Whiteheads on the Nose: Causes, Treatments, Prevention

Whiteheads on the Nose

Despite following a perfect skincare regime for flawless skin, some makeup products or lifestyle changes might cause whiteheads on your nose. Your nose possesses several sebaceous glands, which makes it the primary location for the development of whiteheads. The whiteheads on nose are an acne type featuring tiny white spots erupting out of your skin with unpleasant outbreaks. Though these white pores on nose don’t leave scars or blemishes like acne, they can be unsightly and affect your self-confidence. Read on to learn more about the whiteheads on nose, their causes, treatment options for whiteheads removal, and preventive measures.

What Are White Heads: Symptoms and Identification

Whiteheads are a stubborn variant of acne and develop when your skin pores get clogged. The nose is highly vulnerable to whitehead outbreaks, as it is in your T-zone laced with oily glands. Whiteheads are formed when the skin pores are clogged with excess sebum, dead cells, dirt, keratinous substances, and debris. As soon as your clogged pores harden, they turn into white-tipped tiny bumps on the nose. These raised bumps that form within your hair follicles as closed comedones are called whiteheads[1]. Though whiteheads can develop anywhere on your body, they are common in T-zone areas like the forehead, chin, and nose.

Symptoms of Whiteheads On Nose

Whiteheads on the nose can be identified through the following symptoms:

  • The appearance of tiny white or yellow-tinted pimple-like raised bumps along the nose
  • Mostly, white pores on the nose do not have any inflammation, pain, or reddish look
  • Some white bumps that are tender to touch and painful
  • Before whiteheads clear, they release a small amount of whitish pus
  • Breakouts of whiteheads with acute irritation when using harsh cleansers or face scrubs

What Causes Whiteheads on Nose?

These white pores on nose though not painful, can be worrying due to their unsightly appearance. So, it is important to stay aware of the causes behind their outbreak[2].

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    1. Unhealthy Diet

    If your diet doesn’t contain enough minerals, nutrients, and vitamins, it can diversely affect your skin health. A study revealed that the sebum produced in acne-prone people had low levels of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid[3]. So, include more foods loaded with healthy fats instead of junk foods laced with unhealthy fats and trans fats.

    2. Acne Inducing Bacteria

    The acne outbreak you experience is triggered by Propionibacterium acnes, which clogs the pores on your skin. This bacterium is the major cause of the development of whiteheads on nose.

    3. Lifestyle Factors

    Your lifestyle plays a vital role in the development of white pores on nose called whiteheads. Whether it is erratic sleep patterns, stress, UV ray exposure, alcohol consumption, smoking, or pollution, these factors might also cause whiteheads.

    4. Hormonal Fluctuations

    Teenagers experience a lot of changes in their hormone levels during puberty. Their high sebum levels block the pores, paving the way to the development of whiteheads on nose. The excess oil is trapped by skin pores, which in turn causes white pores on nose. Women face hormone changes during their periods, as the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease at a rapid pace.

    Such low levels of hormones lead to excess sebum production resulting in whitehead breakouts and acne. During the first or second trimester, pregnant women may have high levels of androgen hormone that causes whiteheads on nose.

    5. Heredity

    The American Association of Dermatologists has stated that sebum plays a vital role in triggering whiteheads, and is associated with one’s genetics. Genetics have a prominent influence over the levels of androgenic hormones like 5-DHT, which may run in the family.

    How to Remove Whiteheads from Nose?

    Whiteheads can be treated using a variety of options, such as over-the-counter products, effective skin ingredients, and dermatology procedures. You can choose from any of the following methods based on the severity of the whiteheads.

    Skin Products with Effective Ingredients

    1. Azelaic Acid

    Using products with this naturally occurring acid is an effective solution to get relief from whiteheads on nose. This potent ingredient removes the infection-causing bacteria and lowers its effect on the skin.

    2. Retinoid

    When you use products with vitamin A derivative like retinoid, it will help unclog the blocked pores to dissolve the whiteheads.

    3. Benzoyl Peroxide

    You can use a face wash or leave-on gel with this effective ingredient to combat the bacteria-causing whiteheads and acne. As the products are created with lower concentrations of this ingredient, your skin will not be affected by its use.

    4. Salicylic Acid

    Using an OTC product with this potent ingredient in the form of a lotion or cleanser will help in treating whiteheads on nose. It removes your skin’s uppermost layer to eliminate damage alleviate the dead cells and prevent clogging of hair follicles. This oil-soluble ingredient is a desmolytic that breaks the bonds in the skin cells for exfoliation. It also avoids debris accumulation

    5. Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

    This chemical exfoliating ingredient breaks down the dead cells on the outer skin layer to enhance the rate of skin cell turnover. It helps achieve smooth skin with a soft texture and prevents issues like flakiness. AHAs also help prevent and heal comedones and acne. Lactic acid and glycolic acid are popular AHAs used for treating the whiteheads on nose. While lactic acid has a bigger molecular size, lactic acid has a less molecular size for penetrating the pores and melting whiteheads.

    When Should You Consult a Dermatologist for Whiteheads On Nose?

    If the whiteheads on nose persist even after a week, or not responding to the OTC products, seek the help of a dermatologist. They are specialists in assessing the health of your skin to determine the extremity of your whiteheads and prescribe medications. In extreme cases, your skin clinic might even suggest procedures like laser therapy, chemical peels, microneedling, or microdermabrasion. These treatments not only clear the whiteheads on the nose but also prevent them from coming back.

    Preventing Whiteheads On the Nose

    To prevent the outbreak of white pores on nose, follow the skincare tips mentioned below.

    • Wash your face regularly with a mild cleanser or soap twice a day to remove dust, debris, and excess oil.
    • Exfoliate regularly with a medicated gentle facewash to avoid the buildup of dead cells. You should not scrub too much.
    • Do not touch your face often, as your hands might have some kind of dirt or germs.
    • Do not share your soap, towels, and makeup products, as it may trigger whiteheads formation
    • Never pick or pop a whitehead, as it can lead to scarring and severe breakouts.
    • Use only non-comedogenic products for makeup to prevent your pores from clogging by improving better circulation.
    • Keep your hair clean by washing it frequently to prevent the oil from hair from clogging the pores.
    • Use clean pillows, and cleanse your sunglasses and smartphones to prevent grime and bacteria from clogging the skin pores.
    • Use water-based sunscreens for face to prevent UV rays effect on your skin.

    Though whiteheads might not have any pain, they can be unsightly and tone down your beauty. This is why it is important to get them treated immediately to prevent it from worsening. Consult an experienced dermatologist at Kolors to clear this skin issue and flaunt your flawless beauty.


    1. https://www.researchgate.net/
    2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com
    3. https://www.researchgate.net


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