How Can I Get Rid of Blackheads?

Updated January 01, 2014.

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See’s Medical Review Board.

Question: How Can I Get Rid of Blackheads?

I don’t have a problem with inflamed pimples, but I do have many blackheads. What can I do to get rid of blackheads?


Who doesn’t have at least a few blackheads, especially around the nose or on the chin? Blackheads are a common type of acne blemish.

To get rid of blackheads, be ready to put in some work. Blackheads are notoriously stubborn to treat. Patience and persistence are necessary to get rid of them.

First, make sure you’re following a good skin care routine. Cleanse every morning and night. Use only oil-free, noncomedogenic lotions, sunscreen, and makeup.

Regular exfoliation can be helpful too, but don’t overdo it. Scrubbing too hard or too often won’t do anything for your blackheads, but it will lead to irritated skin.

Over-the-counter product ingredients that can help clear blackheads are:

You may also choose to go with a prescription treatment. Some helpful medications include:

It can take several months of consistent treatment before you see any improvement.

To jump start the process, you can head to your local day spa. The esthetician will manually clear out, or extract, blockages and blackheads so you’ll get to see some immediate results.

Consistent treatment is critical when dealing with blackheads. You also have to be realistic about results. Aiming for marked improvement is reasonable — expecting to have zero blackheads isn’t.

Also, follicular prominence often makes people believe they have many blackheads when in actuality they don’t. Not sure? Ask the pros.