BLACKHEADS 2020 #2



5 facts about Dr. Pimple Popper's black spots









THE ARROW
LISTS
5 facts about Dr. Pimple Popper's black spots
BY ERIN MCCARTHY MAY 29, 2017
iStock
ISTOCK
Whether you just had a black dot or two (or more!) Or just liked watching them on YouTube, you probably had a lot of questions about them. So when Mental Floss' favorite dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) stopped by our office last month, we asked her to tell us everything we need to know about blackheads, then we sprinkled some fun facts on our own.

1. THE MEDICAL TERM FOR A BLACK HORSE IS "OPEN COMEDO".
The word comedo comes from the Latin word for gluttony, and, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was "a name formerly given to worms that devour the body". It has been used since 1866 to refer to what we colloquially call blackheads, which CH Fagge described that year in Skin diseases, including rash, "a small, worm-like, black-tipped, pasty mass yellowish, which in some people can be exuded by hair follicles by pressure. "

"A black dot is an open comedo, as opposed to a white dot, which is a closed comedo," says Lee. And it's not dirt in there: it's skin debris and oil. "It's basically a clogged pore with debris from the skin on it," says Lee. "When this environment becomes very positive for bacteria to thrive, namely Propionibacterium acnes, it can help promote acne."

2. THEY ARE NOT BLACK BECAUSE THEY ARE DIRTY.
This is because the debris inside the pore has been exposed to the air. "It's oxidized," says Lee, "and it's getting darker." Closed comedones, because they are sealed on top, remain white.

3. SOME BLACK POINTS MAY BE CAUSED BY THE SUN.
THE ARROW
LISTS
5 facts about Dr. Pimple Popper's black spots
BY ERIN MCCARTHY MAY 29, 2017
iStock
ISTOCK
Whether you just had a black dot or two (or more!) Or just liked watching them on YouTube, you probably had a lot of questions about them. So when Mental Floss' favorite dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) stopped by our office last month, we asked her to tell us everything we need to know about blackheads, then we sprinkled some fun facts on our own.

1. THE MEDICAL TERM FOR A BLACK HORSE IS "OPEN COMEDO".
The word comedo comes from the Latin word for gluttony, and, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was "a name formerly given to worms that devour the body". It has been used since 1866 to refer to what we colloquially call blackheads, which CH Fagge described that year in Skin diseases, including rash, "a small, worm-like, black-tipped, pasty mass yellowish, which in some people can be exuded by hair follicles by pressure. "

"A black dot is an open comedo, as opposed to a white dot, which is a closed comedo," says Lee. And it's not dirt in there: it's skin debris and oil. "It's basically a clogged pore with debris from the skin on it," says Lee. "When this environment becomes very positive for bacteria to thrive, namely Propionibacterium acnes, it can help promote acne."

2. THEY ARE NOT BLACK BECAUSE THEY ARE DIRTY.
This is because the debris inside the pore has been exposed to the air. "It's oxidized," says Lee, "and it's getting darker." Closed comedones, because they are sealed on top, remain white.

3. SOME BLACK POINTS MAY BE CAUSED BY THE SUN.

"There are really two main categories [of black dots]," says Lee. "Blackheads caused by acne when you are a teenager", which usually appear on the forehead, nose and chin. Then there are the blackheads, blackheads and whiteheads which are caused by exposure to the sun. "The ones we see in older patients, and they are caused by high exposure to the sun throughout your life," she says. These usually appear around the hair and eyes, and, says Lee, "when you have them in mass distribution, it's called Favre-Racouchot." A classic case is the masked man (above).

"When you have a cluster, these are usually pretty good because the skin is a little more lax, so the blackheads aren't stuck in there," says Lee. "They tend to get out a little bit easier, and they tend to be bigger because people don't really know what they are. They let them go. They don't really care about them."

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