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Pores on face filled with sebum (hard, white, stringy). Every pore I squeeze stuff comes out...bumpy surface all over face etc

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You can skip this if you dont want my background. In highschool I had mild/moderate acne with a cyst every now and then. I also had a few every now and then on my back... When I got to college everything went horrible. I had 3-4 cysts regularly, pimples/ingrown hairs on the back of my neck all the time, and moderate back acne. I went nuts. After my third round of accutane, my back has cleared up substantially and I get a zit/pimple every other week...they arent that bad either. My acne progressivly became worse throughout college (except for when on accutane) and new things have developed. I started to get more blackheads, non-inflamed acne...where I can squeeze like every pore/hair follicle and white stringy threads of sebum (I think) come out. I have got a lot more them in the past year. I have a lot of smaller whiteheads with regualr puss/white zit stuff, and mainly the white stringy threads all over my face, along with a lot of blackheads. I can always squeeze stuff out of my pores on my back if I wanted to, but my back didnt look that bad.

Now, After shaving I can literally squeeze every pore and have the white stringy sebum come out. My pores are pretty large, but I have bumps all over my cheecks filled primarily with the Hard white string sebum? I'll post pics soon, but is there anything else I can do?

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Start using a product containing alpha hydroxy acid to help unclog your pores. You can dilute apple cider vinegar which contains this acid and use it as a toner or you can purchase an over the counter product that contains glycol acid, like Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion with 10% Glycolic Acid or Alpha Hydrox Souffle with 12% Glycolic Acid. Either way, the products I listed come from Vitamin A which essentially keeps your pores decongested and helps to even out your complexion.

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steiner hows it going with the stringy stuff in your pores? mine are a mess and cannot find anything that works

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Heya,

The gunk in your pores is sebum and is a mixture of waxy esters and dead skin cells. There isn't any way to wash away wax without destroying your skin. Soap/cleansers will emulsify some of the oil on your skin and take it away, but there is no skin-safe product that will emulsify or dissolve the wax. Acetone is a non-polar solvent and would likely work, but this would destroy your skin.

So, I'll tell you what I do and perhaps you can let me know if it's working for you. I'm not sure if I can attribute my whiteheads/blackheads clearing up to my skin care routine or the awesome summer sun.

First, I don't use any products on my face at all. I shave using a little grapeseed oil, but baby oil or olive oil will work just aswell. I like the grapeseed oil as it doesn't have much of a sent. This already likely seems a little wierd, but after a week I was getting significantly less ingrown hairs/nicks ect while shaving. Just use warm water, rub your beard, add a bit of oil and shave. Your razor will get gunked up pretty fast, so clean it out as you go.

Next, I divide my face into maybe 5-6 areas, using warm water I rub an area fairly vigorously with my fingers and then using a 2-3 inch piece of plastic from a card protector that I sanded smooth using 150 then 600 grit sandpaper I scrape gently at a 45 degree angle downwards on the area that I was rubbing. The first time you do it, you'll be shocked what comes out. When I first started doing this, I did it on my nose and used my fingernails after cleaning them with some soap and toner that I no longer put on my face. As long as whatever you're using to scrape is sufficiently thin/hard/smooth you won't get any scratches on your face. Before I used this technique, I could see the sebum coming out of a great number of pores on my face - after exfoliating its gone. The first time you will have to go over the same areas multiple times before the pores fully clear out. After about three days I was quite pleased with the result.

Cheers,

Mack

If anyone tries this, lmk how it works for you!

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and then using a 2-3 inch piece of plastic from a card protector that I sanded smooth using 150 then 600 grit sandpaper I scrape gently at a 45 degree angle downwards on the area that I was rubbing.

I had to read that several times before understanding, and it is comparable to using fingernails, only i end up messing up my face :(. So i think i might try your method. What is a "card protector?" Do you mean like a small plastic case for like SD card? Do you still use this method? Thanks.

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and then using a 2-3 inch piece of plastic from a card protector that I sanded smooth using 150 then 600 grit sandpaper I scrape gently at a 45 degree angle downwards on the area that I was rubbing.

I had to read that several times before understanding, and it is comparable to using fingernails, only i end up messing up my face :(. So i think i might try your method. What is a "card protector?" Do you mean like a small plastic case for like SD card? Do you still use this method? Thanks.

Agh! I hope you didn't scratch yourself too badly!

Yea I still use this method let me try and help you a bit.

First, the key is heating your face with the warm/hot (but not uncomfortably hot) water to soften your sebum. You then massage the area for 10-15 seconds with your fingers. Then you use something to wipe it away, and if you do it correctly blackheads, whiteheads, and some sebum plugs will come out. Not all at once but over a few days you will see improvement. This will also wash excess sebum off your face, exfoliate and your face should feel smooth and not oiley.

The card protector I used looks like this. http://www.the2buds.com/surspct.htm It's called a toploader. I cut it with scissors, taking one side and sanded it with 150 then 600 grit ( VERY SMOOTH STUFF). Perhaps I should have mentioned that you need to round the corners?

In any case, before you attempt this again did you try to gently use your fingernails in one area? Do this, dry your face, wait 5-6 minutes and see if you are irritated. If you are then forget the card perhaps you have much more sensitive skin than I do. Another alternative that works for some is using some sort of wash cloth but others find this to be irritating.

Let me know how it works ^^. Don't do your whole face until you are sure it isn't being irritated.

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Not sure if you still use this forum.

I believe what you have is pityrosporum folliculitis.

A yeast infection of the skin, that's what those stringy threads are and bumps

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Shave with cold cream and use cold cream to cleanse your face. I use jergens cold cream but you could use Nivea or ponds.

Just follow the directions on the back of the tub and as for shaving, just apply it like shave gel/foam and shave as usual.

It's really simple and it works great for clogged pores. You can use the cold cream as a moisturizer too so no need to buy multiple products.

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