Sebaceous Filaments – They Are Not Those Eww Blackheads!

We’ve all been there some time. One fine morning as you are getting ready for your daily chores, you notice tiny little black specks on your face, commonly on and around the nose. Blackheads! You are likely to head straight for a nose strip or peel-off mask to get rid of them. Isn’t it the best way to remove blackheads? But, what if you don’t see a legion of those teeny spots on the strip? Now what? Not so sure what’s going on? These dark spots may be sebaceous filaments.

What Are Sebaceous Filaments?

Your skin naturally produces sebum/oil, which isn’t bad at all. Your skin might produce more or less of this oil depending on your skin type. Sebaceous filaments allow the sebum to reach the upper surface of your skin and help it to retain its natural moisture. This is a natural phenomenon that heals the skin.

However, when the sebum gets clogged into those tiny pores along with dust and dead cells they turn into something nasty. These are difficult to get rid off, unlike the blackheads. They are most often mistaken for blackheads. They are white, grayish spots that travel in packs (commonly on the nose).

Also Read: Best Face Wash For Blackheads That Might Come To Your Rescue

How Are Sebaceous Filaments Different From Blackheads?

Sebaceous filaments are not to be confused with blackheads. They are called the hardened sebum (oil) in skin pores. Unlike blackheads, sebaceous filaments are a natural part of human skin. When oil around the follicles dilates the pores, sebaceous filaments pop up. They aren’t a form of acne.


Here is how to differentiate between blackheads and sebaceous filaments –

  • Upon pressing blackheads you will notice the end to be darker than the rest coming out of your pore. On the other hand, a sebaceous filament comes out as sebum in the form of tiny whitish snake.
  • Blackheads are found superficially on the surface of the skin while sebaceous filaments are located much deeper inside.
  • Sebaceous filaments lie flat on the skin and blackheads are dark spots with a slightly raised border.

How To Treat Sebaceous Filaments?

The clogged pores remain with you for life!

You can adopt simple techniques to quick-fix your problem. A regular regimen of cleansing and exfoliating the face keep your pores clear of extra sebum and debris. This will help to wick off the oil and preventing clogging of pores and turning them into blackheads.

1. Use Of Tweezers

Try removing the sebaceous filaments at home by use of tweezers. Pull out the sebum plugs gently; remember to pull only the visible plugs to avoid bleeding. Ensure you’re using sterilized pair of tweezers.

2. Don’t Over-Exfoliate Or Over-Wash Your Skin

Cleansing your face with soaps and scrubs might seem to be an easy option to keep sebum at bay. However, the chemical agents found in these beauty products tend to irritate the skin and aggravate the problem. Thus we should create a specific and more natural skincare regimen that’s good for your skin.

3. Clay Mask Home Remedies

Clay masks are great home remedies when you’re looking for natural remedies to treat sebaceous filaments. Multani mitti and bentonite are great options to help absorb excess oil from the pores and keep them clean. This prevents the occurrence of acne and blackheads too.

clay mask

4. Do Weekly At-Home Facials

Facial treatment using steam, herbal compress or clay masks help to dilate the skin pores and release the comedones or filaments inside. Facial packs made with clays or muds combined with herbs like burdock root, dandelion root, or castor oil can pull out all debris and sebum effectively.

Follow with a moisturizer to seal in moisture and prevent reattachment of dead cells and debris after the treatment.

5. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated helps you unclog the pores more easily. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps to keep your skin soft and makes it easier to expel the unwanted debris. Moisturized skin maintains a healthy cell turnover rate which prevents the buildup of debris and dead cells.

6. Baking Soda Exfoliation

Exfoliate the skin with baking soda. It effectively removes dead skin and neutralizes skin pH balance. This results in decreased production of sebum and thus reduces the formation of sebaceous filaments.

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in some water. Apply this paste on the affected parts and let it dry. Rinse the baking soda paste with water. Repeat this twice a week to notice the change on your face.


7. Use Well Branded Skin Care Products

Refrain from using cheap skincare products. Most of them contain harsh chemicals that aggravate skin and hair problems. The chemicals in such products help to clog of pores and sebaceous filaments appear more prominent.

8. Don’t Pick

It’s tempting to just pick those filaments out of your face, but DIY extractions lead to increased spread of bacteria in the region. This causes broken capillaries, damages skin cells, and permanent scarring. Leave sebaceous filaments alone! They’re going to fill right back up again anyway.

If you’ve tried everything to remove those blackish specks from your face and still in vain, it might be sebaceous filaments.

Leaving them alone is the best!

Adopt a healthy and gentle skin care regimen to solve all skin problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it bad to squeeze sebaceous filaments?

Sebaceous filaments are natural, don’t squeeze or pick them. Try using good skincare and cleansing products instead.

What does a sebaceous filament look like?

A sebaceous filament is a tiny collection of sebum or oil and dead skin cells around a hair follicle. They are generally white or yellowish-grey in color and can be expressed out by popping.

Can sebaceous filaments be removed?

Sebaceous filaments are a natural part of the skin’s follicle. They can’t be eradicated and should be left alone. Proper cleansing of the face helps to prevent the formation of blackheads and acne.

Do pore strips remove sebaceous filaments?

Pore strips pull out the natural oils from the skin and this exposes our skin to more bacteria. Don’t use pore strips on sebaceous filaments.

Do sebaceous filaments come back?

You can extract the sebaceous filaments but as they do grow back to continue producing sebum and lubricate the skin.