Pimples vs. Blackheads and Whiteheads – What’s the Difference?

The words pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads are things you have probably dealt with before, but what’s the difference between them? Pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads are various forms of acne that affect the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Treating these various forms of acne can be tedious and take dedication, but once you’ve devoted yourself to keeping the skin and body healthy, you’ll see noticeable results in no time. The right combination of diet, nutrient supplements, and topical skin products can work to combat acne while also fighting the signs of aging from the inside out.

Want to learn more?

Various Forms of Acne

Not to be confused with just a teenage phase, acne can affect teens, adults, and sometimes even infants. Since it is a very common disease, you need to know what form of acne you are personally dealing with. Although they may look different, pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads are all results from clogged pores.

Initially, to understand what a pimple is, you have to understand the difference between whiteheads and blackheads. If the pore is completely clogged and remains closed at the surface, it is called a whitehead. Whiteheads:

  • Are clogged with sebum, an oily substance
  • Have a white appearance
  • Most commonly evolve into pimples

Differing from a whitehead, a blackhead is formed when a pore is only partially clogged, allowing some of the trapped sebum to slowly drain to the surface. The black color is caused by the oxygen in the air reacting to the exposed pore.

Usually, pimples are confused as another name for acne, but pimples are just another form of acne. When a pore becomes infected and is inflamed, it is considered a pimple. As part of your immune response, blood flow increases, which is the body’s natural defense against acne. Pimples usually develop after whiteheads or blackheads have become infected.

Acne Treatments

Whether you have pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads, there is still a treatment for you. It is very important to treat your acne, especially as an adult. If you don’t treat clogged pores, you are particularly vulnerable to scarring and more outbreaks, and your overall health can be at risk.


Treating various forms of acne is a simple task that involves your diet, nutrient supplements, and topical treatments. Primarily, your diet is the most common cause of your acne. Beautiful, clear skin has everything to do with what you eat and put into your body.

Altering your diet to include high protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and healthy fats are a great start to clearer skin. Eating foods rich in antioxidants will improve your immune system and help fight acne.


After you change your diet, take body supplements that contain antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins. A great supplement that supports clear skin is Perricone MD’s Skin Clear Supplements. This supplement contains Vitamin C, Alpha Lipoic Acid (a potent antioxidant), and Omega 3 to just name a few.


By combining topical treatments with an anti-inflammatory diet and supplements, you will see noticeable results in your face, chest, back, or shoulders. Ingredients such as salicylic acid, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Allatonin, and more are great for clearing and regenerating the skin. These advanced ingredients will also decrease the signs of aging and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dr. Perricone has formulated an at-home anti-acne regimen called RX Skin Clear. This adult acne treatment contains nutrient supplements and topical products. Adding this regimen to your anti-inflammatory diet will help produce clear and healthy skin.

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22 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Nice tips.. I like it so much. :)

  2. I am 47 years old, take medications for nerve pain, try to eat healthy. I am having trouble with white and black heads. I have exhausted all means

  3. I am 46 years old and dealing with both adult acne and wrinkles at the same time, along with oily skin. Any suggestions from the Perricone line would be helpful.

  4. *Then ur screwed.
    Nd then after go to sleep :D
    Nd your acne isn’t going to go away in like a week, it probably take like a month. U just need to drink a ton of water. Water clears.our everything.!!

  5. Okay yea what you eat effects your acne but I’m a teenager nd I eat junkfood n’s blah blah blah BUT I never drink soda or anything but water. WATER WILL SOLVE YOUR ACNE PROBLEMS.!! trust me.!! You have to be committed to washing your face at least 2 or 3 times a day. Once in the morning, nd last before you go to sleep. Get some dove soap nd make some bubbles in your hand with it (kind of like when your going to wash your hands but don’t rinse) nd then wash your face with tht soap. With your fingers, make circles around the areas tht you have acne the most. Nd then rewash your face with WARM water. N make sure you dry your face by itself..not with a towel. You never know if ur towel is dirty. Nd btw, make sure your hands nd fingers are clean as heck.!! Cuz I’d ur fingers r dirty n ur washing your face, thn

  6. I have had mild acne most of my life. I am now a resident physician with several kids, and I work so much that I have fallen into the habit of eating unhealthy. I want to have beautiful skin and a healthy fit body again. I am excited to start the perricone 28 day skin (and body) makeover diet.

  7. I am 29 years old and a mom. I have terrible acne on my face, chest, upper arms, back and my rear end. On top of being unsightly they itch and are painful. I have tried proactiv and gone to the doctor and had no positive results. Though I was told it is cystic acne. I have stopped going out of the house if I can avoid it at all and never wear make-up as it only makes things worse. I am DESPERATE for help. I take supplements and keep my face clean but I don’t know what else to do.My skin is naturally oily and it is so bad that even if I shower in the morning by night I can literally run my nails over my skin and scrape of what looks and feels like oily mud that is gray-brown. Please help me! I want to have my life back!

  8. At age 50, I have oily skin, and large pores, many of which are brown and blackheads, esp on the sides of my face and T zone. I really would like to find help!!

  9. [...] Blackheads are dark plugs that form within pores. When blackheads form, they clog the pore and oil that continues to be produced is collected behind the blackhead. It is when the pores are clogged that they expand in diameter. When oxygen mixed with the pores clogged with sebum, cellular debris, and bacteria, the pores turn black. This build up can easily cause acne and pimples. [...]

  10. I am interested in your products to clear my face. I have tried everything without results and the holistic aspect interests me. If your products could clear my face it would beat all the other Doctors and regimens I have tried. Look forward to hearing from you!

  11. [...] acne includes whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are the common name for a completely clogged and closed comedo. Whiteheads are named [...]

  12. I too have issues with blackheads on or around my nose. Since I am going through the change I may happen to see a whitehead pop up around the bottom of my face or the top. I didn’t have this issue before. This sounds like a great product.

  13. I feel that I have been in the position described above. You go to the stores and become overwhelmed by all the products that claim to take care of your acne problem, when in reality nothing gets done. And then you find yourself going through each brand performing a trial-and-error to figure out what works for you. The same goes for prescription medications as well. Because there’s no exact way to rid acne forever, some products may work and some may not.

  14. Pimples, blackheads, and any acne whatso ever I have suffered from since I was very young. My skin has been a constant battle, and has caused many heartaches over the year. I have visited several dermotologist, not to mention the hundreds of dollars I have dropped on products to get rid of it. My skin is very sensitive so I have to be very careful with products but my fried purchased a bottle of your facial wash. She constantly raved about how it left her face feeling so clean, and I should at least try it. When I first tried it I was skeptical to say the least but as the days wore on I cleaned my face only with your cleanser. The normal redness from the acne actually started to fade away, and the acne was less intense. I was completely impressed with the results, especially since only prescribed medicine was making even the slightiest dent before. I would love to test your product line to see if I can finally have the skin I have always dreamed of.

  15. I’ve recently begun to follow the Perricone diet and am already seeing improvements in the ‘glow’ of my skin; wanting to try the acne based products and supplements soon. Suffering with blackheads on my jawline and cheeks, downtime from chemical peels kills me and i want to try something milder.

  16. I’m a 58 yr old grandma.Evan as a young teenager I had my friends always teasing me cause I never had a pimple or any related skin rash, knowing they were just wanting my skin, I was very lucky,my daughters are the same way.Now is a different story,I’m curently on several different meds,lets just say my body is wearing out I have issues now and am looking for anything to help,done with the rest now I need the best!! I would very much love to become a Perricone tester,i’m at my wits end and need some HELP!!
    Thank You For Your Time

  17. I currently have gotten off birth control after 6 years of using it and my skin is freaking out. I do everything right to. I use professional products. I drink about 2 liters of water a day. I get a facials and peels. But nothing seems to be working right I have tried a few of your products and have loved them but would like to try some so what my face is now going through. THANKS SO MUCH


  19. I have issues with blackheads on my nose and chin, whiteheads and pimples. I can never seem to get my oily, acne-prone skin to stay clear and it often times ends up getting overly dry while I’m trying to clear it up. I would love to find out more about these products and I would love to become a product tester as well!

  20. I’m 45 and my acne has never gone away.
    I do not have pimples, but virtually every pore of my face and chest is clogged either with very little blackheads or whiteheads. those pores that are not clogged are big.
    if I try to get rid of them squeezing, they come back in two days: I can easily conceal them with make up, but in summer they get worse and anyway my face and chest are never smooth. I bought in usa your dietary supplement for clear skin… I really hope!!

    (excuse my english, I’m italian)

  21. I definately need something to clear up my blackheads at my age of 61. My skin really needs some help and I would be grateful if I could become a tester for your products.

  22. I have blackheads on my nose and would love to get rid of these ugly dots. I would like to try your regimen to have a better complextion.