We all have been blaming blackheads from forever. These have been causing us embarrassment, and we are trying all possible measures to cure them, extract them or conceal them. Well failing for most! What we thought as blackheads are actually sebaceous filament.
The sebaceous filament is a tiny collection of sebum and dead skin cells around hair follicles taking the shape of hair-like strands. They are mostly pale or yellow in color and can be seen when we pinch the skin specially on a nose. They channel the flow of sebum within a skin pore thus helping it seep through the surface.
What are Sebaceous Filaments:
Ever wondered why despite all your efforts to strip off the blackhead nothing dirty comes when you peel off the strip from a nose. Well, it’s because these are not the blackheads you were blamed, but these are sebaceous glands. These are naturally a part of the skin follicle. They direct the flow of oil or sebum on the skin along the pore lining where they lie.
They are more prominent in the oily areas of skin since they fill up the linings of our pores with sebum. Sebum deposition causes oily accumulations around pores which make them appear like blackheads. Like blackheads, sebaceous filaments also live in the pores, but they don’t get picked up when trying to remove with blackhead remover.
Sebaceous filaments are pin like dots over the nose, upper cheeks and chin which appear like whitish spikes They are generally in a group of plenty. They contain bacteria, lipids, and corneocyte fragments. There is no way you can get rid of them, as they continue to grow and come back within 30 days.
While sebum plays a major role in skin health and preventing it from infections, we must not even try to get rid of sebaceous filaments. All we can do is to minimize their appearance.
What is Sebum:
Sebum is an oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands. Its main purpose is to make the skin waterproof and provide life to the skin. Excessive sebum makes the skin pores oily and causes bacterial depositions and other infections. This also causes unpleasant odor and acne or pimples. Sebaceous glands are present in the hair in our skin. But they are also found in hairless areas like eyelids where they for tears. Sebum is the material covering newborn babies to prevent their skin from getting wrinkled.
[Read: Cystic acne treatment
Blackheads vs. Sebaceous Filaments:
- Blackhead is an abrupt eruption on the skin while the sebaceous filament is a pattern all over the nose or chin
- Blackheads are grey or black in color while sebaceous filaments are grayish white or pale
- Blackheads are uneven and appear more like plugged pore, but sebaceous filaments are smoother in touch
- Blackheads may be accompanied by whiteheads, and they together are a result of acne, but sebaceous filaments are present on every adult skin despite any the fact there is any acne or not
- Blackheads if squeezed give black colored substance but sebaceous filaments can not be squeezed out. Whatever come sis also sebum if in case it does. As hey are natural part of skin’s pore structure
- Blackheads include grime, dirt, impurities, and cosmetic built ups and get its black color due to oxidation. They have acne around. Sebaceous filaments need not have dirt or grime but rest around pores of the skin. These sebaceous filaments on nose are prominent for some while not so prominent in others
How to Get Rid of Sebaceous Filaments:
There is nothing much we can do about the sebaceous filaments. And it can’t be removed as it keeps growing. Also, sebum is needed by our skin as it provides hydration and moisturizes the skin.
You can still prevent them from getting infectious and reduce their prominence. Some of the methods to reduce their appearance are:
- Cleanse the skin daily with natural or home based products
- Exfoliate your skin regularly and try to use fruit based ingredients
- Using a clay mask helps in keeping the pores free of excess oils.
- Use pore strips to settle them down
- Use face wash at least twice a day to prevent dirt and grime depositions
[Read: Castor oil for acne treatment]
Sebaceous Filament Treatment to Reduce Their Appearance:
Sebaceous filaments on the nose may be more prominent in oily skin, and these skin types need special care and precautions. Some treatments for sebaceous filament appearance are:
1. Enzyme Peel: These are mild peels only on the upper epidermis layer of skin. They use enzymes which trigger keratin breakdown in the skin. They help in exfoliating the superficial layers of skin and helps in dissolving sebaceous filaments to some extent. Use papaya, pumpkin and pineapple enzymes for effective peel treatment
2. Salicylic acid: This has amazing exfoliating properties, not only it removes the dead skin but also breaks down the skin cells too which are stuck at the endodermis. It keeps the pores clean by de-clogging them.
3. Makeup: Using primer and highlighter can help in reducing the appearance also use good quality foundation and concealer to help to reduce their appearance temporarily.
How to Remove Sebum Plugs:
Sebum plugs are the spaces where Blackheads develop when dirt and oil deposit on pores. These are largely painless, but if they get infected, they cause pain too. These are displeasing and difficult to cover with makeup also. They must be removed to get the natural radiance of the skin back.
Some Methods to Remove Sebum Plugs Are:
- Pore strips: Use pore strips on clear and washed face to get rid of sebum plugs
- Exfoliation: Using textured substances to remove the dead skin layer from the epidermis.
- Using tools to get rid of sebum plugs: There are specific tools like used by professional beauticians
- Compilation: The above compilation on Understanding sebaceous filaments and how to reduce their appearance is to help us all understand the difference in blackheads and sebaceous filaments. They are impossible to treat, but they can be treated for reducing their appearance.
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