Q: I have whiteheads (but no blackheads), and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get rid of them. The head of the whitehead is very hard and “packed,” and if I try to squeeze the head to loosen it, I end up bruising my face.
A: It sounds to me that what you are experiencing is a condition known as milia, not whiteheads. Milia are actually tiny, hard, white cysts. They are caused by blocked sweat ducts and can result from the overuse of certain types of skincare products or cosmetics. They can be notoriously difficult to eliminate and may need to be removed by your dermatologist, who may first prescribe and alpha hydroxy acid moisturizer or Retin-A to help loosen them before they extract them. An at home remedy that might help is to gently massage the affected area with a mild cleanser and a Buff Puff. Do not do this with a vigorous motion as you will inflame the skin.