleep.
  • Use only oil-free makeup and skincareskincare creams.
  • Do not apply oil to moisturize your facial skin if you are prone to comedones.
  • Avoiding picking and popping the whiteheads will lead to an increase in whiteheads.
  • If you have oily skin, carrying blotting papers to wipe your face with them every few hours is good.
  • Tanning the skin in sunlight will increase acne… stay away from direct sunlight if your skin is prone to acne.
  • It is good to continue with acne medication (especially the topical solutions) for a longer period, even after getting rid of them.

How To Prevent Whiteheads

Final Thoughts

Application of spot treatments and prescription retinoids are said to be the best remedies for getting rid of whiteheads. Natural remedies are safe and effective for acne; however, they should be used regularly for a prolonged period.
In acne management, what matters most is the personal care and acne preventive steps to be followed.
You must take good care of personal hygiene and oil balance in the skin. It is important to avoid certain foods and cosmetic products to stay free of whiteheads. All types of acne can be cured and controlled by following a healthy lifestyle, exercise, healthy diets, and sufficient sleep.