Whiteheads are embarrassing, and can often cause discomfort or itching on the skin. Whiteheads are caused by a buildup of sebum—or excess oil on the skin— that forms a rigid mass that plugs the pores and can cause acne. Whiteheads are often referred to as milia, and are caused by exposure to the sun, not regularly washing the skin and facial products that leave residue. Weekly clay masks, gentle exfoliation and alpha or beta hydroxy acid facial peels help remove whiteheads. However, for instant whitehead eradication, you can remove them easily using steam and a professional comedone extractor, which prevents damage to the skin.

Things You'll Need

Boil about two inches of water in a large pot.

Cover your head with the towel and lean over the pot. Make sure the towel covers enough so as not to allow any steam to escape from underneath.

Steam your face for about six to eight minutes. This will open up the pores. If the steam feels too hot on your skin, bring your head further away from the pot until you feel comfortable.

Use an alcohol-soaked cotton ball to sterilize the looped end of the comedone extractor.

Place the extractor over the whitehead. The whitehead should be in the center of the hole of the extractor.

Press the extractor down lightly. The pressure will push the whitehead out of the pore.

Lightly rub some alcohol onto the treated area with a cotton ball, which will keep bacteria from entering the opened pore.


  • Try using the extractor immediately after showering. Steam from the shower will help open the pores.