How to Pop a Black Head


Blackheads, also known as comedones, are caused by a buildup of a waxy or oily material called sebum produced by sebaceous glands in the skin. Sometimes the pores that lead to the sebaceous glands become clogged. The sebum builds up, forming a waxy plug that eventually oxidizes, turns dark and forms a blackhead. Blackheads can be removed with a comedone extractor. This is a long, thin tool with a wire loop in the end. The hole is placed over the blackhead, then pressure is applied. Although the term “pop” is frequently used, its actually an extraction.

Step 1

Wash the area where the blackhead is with soap and water. Clean the comedone extractor with rubbing alcohol.

Step 2

Soak a washcloth in hot water and apply it as a compress to the blackhead, or use a facial steamer to soften the blackhead and make it easier to express. Remove the compress after about five minutes.

Step 3

Place the loop in the end of the comedone extractor around the black head. Most comedone removers have a small loop on one end and a large loop on the other. Use the end that is most appropriate for the size of the blackhead to be removed.

Step 4

Press down on the loop, applying gentle but firm pressure. As you press, the blackhead will slide up out of the pore. Continue to press on the blackhead until all of the sebum had come out of the pore.

Step 5

Do not continue to attempt extracting the blackhead if it does not come out easily. Too much force can bruise the skin and make the blackhead worse, causing scarring and infection.

Step 6

Remove and dispose of the blackhead and cleanse the area with a mild topical disinfectant. Clean the comedone extractor with hot water, then rubbing alcohol.