Blackheads and sebaceous filaments are regularly mistaken for one another. With the skincare industry booming, many products are marketed to take care of blackheads, such as nose strips. However, many times, these products are not actually removing blackheads; they are removing a different type of blemish—sebaceous filaments. At Dermatology Associates of Atlanta (DAA), we are here to educate you on the difference between these two types of acne and how you can rid your skin of them altogether.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads occur when a pore becomes blocked and sebum gets trapped beneath. The blackhead gets its color from the air through oxidization.
What are sebaceous filaments?
Sebaceous filaments are often confused with blackheads. Sebaceous filaments are tiny sebum reservoirs that line the pores to help transport sebum to the surface. They become noticeable when the body produces an excessive amount of sebum. Unlike blackheads, sebaceous filaments do not completely block the pore; however, they do give pores a noticeably dirtier appearance. Sebaceous filaments also range in color from white to black and often resemble blackheads.
Both types of acne are more likely to occur in individuals with oily skin or larger pores.
Should I continue using nose strips?
Nose strips may temporarily improve the appearance of sebaceous filaments and blackheads, but this temporary fix comes at a cost. First, the act of ripping off a nose strip is forceful and may damage your pore in the process. Secondly, this fix does not get to the root of your skin issues. Adjusting things like your skin care products, sun exposure, and oil production is more likely to lead to longer-lasting clear skin.
How can I remedy sebaceous filaments and blackheads?
Unfortunately, there is no magic cure-all for acne and that includes blackheads and sebaceous filaments. However, there are precautions that you can take to control your oil production and reduce the appearance of both blackheads and sebaceous filaments. A few of these precautions may include:
- Exfoliation. Practicing regular exfoliation is a great way to control oil production.
- Salicylic acid. This ingredient is found in various skin care products. This oil-soluble ingredient cleans pores and may reduce the amount of oil on the skin over time. Be careful not to overuse this ingredient as it may lead to dryness and peeling.
- Sunscreen. Not only does sunscreen protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but it can also safeguard you from premature aging and enlarged pores. Larger pores may lead to more noticeable sebaceous filaments.
- See a specialist. Tried everything and nothing seems to be working? It could be time to see a professional. Dermatology Associates of Atlanta has many expert dermatologists who can assess, diagnose, and repair your skin issues.
If you would like to schedule a skin consultation with one of our dermatologists, please call us, at (404) 256-4457 or fill out a contact request form on our website. For more information on skin care, do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!