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Whiteheads on Chin & Cheeks: Causes, Treatments & Remedies



What causes whiteheads on the chin or what are they? How can you get rid of them? What of cases where they keep on recurring or they won't go away? 


To begin with, whiteheads are a mild form or type of acne which often occur on the face especially nose and chin areas but can occur in any part of skin where there are hair follicles.Various acne forms including whiteheads, blackheads, pimples

They are closed comedones that can appear anywhere in the body including places like forehead, nose, chest, back, etc., and they usually occur when the dead skin cells block sebum (skin natural lubricating oil) and bacteria in the follicles. This would lead to the formation of a plug referred to as a comedone.

They usually occur in areas that are relatively oiler. When the comedone is not oxidized or not exposed to air, a whitehead is formed. When the comedone is exposed to the air, a blackhead is formed. Both are not inflammatory. 

Inflammatory chin acne form due to escalating bacterial infection of the comedones. Though whiteheads are not a serious type of chine acne, they can be unappealing and frustrating especially when they leave behind acne scars. 


As we had said earlier, they are formed when dead skin cells and oil are stuck in the pores. confirms this fact i.e. "A whitehead is a type of acne that forms when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria become trapped within one of your pores.”

This, therefore, means that any conditions that can result in excess production of oil, accumulation of dead skin cells and bacteria, or clogging of the pores can be the reason their appearance or breakouts. Here are some of these reasons: 

Hormonal chin whiteheads

Hormonal imbalances are among major chin acne causes. But, how do hormonal shifts result in acne spots on the chin? Hormonal shifts can dictate how much sebum is produced. The surge in the levels of hormones such as androgens etc. can lead to too much production of oil sebum. This can result in more skin pores being blocked and thus acne worsens.

Hormonal shifts are common during puberty, pregnancy and periods. This is why whiteheads on chin tend to be prevalent during such periods.

Accumulation of dead skin cells

Factors leading to accumulation of dead also contribute to their formation. Exposure to the sun and harsh climates are some of the known factors that lead to high rate of dead skin cells regeneration. You gently exfoliate the skin to remove the dead cells regularly.

Gentle skin exfoliator comes in the form of creams, gels, soaps or even lotion. You should be very keen while exfoliating your skin. Too much exfoliation can, in fact, lead to more acne breakout.

Bacterial infection

Certain bacteria naturally live on the skin, and they are usually harmless. When their number rise beyond a certain limit, they would pose a health risk. Many conditions can lead to the number of such bacteria to grow. Their growth will spur both the mild and severe forms of acne. 

However, if you want to reduce the number of these bacteria, you should keep standard hygiene levels. Cleanse your body regularly. You can also see a dermatologist for further advice.

Other causes 

Other triggers include the following:

  • Some medications- This problem can also be triggered following side effects of certain drugs. Medications used to treat depression, epilepsy, etc. can influence the production of sebum and thus result in these acne spots.
  • Skin products and cosmetics- Some products applied to the skin can be oily enough to clog the skin pores. They can also dehydrate the skin; this would influence the sebaceous glands to compensate by producing more oils. Unfortunately, in the process, the glands may produce too much oil than required. As a result, these zits may emerge.
  • Nutritional deficiencies- Diets including processed foods, dairy and spicy foods have been linked to acne breakouts. They can increase the level of insulin the blood, and this would make the oil-producing glands to produce excess oil.

Small ones

Chin whiteheads breakouts vary in size and somewhat in shape. Some can be small or big, however, all these depend on how much oil is trapped in the skin pores. However, how small or big they may be, they should not be neglected. If the small ones are not treated early enough, they can grow to grow and be serious if infected. 

We should also bear in mind that, the severity of chin acne should not be defined based on size or shape. Other spectrums such as skin type, level of infection and how deep the pores are blocked may be used to measure their severity. 

There are many treatments that can be used to heal chin acne including the small, huge whiteheads, pimples and any other chin breakouts. In addition, some cases can be prevented while others cannot be prevented. 

Pimples on chin

Many people find it hard to differentiate between a whitehead and a pimple, although they are different, they are just different types of acne that can occur on the face, chest, shoulder, and back. According to, "Pimples are confused by another name for acne, that's not the case- they're actually another form of acne."

Pimples are considered as an inflammatory type of acne that forms when whiteheads and blackheads get infected. They are red tender bumps on chin containing pus at the tips.  Anything that can cause chin acne can cause whiteheads too. Any chin acne treatment is thus applicable to whiteheads, pimples and other forms on this area.

On cheeks and chin

Chin acne causes are similar to acne on cheeks. These are two areas which are close and thus whiteheads on cheeks can easily extend to the chin and vice versa. Both cases are embarrassing and frustrating since these areas are easily noticed.

Similar treatments can be used for those on cheeks and chin and they should be nothing to worry about. There are many treatments including whiteheads removal creams,  face masks, home remedies among other treatment options.

If you know the cause of whiteheads on cheeks and chin, treatment is easy since you need to address the primary triggers where possible. 

Spots on chin breakouts

There are many spots or breakouts that can emerge on the chin though; they have not to necessarily chin acne spots. Several skin disorders and condition can lead to various breakouts. These can include psoriasis, eczema, insect bites, keratosis pillars, heat bumps among other health issues.

Since there are numerous conditions that can lead to spots besides acne, we thus recommend proper and accurate diagnosis to know underlying causes for certain chin breakout. We, therefore, advise that all diagnosis should be done in doctor's office. This will ensure you are dealing with the right cause instead of assuming the breakouts are just acne. 

Best Treatments

Just like we mentioned earlier,  these are not a severe form of acne; however, if they are not treated early enough, they would ‘give birth' to inflammatory types of acne can even lead to scarring. 

Before trying on treatment, you have to consider the exact cause and the seriousness of the concerned acne breakout. The severity or seriousness may be evaluated based on how deep the poses are blocked or how widespread the problem is. Other factors may also be examined too.

Treatments can be prescribed, over the counter treatments (OTC) or some home remedies if the problem is mild. Let us see more details on the various ways to get rid chin whiteheads. 

OTC treatments and removal techniques 

Mild cases can be controlled using OTC products such as removal creams among others. Over the counter, products usually come in the form of creams, gels, lotions or soaps. They contain ingredients such as salicylic acids, benzoyl peroxide, retinoid, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil among others.

Now, here comes another downside. There are many creams for whiteheads that have flooded the market. This has since made selecting the best creams that work a very hard task. Some contain fake ingredients that can only worsen breakouts. Talk to a specialist first before you purchase any OTC product.

Home Remedies

 Before you proceed to those expensive commercial treatments, there are effective DIY home remedies for whiteheads. They are friendly pocket treatments appropriate for mild cases. Here are the most effective home remedies suitable to give a try.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider is a wonderful product. It has a drying property that makes it capable of getting rid of excess sebum. It also has anti-bacterial agents that kill the bacteria linked to chin breakouts. Too much application of this product can be dangerous. "Be cautious as apple cider is acidic and may cause burning and irritation," warns

  • To a bottle of apple cider vinegar, dip a cotton ball
  • Apply the cotton on the whiteheads directly
  • This can be repeated at most thrice in a week

Honey for whiteheads

Apart from being consumed, raw honey can also be used to treat many skin disorders. It has been proved by many medical studies to have been effective for treating acne breakouts. It has vital nutrients that are essential for healing damaged skin. Besides, it has bear antibacterial properties that rid of the acne linked bacteria.

Using it is very simple, follow the procedure below:

  • Wash the affected skin lukewarm water
  • Dip cotton balls into raw honey
  • Apply it directly to the affected areas
  • Leave it to sit for 30 minutes then wash using lukewarm water

Lemon Juice  for whiteheads Removal

Lemon juice has citric acid which opens the pores and thus draining out the clogged sebum in the follicles. This is an effective treatment for whiteheads however, it should be diluted for sensitive skin.

  • Extract relative amount of lemon juice from one lemon
  • Mix equal amount of the juice with water
  • Dip cotton ball into the mixture
  • Massage the cotton ball in the affected areas
  • Apply the procedure once in a day for some few months

Tea Tree Oil 

Tea tree oil is a very good alternative for benzoyl peroxide. It has oil that helps in removing chin acne. It also has anti-bacterial properties that make it even much better treatments.

  • Extract tea tree oil and dab directly on the whiteheads
  • Sometimes, the oil may be strong. You can dilute it before applications
  • Apply the remedy thrice weekly for about 4 weeks

Face mask for whiteheads

The face mask is also another good removal alternative. It can be made using various ingredients though certain ingredients work better than others. To prepare good one, you need one egg. Get the egg white and mix it with tea tree oil. You can then apply the mask onto the whiteheads.

Leave it for 20 minutes to dry up. You can then wash away using lukewarm water. Egg mask has wonderful nutrients that help repair the damaged skin. This is a very effective home remedy for chin acne.

When to see the dermatologist

When over the counter acne products and the home remedies don’t heal your whiteheads. You should consult your GP. In such cases, stronger medications or treatment options may be recommended. These could include prescription strength steroids, hormonal acne treatments, topical and oral antibiotics and steroid injections among other treatments.

In case you infected whiteheads on your chin, your dermatologists or doctor will also advise you on how to deal with such. Do not disturb or pop it as this will worsen breakouts and cause scarring. 


While certain causes cannot be prevented, others are avoidable. There are certain behavioral and lifestyle changes that can help prevent their appearance anywhere in the body. Here are the simple techniques to prevent chin acne breakouts:

  • Consult your nutritionist for effective acne diet
  • Drink enough amount of water each day
  • Don’t over touch your chin
  • Don’t let your phone touch your chin
  • Refrain from smoking and alcoholism
  • Use gentle exfoliators regularly to remove dead skin cells
  • See your GP if you develop whiteheads while you just started undergoing certain medication.
  • Don't over apply skin care products and cosmetics. Only opt for those labeled non-comedogenic
  • Go for regular medical checkup


Whiteheads on the chin are not a severe form of acne. They can be easily controlled using simple and affordable home remedies and OTC acne removal products. This is only possible if they are dealt with early enough. When OTC products or home remedies don’t heal your acne, it is time to immediately see you GP. This could be due to underlying serious medical conditions.

Reference List
  1. Why the Clogged Pores on Your Chin Won't Go Away

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