Sebaceous Filaments – Complete Guide

Sebaceous filaments are cylindrical tubes present in areas of the face where you have a rich density of oil glands or sebaceous follicles. They can be either yellow or white and are completely different from whiteheads and blackheads.

These cylindrical tubes are composed of about 10 to 30 layers of dead skin, bacteria, oil, and sebum. You can see them extruding from the pore by moving your nose from side to side by using your fingers. Once they are removed, the pores will refill again within 30 days. You can’t permanently remove, you just have to clean and take care of the area.

You can find sebaceous filaments on the nose, cheeks, forehead, chest, and back.

Who can get Sebaceous Filaments?

People with large pores, oily skin, or seborrhea (high sebum production) can get sebaceous filaments. This is mainly due to genetics and overall facial anatomy.

How to treat Sebaceous Filaments?

  • Salicylic acid: using a 2% salicylic acid cleanser regularly can help prevent the formation of sebaceous filaments and remove the existing filaments. Salicylic acid gets into the pores and breaks up the oil, bacteria, and sebum.
  • Niacinamide: This is another ingredient you can find in almost every skincare product. It minimizes pore appearance and regulates oil.
  • Clay masks: contains kaolin and bentonite that help to absorb excess oil from the surface of the skin and a little bit from the pores.
  • Retinoids: retinoids like adapalene (Differin) and tretinoin can help decrease oil production and the size of the oil glands. You can also use retinol which is a more potent version.
  • Moisturizer: An oil-free moisturizer can also help decrease sebaceous filaments. They are non-comedogenic and can help to keep the area hydrated.
  • Sunscreen: UV rays can destroy your skin and pores making them seem larger, so sunscreen is compulsory.

How to treat Sebaceous Filaments on the chest and back?

People don’t normally get sebaceous filaments on the chest and back but if your doctor has diagnosed it, then using salicylic acid (morning) along with a retinol (night time), moisturizer, and sunscreen can solve the problem.

What is an ideal skincare routine for Sebaceous Filaments?

Morning routine:

  1. Use a 2% salicylic acid cleanser (a leave-on can irritate the skin).
  2. You can apply niacinamide if it doesn’t irritate your skin.
  3. Moisturizer and then sunscreen.

Night routine:

  1. Use a normal cleanser.
  2. Apply retinol, tretinoin, or adapalene.
  3. And lastly a moisturizer.

You can use a clay mask once a week.