Many people are well-versed in how to deal with facial acne. However, the less common inner thigh acne can be just as frustrating to treat. When blackheads pop up on the inner thigh area, most people wonder what is causing them. Read on to learn about the causes and treatments for your inner thigh blackheads.

What Causes Blackheads on Your Inner Thighs?

1. Oil and Impurities: There are a variety of factors that contribute to the inner thigh blackhead breakouts. The external buildup of sweat, oil, and grime can all clog the pores and lead to the formation of blackheads. This region of the body is particularly prone to blackhead breakouts when the area is not washed after strenuous exercise or dancing. Sebum buildup can also cause blackheads form. This oily secretion of the sebaceous glands can lead to both acne and inflammation of the hair follicles.

2. Genetics: Genetics can also play a role in the risk of developing inner thigh acne. In addition, hormonal changes that come with the territory of puberty, menopause, or perimenopause can cause the pores to produce excess oils and become clogged. Because this is not a lifestyle or environmental cause, it can be even more challenging to accept.

3. Friction and Sweating: Friction in that region of the body is also an underlying factor in the development of blackheads. Leggings, tight jeans, and nylons can all chafe the thighs and cause excessive sweating in the inner thigh area. Perspiration contributes to clogged pores and overproduction of bacteria. Wearing unlaundered clothing can also be contributing to the problem. Fabrics such as rubber, vinyl, and polyester do not allow for the skin to breathe properly and can lead to excessive perspiration between the thighs, further exacerbating the situation.

How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Inner Thighs

Treatment Options for Blackheads on Inner Thighs

Fortunately, there are plenty of proven methods to getting rid of inner thigh blackheads

Fortunately for sufferers of blackheads, there is a myriad of treatment options available. The challenge lies in finding the best treatment for your specific case. Here are just a few of the treatment options on the market today so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

1. Cleansing Your Thighs

Cleansing is the best place to start when wanting to eradicate these unsightly inner thigh blackheads. No need to specifically look for cleansers formulated for your thighs. Use the same cleanser you use on your face, or use a liquid body wash. Because they are water soluble, liquid soaps will also be effective at cleansing without exacerbating the issue of clogged pores. FYI - drugstore cleansers are just as effective as their expensive counterparts.

You will want to avoid using bar soaps in the cleansing routine. Because this type of soap is generally high in pH, they are not water soluble and are likely to cause unnecessary drying of the skin. Bar soaps also leave a residue on the outer layers of the skin, causing blackheads to form because the pores are being blocked by the soap buildup.

2. Exfoliating Your Thighs

One of the best ways to stop blackheads right in their tracks is through a proper exfoliation routine. By sloughing off dead cells from the surface of the skin, you reveal a cleaner and brighter layer of skin. Because everybody has a specific skin type and level of tolerance, an exfoliation routine should be personalized. Exfoliation falls into two major categories, mechanical and chemical:

1. Mechanical Exfoliation (Sponges or Loofahs)

  • This type of exfoliation process uses a tool to physically slough off the dead cells. Examples of tools that might be used include sponges (such as a Konjac Sponge), loofahs, or brushes. The abrasive materials or substances used in the mechanical exfoliation is what is able to pull the dead skin away and leave the remaining layers fresh, bright, and free of oil and grime.
  • Mechanical exfoliants must be used with care in order to avoid leaving scratches or causing undue irritation. Face masks and blackhead scrubs are also types of mechanical exfoliants because the ingredients in the products work to slough off dead skin cells. Because your thighs are less sensitive than your face, mechanical exfoliation can be an effective solutions for blackheads.

2. Chemical Exfoliation (AHAs or BHAs)

  • The second type of exfoliation employs the use of chemicals to peel away blackhead culprits. The use of salicylic acid (a BHA), or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), “unglue” the bonds holding dull, dead skin on the surface. Once those bonds are broken—gently and evenly—skin naturally sheds. Additionally, AHA's are naturally occurring acids derived from plant sugars, making them a natural remedy to this problem.
  • Chemical exfoliation can also decrease the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and hyperkeratosis. Because these products can leave your skin extra sensitive to the effects of the sun, it is important to wear sunscreen after using chemical exfoliants.

Best Over the Counter Products

The vast amount of over the counter products on the market today can make it overwhelming to choose the best option for your needs. Here are four of the best tried and true products to consider. I have personally used all of them, and had great results with each. FYI: I only recommend products I stand behind and have tried.

1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (Helps Prevent Blackheads)

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Yep - You can absolutely use facial cleansers on your thighs for the same great results

This gold standard cleanser can also be used on your inner thighs during your normal shower session, making it an extremely versatile skin care product.

  • How to use: Wash your thighs daily in the shower to remove buildup of dirt, oil and skin cells.
  • How it works to prevent thigh blackheads: The excellent formula uses a combination of three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to deliver a fresh and moisturizer clean. The gentle foaming action removes oils from clogged pores without disrupting the protective outer layer of skin.
  • Smooth radiant skin: The hyaluronic acid is designed to trap in moisture in the skin.
  • Anti-acne, no more breakouts: The niacinamide is an anti-inflammatory that works to calm irritated skin and combat acne. This fragrance-free and non-drying formula is ideal for maximum cleansing

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2. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid (For Blackheads and Acne)

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

Exfoliate away your deep thigh blackheads and acne!

This exfoliant has a cult-like following because of its supreme effectiveness and gentleness on the skin.

  • How to use: After cleansing your thighs, apply a few drops directly to the dry area, use a cotton swab to make sure product is evenly applied. Leave the product on (do not wash off!).
  • How it works to treat and prevent thigh blackheads: The active ingredient Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that works by penetrating into the skin to loosen and break apart dead skin cells.
  • Goodbye blackheads and acne! The maximum exfoliating elements of this product is key to combating blackheads and acne. By penetrating into the skin and breaking apart dead cells, your skin will be refreshed and glowing.

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3. Konjac Sponge (Exfoliating with Activated Charcoal)

Konjac Sponge for Blackheads

Mechanical exfoliation helps easily scrub away dirt and oil

This mechanical exfoliation method is designed to harness the power of activated charcoal and dispense it through an easy and convenient facial sponge.

  • How to use: This product can be used during regular shower sessions. Simply add some of your favorite cleanser and gently scrub away.
  • How it works to treat and prevent thigh blackheads: As the active ingredient in the sponge, the bamboo carbon works to help clean clogged pores on thighs while removing excess bacteria. The gentle sponge is made with authentic Konjac plant root and is safe for all skin types.
  • Goodbye, blackheads! The large size equips it to effectively clean a surface area such as the thighs. The versatile sponge can also be used with your favorite cleanser for added benefits.

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4. RESIST Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment 4% BHA (For Stubborn Blackheads)

RESIST Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment 4% BHA

Maximum strength pore-refining 4% salicylic acid is great for stubborn blackheads and acne

If the Paula's Choice 2% salicylic acid product is not meeting your needs, this is a stronger option.

  • How to use: After cleansing your thighs, apply a few drops directly to the dry area, use a cotton swab to make sure product is evenly applied. Leave the product on (do not wash off!).
  • How it works to treat and prevent thigh blackheads: Boasting a higher 4% salicylic acid, this extra-strength product is designed to fight even the most stubborn case of thigh acne and blackheads. Because of its relative strength compared to some other products, this option should be introduced slowly so that it does not dry out the skin.
  • Maximum strength blackhead control: This product is ideal for taking care of blackheads due to it's maximum 4% strength salicylic acid.

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Can You Use Biore Strips on Your Thighs?

Can You Use Biore Strips on Your Thighs?

Sadly, biore strips are not effective at getting rid of inner thigh blackheads

There is no research that supports pore strips as an effective way to treat blackheads. According to Nava Greenfield, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, "I am not a fan of pore strips. They occasionally do a fair job at removing keratin buildup in pores, but the pores will fill right up again. The underlying issues, which are enlarged pores and overactive sweat glands, are not addressed with the strips.", published in Byrdie. Ultimately, there are better alternatives than using pore strips on your thighs.

What About Blackhead Masks?

Blackhead Masks on Your Thighs

Like the pore strips, blackheads masks likely won't help thigh blackheads

Much like their Biore strip counterparts, blackhead masks are also not a great solution. "I have yet to see actual evidence that peel off face masks work for blackheads," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky, in an email to Bustle. It's not surprising, considering their ingredients. Nothing in blackhead masks can actually help your inner thigh blackheads. In short, don't waste your time with blackhead masks - there are better alternatives.

How to Patch Test Products

How to Patch Test Products

Patch testing products is important 🙂

When patch testing products, it is imperative that you do not test them all at once or you will not be able to discern what is working and what is not. To start this process, apply a dime-sized portion to your inner thigh and then completely rinse it off. It is then important that you wait 24 hours to make sure that no irritation or discomfort has occurred as a direct result of the product.

When to See a Dermatologist

After you have exhausted all of the treatment options and you are still struggling with blackhead outbreaks on your inner thighs, it might be time to consult a dermatologist. A professional is trained to look at your individual case and prescribe the best course of treatment specific to your personal needs.

A dermatologist should also be consulted if the blackheads are becoming painful and more than just a cosmetic nuisance. Lastly, if the blemishes are starting to erode your self-confidence, it is time to seek professional treatment so that you can clear up the issue and get on with your life.


How long does it take to get rid of blackheads on inner thighs?

It can take up to 4-8 weeks to get rid of your thigh blackheads. However, it will ultimately depend on the treatment methods and how diligent you are at preventing and treating your blackheads.

Can you get rid of inner thigh blackheads naturally?

I tend to avoid "natural" cures. While many plants seem to have inhibitory effects on the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses in vitro, there are a few clinical evidences about the effectiveness and safety of these plants in the treatment of acne and blackheads.

How can I prevent blackheads on my thighs?

Like many health and beauty issues, it is a lot easier to prevent blackhead breakouts before they start than it is to contain them once they have sprung. A solid preventative plan with a diligent skincare routine is your best defense against thigh blackheads. 

The Bottom Line

The build-up of sebum, dirt, oil, and sweat can all lead to clogged pores, causing blackheads on the thighs. The best course of action for treating these blackheads is maintaining a skincare routine with targeted treatments known to tackle blackheads. If you're not seeing the results desired with a skincare routine, consider talking to a dermatologist about the best next steps.