Ask a Dermatologist: What Are Blackheads?

In the ongoing quest for a flawless, glowy complexion, we can admit we've gone to extremes to erase any trace of acne—but we can all agree that blackheads are the worst. The stubborn little black specks that take up real estate on our nose, chin, and forehead not only compromise the look of our gorgeous skin but are seemingly the worst form of acne because they are notoriously tough to banish for good.

Unless you're getting facials regularly and opt for extractions, chances are you're reading this because you've yet to find the cure-all for pesky blackheads. But before you resort to DIY extractions (which are a big no-no) or engage with harsh scrubs, it's important to understand the blackhead basics—and that's where we come in. We spoke with some of the country's top dermatologists to get to the bottom of what causes this all-too-common skincare woe and, more importantly, how to obliterate them for good.

Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about blackheads.