Sebaceous Filaments: What to Know Before You Get Rid of Them

Have you ever ever slapped a strip in your nostril within the hopes of sucking out all of the gunk clogging your pores, solely to be completely disenchanted whenever you pull it off and notice that there’s barely something on the strip?

Come on, you realize EXACTLY what we’re speaking about. So, allow us to introduce a novel idea — perhaps, simply perhaps, these aren’t blackheads you’re seeing in your nostril, chin and brow in any respect. These darkish dots you’re attempting to vacuum out of your pores, one strip at a time, might really be one thing known as sebaceous filaments.

Sebaceous-what? Sebaceous filaments, generally known as sebum plugs, aren’t really pimples, they usually don’t consist of the identical gunk that blackheads do both. “Blackheads are a form of acne. They’re open bumps on the skin that fill with excess oil and dead skin.” Mehmet Göker, Dermatology Specialist at Vera Clinic, explains. In distinction, “Sebaceous filaments are not clogged pores and they’re not in the same family as acne or breakouts. Instead they are just normal pores that have filled up to the surface with sebaceous filaments. However, blackheads are technically a form of acne known as open comedone,” Göker says.

Dr. Alan Parks, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of DermWarehouse, calls them simply “a part of your skin” — and, as a result of of that, says they “don’t really go away fully,” regardless of what number of pore strips you plow by means of. “You can’t really get rid of sebaceous filaments, but you can definitely treat them and help minimize their appearance,” he says.

Beneath, we’ll unpack every part you want to learn about sebaceous filaments, how they differ from blackheads, and the way, precisely, to deal with them. (A fast tip from the beginning gate? Scroll earlier than you squeeze!)

On this article, you’ll discover:

What are sebaceous filaments?

Sebaceous filaments vs blackheads: What’s the difference?

Can you squeeze sebaceous filaments?

5 derm-approved sebaceous filaments treatments

What are sebaceous filaments?

Sebaceous filaments are a totally normal part of the skin meant to help keep you moisturized. “Your skin has sebaceous glands that produce sebum, the natural oils that lubricate your skin,” Dr. Jeffrey Hsu, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, says. “Sebaceous filaments are thread-like structures that line the inside of your pores and transport sebum from the sebaceous glands to the surface of your skin.”

To break it down a little further, every single hair follicle on your body contains both a hair and a sebaceous gland that produces sebum. Long before manmade moisturizers came along, sebum was working to keep skin soft and hydrated. The problem is that, sometimes, these tiny tube-like filaments become more visible than we’d like. “When your pores become clogged with oil, you’ll see little yellow or gray dots appear on areas like your nose or cheeks,” Dr. Hsu says. “This is caused by an overproduction of oil within the sebaceous glands that builds up and hardens in the pores, making them look larger than normal.” And for those of us with naturally oily skin, our sebaceous filaments can fill up pretty often according to Dr. Jeannette Graf MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Parks.

Sebaceous filaments vs blackheads: What’s the difference?

Have a blemish that looks like a blackhead but won’t pop? Although their dot-like looks can be deceiving, there are some ways to tell whether that blackhead that won’t go away is actually a sebaceous filament. “Blackheads, as the name implies, are typically black in color and raised,” Dr. Rohit Kakar, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist, says. “Sebaceous filaments, on the other hand, are yellowish and have the appearance of a darkened pore. If a blackhead is removed, it likely will not reappear again whereas a sebaceous filament is a normal part of your skin and will reappear in about 30 days.”

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