Medical Definition of Whitehead

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Whitehead: A familiar term for what is medically called a closed comedo. A comedo, the primary sign of acne, consists of a dilated (widened) hair follicle filled with keratin squamae (skin debris), bacteria, and sebum (oil). A whitehead is a comedo that has an obstructed opening to the skin. A closed comedo may rupture and cause a low-grade skin inflammatory reaction in the area.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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