Sometimes, acne lesions do not present with a whitehead. This is frustrating to the pimple poppers out there who judge the severity of the acne by the size of the whitehead and believe that picking the acne and squeezing out the whitehead causes it to heal faster.

The truth is that picking a pimple does not speed up the healing process and that acne without a whitehead just means that the acne infection is centered towards the deepest part of the hair follicle. If there is not a mass of sebum and bacteria near the top of the pore, there will be no whitehead.

Whiteheads often do not develop until later in the acne’s “life cycle” as the amount of dead cells and sebum build up until the whitehead reaches the surface of the skin.

As a result, picking a pimple that has no whitehead is a bad idea. Often the infection is very deep and it may require a lot of force to push the whitehead to the surface. Much of the time doing this may just squeeze the puss deeper into the follicle, making acne worse. The pressure needed to squeeze out a deep pimple like this may also damage the tissue further and lead to scarring.

Causes and Remedies of Acne Without a Whitehead

The causes and remedies for acne without a whitehead are the same as with any other type of acne. Poor hygiene is a major contributor to all types of acne formation. Acne forms as a result of a bacterial infection. The ease at which the infection takes hold can be increased via inflammation in the body as well as changes in hormone levels. Prescription medication may trigger acne as a side effect.


The best remedies for this acne type include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide works great even when there is no whitehead.

Possible Alternatives To Acne with No Whitehead

Sometimes acne that does not have a whitehead may not be acne at all. While it is possible that the suspected acne lesion is a spider bite, note that spider bites are pretty rare unless you regularly make a habit of reaching into spider nests. If you are getting bit in your sleep or just not noticing, it may be some other form of insect.

One type of bite that you might think is the result of a breakout but is really an insect bite is bed bugs. Bed bugs will bite you in your sleep and cause red bumps without whiteheads that may resemble acne. Check your sheets for eggs and bed bugs, which can be noted as tiny dark spots that look like flecks of dirt.

Another common thing mistaken for acne is a mild allergy. Mild allergies may result in breakouts of red bumps on the skin that are not actually acne but instead are hives. Acne should not be itchy whereas hives typically are, although hives can often not be itchy as well. See a doctor if you think you are experiencing hives, as these can escalate into something more serious if exposure to the allergen continues.

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