How To Get Rid Of Sebaceous Filaments

Clear skin is what everyone is looking to achieve. There are plenty of face washes and masks available on the market that aim to get rid of pimples and blackheads while keeping your face clean. However, even if you have relatively clear skin, you may notice these blackhead-like clogs in your pores that seem to appear no matter how clean you keep your skin.

These are known as sebaceous filaments and while they resemble blackheads, they are quite different and need to be treated differently. Here, you’ll find more information on these skin occurrences while also learning how to get rid of sebaceous filaments.


What Are Sebaceous Filaments?

When dead skin and sebum collect around a hair follicle it creates a sebaceous filament which is a strand of material that will have a white or yellow-like color to it that clogs the pores. These occur naturally and are not like other pimples or blackheads which are caused by dirt or an infection. Sebaceous filaments help facilitate the flow of sebum in your skin to keep it moisturized. This eventually comes to the surface as the excess builds up. They are most prevalent around the skin of your nose and similar thin-skinned areas.

Everyone naturally produces sebum in their bodies. Sebum is your skin’s natural moisturizer that is made up of wax esters, squalene, and triglycerides. It is supposed to act as a waterproof barrier that is meant to keep your skin protected from bacteria and generally healthy. Some people, however, produce more than others and causes oily complexions and noticeably sebaceous filaments and other more prominent pimples.

This happens either due to genetics or hormonal factors. The filaments are your body’s natural way of expelling the sebum. When it is combined with added build-up like dead skin cells, makeup, or dirt, your pores will become plugged and form a whitehead or blackhead. When there is only skin cells and sebum, the sebaceous filaments are formed, instead. Here is a quick breakdown of the three types of occurrences that are generally referred to as acne:

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Sebaceous filaments

These form below your skin and are white in color and usually bleed when extracted.

Sebaceous filaments, as stated earlier, are naturally occurring so there is really no way to prevent them from happening but there are some possible ways where you can minimize their appearance and how often they happen. Next, you’ll find out how to get rid of sebaceous filaments, if you can at all.

How To Get Rid Of Sebaceous Filaments

The actual fact is that sebaceous filaments will occur every now and then and there really isn’t much you can do about them once they occur. You can’t really extract these as you would a blackhead or whitehead as they are simply lining your pores and aren’t really forming a swollen clog. Sometimes you can extract them by squeezing but most of the time you’ll end up irritating your face and causing more harm than good.

The best thing you can do is to try and prevent them or limiting how many occur. A proper exfoliation routine including a clay mask can help. This is because exfoliation will remove the dead skin cells from your face so they can’t collect in your pores while the clay mask has properties in them that help absorb excess oil in your skin. Without the excess oil and the dead skin cells, there won’t be much to build up in your pores. You can also treat your skin with face oils that are made to balance oily skin. It might not make sense to use oil to treat oily skin, but believe it or not it works.

When choosing what products to use, chose a BHA exfoliant that can dissolve the sebum in your skin. This specific exfoliant can help limit the occurrence of sebaceous filaments. Remember to use a cleanser to get rid of makeup, dirt, and other external factors that might lead to clogged pores.

You can also try enzyme peels. These are mild peels that work to eliminate waste on the upper epidermal layers of your skin (mainly dead skin cells). They also break down the keratin in your skin in order to exfoliate it and dislodge or dissolve the filaments that are present. They are great for sensitive skin, too, since they’re quite mild. The best enzyme peels will contain pineapple, papaya, and pumpkin enzymes.

One thing that has proven not to work are pore strips that you can buy in the store. Pore strips were made to extract blackheads from your skin. While you may assume that they’d work for sebaceous filaments, too, you may have already found out that they aren’t effective for these filaments. Don’t bother using them for these, you’ll just waste your money.


If you are dealing with acne and are curious about how to get rid of sebaceous filaments and other blemishes, hopefully, the information here has helped clear up any confusion or misconceptions. Remember to keep your skin clean and exfoliate your skin regularly to help keep your face looking its best. If you’re noticing more intense skin problems besides sebaceous filaments, consider talking to your doctor and getting a referral for a dermatologist.

A good dermatologist will be able to evaluate your skin and help create a treatment plan to best deal with your skin to prevent different blemishes or other skin ailments that might be plaguing you. If you notice that store bought products you’re using to treat any skin problems are causing irritation or an allergic reaction, stop using that product(s) immediately and see your doctor if the condition is serious.

Anna Smith

Hi there ! I’m Anna Smith, chief editor at Healthankering. I'm a proud mother of three passionate about health tips, beauty and ways to live healthier with more energy ! We start Healthankering to provide advanced material about not only the best ways to get healthy, but also to entertain and create a great community. Welcome aboard !

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