What Is Sebum Filaments?

Sebum filaments mostly exist on the face and nose and are completely normal. Just like hair growth, the production process of sebum filaments does not need to be controlled or suppressed.

Black Heads VS Sebum Filaments

According to Dr. Alana Milich, “the little gray spots on the nose, they’re not always blackheads.”

Blackheads are oil oxides exposed to superficial pores that can be observed by the naked eye. On the other hand, sebum filament, although they are also small back spots (because the oil is exposed to the air and oxidized), are natural metabolic developments. Blackheads are often found in isolated parts of the nose and face while sebum filaments are found in the oily parts of your skin (nose, chin, eyebrows, forehead, and cheek.) Keep in mind any time there is inflammation; it is not a sebaceous filament. A sebaceous filament is a natural development so it will not result in any kind of inflammation.

Color and Size

Blackheads are always black and are usually bigger than sebum filaments as sebum filaments are small and gray.


Sebum filaments are skinny and smooth to the touch while blackheads have grown outside the clogged pore and will feel significantly bigger than a sebum filament.

Do Sebum Filaments Need to be Treated?

If you look closely, you will find that the nose, t-zone, and chin secrete more sebum than any other part of the face, which is why that you may feel like the t-area of the face looks more greasy than the cheek, chest, back, or scalp does. The sebaceous gland is developed in these more greasy areas of the face. So seborrheic dermatitis often occurs in these parts. And it is also worth paying attention to.

Often times people will say that the nose and other greasy area looks disgusting and the sebum fiber needs to be dealt with. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you do so. Sebum filaments are not blackheads, so any methods you use to deal with blackheads are basically useless. Blackheads are found in the superficial hair follicles. So blackhead stickers only deal with problems on the surface of the skin. When you use the blackhead stickers or other methods of blackhead removal, they are not made to deal with the deeper sebum filaments. So they will, of course, not work.

Also, remember that sebum filaments are a completely normal need for hair follicles. If you want to keep your hair follicles healthy, the pores on your nose and face need to be lubricated, so while you may want to minimize it, it is best not try and eradicate it completely. Only treat sebum filaments when it gets abnormal. Finally, while it may seem easiest to use a simple and aggressive method that will work quickly, this can also come with irreparable consequences: thick pores and hair follicle infection.

What is Sebum Filaments?

Methods of Prevention

How do you minimize sebum filaments in pores? The truth is no one can permanently remove sebum filaments from their faces, but there are methods to minimize and prevent them. Below are seven good methods to do so.

Using Daily Cleansing and Beauty Meter

If you have oily skin, it is best to use warm water and mild cleanser products to clean your skin at least once a day to remove any excess grease that blocks pores and prevents acne. After you wash your face, you can use a red light beauty instrument for twenty minutes as a recommended method to minimize pores.

Mud Cleaning Masks

Many types of clay, such as kaolin and bentonite, absorbs excess grease off of your skin while also keeping your pores both clean and smooth. Often, sebum filaments become dirty, and the grease accumulation can cause infection of the hair follicles and aggressive acne attacks. By doing a mud cleaning mask at least once a week, you can reduce pore-clogging, blackheads, and help keep sebum filaments clean.

Use a Baking Soda and Enzyme Peel-Off Mask

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, can remove dead skin cells from off of your skin, and the weak alkalinity can antagonize oil secretion and antibacterial activity. As a result of this, the skin will produce less grease, which will prevent the visible formation of both sebum filaments and blackheads.

When you use this method, avoid putting baking soda in open wounds because that can cause irritation and worsen your problems. Also, avoid prolonged or excessing application of the baking soda as this can lead to irritation of the skin, dryness, cracking, and even worsening of the skin condition. You must also be careful not to massage the baking soda into the skin (as if for exfoliation) as this can cause micro-wounds or tears in the skin, but the same out is true for soap-based facial cleaners and homemade soaps.

The enzyme added to the product is actually a protease, which means it can dissolve the keratin accumulated in the hair follicles for a long time, therefore solving any problems of pore blockage. Just beware of enzymes of excessive strength or applying the enzyme for too long as this can cause damage to normal, needed keratinocytes.

Use of Vitamin A Acid

Vitamin A acid can fight against blackheads and sebum filaments. And it can make it an excellent method to try, but many people cannot apply it overnight. Additionally, you can’t use it in the morning, they will have red and dry skin or other problems. The best way to use vitamin A acid is short-term contact therapy to avoid any and all serious, adverse reactions. (You can also use this with other medicines that induce adverse reactions such as benzoyl peroxide.)

This method can greatly reduce the adverse reactions many people face. After cleaning your face in the evening, apply vitamin A or other substances for only fifteen minutes. And then rinse off your face thoroughly. When you are sure your face is clean, apply soothing products such as lotions. If you stick to this regimen for fifteen minutes a day, you can enjoy all the good effects that come with vitamin A without any of the adverse effects.

Sebum Filaments Infection Treatment

Under normal circumstances, sebum filaments will not cause infection or disease. But when it is infected, it turns from gray to black, and you need to treat it. The best course of treatment is to remove the infected sebum filaments. Usually, you can do this with the same treatments used to treat blackheads. Additionally, adapalene and Tazorac ointments can be used to regulate the growth of keratinocytes. It will solve hair follicle blockage and lessen infection.

You can also use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to cure infected sebum filaments and pores by killing bacteria, removing excess grease, and promoting the removal of dead skin that may clog up your pores. You should use the same short term contact method you would use with vitamin A acid with these to avoid adverse effects while still benefiting from all the positives.

Finally, if the infection is in the advanced stage and you have inflammatory bumps on your nose. you should not use adapalene. Rather you should use the benzoyl peroxide or other antibiotics. At this point, it is best to consult a dermatologist or other health professional.

Physically Remove the Sebum Filaments Yourself

This method includes physically removing the sebum filaments with a round, dull needle or tweezers. You will use the tools to squeeze the nose or another area to produce enough external force for the sebum filaments to fall off. You should squeeze with enough pressure but do so gently and carefully. It is best to cover the area with a hot towel first and then make sure all tools are sterilized to avoid infections. Only remove visible sebum filaments, and if you go deep, watch out for inflammation and swelling.

Hot Compress

After washing your face, apply a hot compress (a hot towel) to your face for five minutes to open up the pores. Once you do this, you can use a wet compress for ten minutes. This allows for detoxification and the shrinking of pores.


No matter which of the above methods you choose (or if you choose to use another) pay attention to what your skin feels like before, during, and after the process. If you notice any pain, inflammation, swelling, or other sign of an allergic or adverse reaction, stop the process immediately. If reaction ceases, you can try another method, if not consult a health professional.

Kana Z

Kana Z

I am a writer focussing on beauty, cosmetics, skincare, haircare and body care. I have a special interest in establishing solutions for problem skin. I have being working and studing with some of the world’s top skincare experts, hairstylists, makeup artists, perfume creators, photographers and models. I also currently write for websites of the skincare brand. My Specialties: beauty, journalism, skincare, haircare, cosmetics and problem skin.

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