Let's try a little experiment. Look at the nearest mirror and look at the pores around the nose, chin and general area of the T zone. Do you see small black dots that fill your pores? If you answered "no," I'm jealous of you, bye. If you answered "Yes," I suppose you think those points are black points. But what if I told you that those spots on your face are not really blackheads but something called sebaceous filaments? Very normal and very normal part of the skin that is often confused with the black spots you hate.
Well, that is exactly why I am here today. And to help explain this phenomenon, since, surprise, you can't just squeeze them and wait for them to disappear, I turned to dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, of the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York to tell you the black dots on the sebaceous filaments . and if you can really get rid of them or not.
Are sebaceous filaments normal?
Yes, totally normal. Here is the essence: your sebaceous glands create an oily liquid called sebum to lubricate the skin. Sebaceous filaments (also known as sebum plugs) are collections of that oily liquid. Where problems are found is when that sebum plug mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria and causes clogged pores, which makes your small pores look larger.
Do sebaceous filaments become black dots?
Bingo! That is exactly what happens. "They are essentially the basis of our black and white spots and, often, even our painful cysts," says Nazarian. "When sebum is exposed to air and oxidizes, it turns black and then is considered a black dot. "
What does a tallow plug look like?
It's easy to know if something is a black dot because, well, it's black. But what about sebaceous filaments? These may look like small black spots on the skin from a distance, but go find your grandmother's magnifying mirror, and those black spots may not be black at all. On closer inspection, you will see that they are actually a little light or slightly yellow. Cute. Dr. Nazarian says, when it is squeezed out of the pore, they look like a thin filament (hence the name).
Can you squeeze the sebaceous filaments?
I mean, can you? Yes, * technically * you can squeeze them out. But should you? Definitely not. "I do not recommend tightening, because the tissue around the pores can be damaged by aggressive pressure and can cause scarring," said Dr. Nazarian. Not only that, but excessively squeezing the pores can stretch them and make them permanently larger in the long term.
How to get rid of sebaceous filaments?
Your skin needs a certain amount of sebum to stay healthy, so the goal is not to get rid of those sebaceous filaments completely (neither do you). Even so, to prevent them from becoming real outbreaks, Dr. Nazarian recommends exfoliating with topical medications, such as glycolic acid, retinoids and salicylic acid, to break down the plugs and dissolve them. Eventually, your pores be fill in, so like a Whac-a-Mole game, those sebaceous filaments will reappear, which will require you to be consistent in your routine.
Just make sure you don't overdo it. "If you overuse these treatments, the activity of the sebaceous glands may decrease too much and the skin may become too dry., so use sparingly, "she says. Do you hear that? Scarcely. Now go and try one of these products to reduce your sebaceous filaments.
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
Proactiv Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
Neutrogena Fast Moisturizing Wrinkle Repair Night
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel
Brooke Shunatona Brooke Shunatona is a contributing writer from Cosmopolitan.com.