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#1 willow569

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:47 PM

I thought this blog from my esthetician's website would be helpful to some of you. I see a lot of posts from people who may actually have sebaceous filaments, but think they have blackheads (usually they mention having lots of them, and that the spots either don't extract or they just fill up again the next day). Hope this helps some of you!



Those are not blackheads in your nose
…..most of the time.

Almost every day I get clients at my acne clinic that think they have blackheads on their nose. I know that what they see in their nose looks just like blackheads, but it is not. Those are what are called sebaceous filaments. They are basically the oil glands on your nose and in the chin area just below the lower lip. They are meant to be there and will never go away. Even if extracted, it still looks the same and it fills right back up again a week later.

Once in a while, someone actually will have blackheads in their nose. The picture below shows a client of mine who has blackheads in between the sebaceous filaments. Those definitely need to be extracted.

So, my rule of thumb is, if all the so-called “blackheads” in your nose are all the same size, then they are not blackheads. If, however, you have a “blackhead” that is bigger than the rest of the other “blackheads” in the nose, then it really is a blackhead and not just another sebaceous filament.

My clients tend to have a very disappointing reaction to my assessment of their “blackheads” on their nose. They, most often, desparately want them to go away. I reassure them that everybody, even people who have never had acne, have them. Everyone but the most oil-dry of skin does have them. When you are standing a couple of feet away from someone, which is the normal “space” between people, you can’t even see the pores on the nose. We are all so used to looking at air-brushed pictures of models in fashion magazines that have absolutely perfect skin with no pores showing at all. Unfortunately, this sets up an expectation and fantasy that our skin should look just like this. Sorry…… it’s just not real and I tell my clients that they are just going to have to accept their nose the way it is.

Attached File  filaments.jpg   12.3K   13720 downloads

#2 c'est la vigne

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:51 PM

Great post! I have those and always wondered about them. As she says, they're not even visible from a few feet away, but I'm so used to scrutinizing my skin that they seem very apparent to me.

#3 willow569

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:02 PM

QUOTE (c'est la vigne @ Aug 23 2009, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great post! I have those and always wondered about them. As she says, they're not even visible from a few feet away, but I'm so used to scrutinizing my skin that they seem very apparent to me.


Yeah, I think we are used to examining our skin with a mirror that is a couple inches away from our skin. Most people don't get quite that close! smile.gif

I think that those of us who have had skin problems tend to notice these, when others don't, because we spend much more time examining our skin - even the normal stuff starts to look abnormal to us!

#4 c'est la vigne

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (c'est la vigne @ Aug 23 2009, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great post! I have those and always wondered about them. As she says, they're not even visible from a few feet away, but I'm so used to scrutinizing my skin that they seem very apparent to me.


Yeah, I think we are used to examining our skin with a mirror that is a couple inches away from our skin. Most people don't get quite that close! smile.gif

I think that those of us who have had skin problems tend to notice these, when others don't, because we spend much more time examining our skin - even the normal stuff starts to look abnormal to us!

Yup. I use a magnifying mirror to look at my skin, and it one of those, even regular pores look messed up. So these filaments look HUGE.

#5 willow569

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:30 PM

QUOTE (c'est la vigne @ Aug 23 2009, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (c'est la vigne @ Aug 23 2009, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great post! I have those and always wondered about them. As she says, they're not even visible from a few feet away, but I'm so used to scrutinizing my skin that they seem very apparent to me.


Yeah, I think we are used to examining our skin with a mirror that is a couple inches away from our skin. Most people don't get quite that close! smile.gif

I think that those of us who have had skin problems tend to notice these, when others don't, because we spend much more time examining our skin - even the normal stuff starts to look abnormal to us!

Yup. I use a magnifying mirror to look at my skin, and it one of those, even regular pores look messed up. So these filaments look HUGE.


Mag mirrors are evil! evil.gif You should stay far, far away from them...


#6 c'est la vigne

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:41 PM

QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (c'est la vigne @ Aug 23 2009, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (c'est la vigne @ Aug 23 2009, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great post! I have those and always wondered about them. As she says, they're not even visible from a few feet away, but I'm so used to scrutinizing my skin that they seem very apparent to me.


Yeah, I think we are used to examining our skin with a mirror that is a couple inches away from our skin. Most people don't get quite that close! smile.gif

I think that those of us who have had skin problems tend to notice these, when others don't, because we spend much more time examining our skin - even the normal stuff starts to look abnormal to us!

Yup. I use a magnifying mirror to look at my skin, and it one of those, even regular pores look messed up. So these filaments look HUGE.


Mag mirrors are evil! evil.gif You should stay far, far away from them...

I bought it for when I pluck my eyebrows, and now I can't stop using it to check out my skin. : P

#7 v_singh

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:26 PM

that picture just shows large/open pores. they look black because light cannot get into the pores and creates a dark shadow which makes it look like blackheads/dark

im pretty sure that sebecoues filaments are the white coloured clogged clumps of solidifed sebum. i have that problem sad.gif

QUOTE
Sebaceous filaments are cylindrical tubes of whitish-yellowish color, which can be expressed from areas of the face rich in sebaceous follicles by pinching the skin or by the cyanoacrylat-technique. Sebaceous filaments are most commonly found in the centrofacial areas and the alae nasae in postpuberal individuals with large facial pores and seborrhea. Sebaceous filaments are composed of a skeleton of 10-30 horny cell layers which enclose a mixture of bacteria, sebaceous lipid, corneocyte fragments and one hair. Following the expression of the filament the follicle refills within 30 days. The various portions of sebaceous follicles (acro- and infrainfundibulum) and the follicular contents are presented at the light microscopial and ultrastructural level. Follicles containing sebaceous filaments have a conspicuous granular layer and no acanthosis. Sebaceous filaments should be differentiated from a microcomedo and trichostasis spinolosa. They are a common morphological variant of sebaceous follicles.


http://www.ncbi.nlm....v/pubmed/130839

#8 savethedrama

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:28 PM

So the gunk this guy pulled off his nose are actually sebaceous filaments?


#9 willow569

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:31 PM

QUOTE (v_singh @ Aug 23 2009, 02:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
that picture just shows large/open pores. they look black because light cannot get into the pores and creates a dark shadow which makes it look like blackheads/dark

im pretty sure that sebecoues filaments are the white coloured clogged clumps of solidifed sebum. i have that problem sad.gif

QUOTE
Sebaceous filaments are cylindrical tubes of whitish-yellowish color, which can be expressed from areas of the face rich in sebaceous follicles by pinching the skin or by the cyanoacrylat-technique. Sebaceous filaments are most commonly found in the centrofacial areas and the alae nasae in postpuberal individuals with large facial pores and seborrhea. Sebaceous filaments are composed of a skeleton of 10-30 horny cell layers which enclose a mixture of bacteria, sebaceous lipid, corneocyte fragments and one hair. Following the expression of the filament the follicle refills within 30 days. The various portions of sebaceous follicles (acro- and infrainfundibulum) and the follicular contents are presented at the light microscopial and ultrastructural level. Follicles containing sebaceous filaments have a conspicuous granular layer and no acanthosis. Sebaceous filaments should be differentiated from a microcomedo and trichostasis spinolosa. They are a common morphological variant of sebaceous follicles.


http://www.ncbi.nlm....v/pubmed/130839


The can look black too (but may be white under the surface), because of exposure to oxygen at the surface of the skin.


#10 willow569

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:47 PM

Exerpt from a skin care magazine article:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.

#11 carrie54

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 07:42 PM

Thanks for sharing this. I hadn't heard of it. It's good to know. Is it something everyone gets or just some people?




#12 willow569

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:29 AM

QUOTE (carrie54 @ Aug 23 2009, 05:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for sharing this. I hadn't heard of it. It's good to know. Is it something everyone gets or just some people?


I think lots of people have these - even people who don't have acne problems. Not sure if everyone does, but I do think they are pretty common.

#13 Siava

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:40 AM

If I remember correctly, not only are these on the nose and chin, but also in the creases between the nostrils and upper lip.

#14 v_singh

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:50 AM

QUOTE (Sound Choice @ Aug 23 2009, 10:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So the gunk this guy pulled off his nose are actually sebaceous filaments?


yeah that solid white stuff

#15 thoro19

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:21 PM

hi

#16 v_singh

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exerpt from a skin care magazine article:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.


i pretty sure that sebaceous filaments are always white even when exposed to oxygen. Well mine are anyway

#17 Helios

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:42 AM

QUOTE (v_singh @ Aug 25 2009, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exerpt from a skin care magazine article:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.


i pretty sure that sebaceous filaments are always white even when exposed to oxygen. Well mine are anyway


Here:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.
http://www.lneonline...archive/?200610

#18 willow569

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 01:24 PM

QUOTE (Helios @ Aug 25 2009, 09:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (v_singh @ Aug 25 2009, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exerpt from a skin care magazine article:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.


i pretty sure that sebaceous filaments are always white even when exposed to oxygen. Well mine are anyway


Here:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.
http://www.lneonline...archive/?200610


They can be black on top, but white underneath or they can be all white. It depends on if the opening of the pore is dialated enough that the surface gets exposed to oxygen (which is what turns it black on top). If the pore opening is tight and closed, you might just get the white filaments, since they aren't exposed to oxygen at the skin's surface. Its the same idea that causes whiteheads (closed comedones) and blackhead (open comedones) to look different, even though they are both considered to be types of noninflamed acne.

And with the video that is posted, it is titled "removing blackheads", so I assume the guy who made the video sees black coloring on the surface of what gets removed (since he thinks they are blackheads), even though the rest of the filament is white.

#19 v_singh

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 04:46 AM

QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 25 2009, 08:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Helios @ Aug 25 2009, 09:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (v_singh @ Aug 25 2009, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (willow569 @ Aug 23 2009, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exerpt from a skin care magazine article:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.


i pretty sure that sebaceous filaments are always white even when exposed to oxygen. Well mine are anyway


Here:

The small clogged pores on the nose are not classic comedones. They are called sebaceous filaments and are mostly just solidified sebum. Oxidation causes the black part as sebum is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a black color because they are not exposed to air. Sebaceous filaments form quickly because of the volume of sebum produced in oily areas like the nose.
http://www.lneonline...archive/?200610


They can be black on top, but white underneath or they can be all white. It depends on if the opening of the pore is dialated enough that the surface gets exposed to oxygen (which is what turns it black on top). If the pore opening is tight and closed, you might just get the white filaments, since they aren't exposed to oxygen at the skin's surface. Its the same idea that causes whiteheads (closed comedones) and blackhead (open comedones) to look different, even though they are both considered to be types of noninflamed acne.

And with the video that is posted, it is titled "removing blackheads", so I assume the guy who made the video sees black coloring on the surface of what gets removed (since he thinks they are blackheads), even though the rest of the filament is white.


mabey i have soemthing else then because my are always white even on the top parts and they are exposd to oxygen, my pore opening are not tight at all, the white stuff comes right out to the surface where i can actually just use tweezers to remove them. ill try post a picture soon

#20 kazza

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:40 AM

Oh dear, this is truly depressing! I always thought I had blackheads but it now seems more likely that it's the sebaceous filaments I'm plagued with. Never heard of them before. And to read that there's no way to get rid of them for good is too awful! shock.gif

I wondered how, when I use nose strips that bring all the gunk out, my nose doesn't look much different and the large pores just fill right up again overnight. They're like hungry little mouths, permanently open, waiting to be filled!!! Hate them!

In saying that, there's reports on here of people who've had success at clearing and shrinking pores with things such as mandelic acid, Paula's Choice products and Green Cream. I will persevere on my quest for clear skin. I will not be beaten goddammit! eusa_pray.gif

p.s What was that stuff the guy put on his nose?