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Sebasceous Filaments Vs Genuine Blackheads


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#1 TerrorFirmer

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:36 PM

I know the difference between the two - in theory. However, I'm simply not sure if what I'm experiencing is blackheads, or just sebum filled pores. I used to always have poreless skin, but the last few years on my nose, the pore size has increased - now that doesn't bother me hugely as my father has large pores, but I have noticed that if I stretch the skin on my nose, every pore has a visible plug of sebum in it - though from a distance of a foot or so, I have no visible blackheads.

Logic would say that they're filaments, however when I squeeze them, some are very clearly, soft natural sebum, but some of the plugs are actually hardened sebum, like a small blackhead though there's never really an actual 'black' head. If they were all soft sebum, I'd just be happy that they were filaments, but the hardened stuff concerns me. I have several areas on my nose, that when squeezed out, are enlarged, crater like pores, but they always seem to fill up again in a day or so, even though I have a good regime of clarisonic/jojoba oil in the am, and salicylic acid/jojoba in the pm daily. This is a mixed blessing, as when said areas are freshly squeezed, they are obvious craters, but the next day once sebum fills them again, they look far shallower and blend in with my skin....but I worry that if I stop squeezing them altogether, they'll continue to build up and turn into blackheads over time...and this did happen me once, not so much an obvious blackhead, but definitely quite obvious that the pore was filled with hardened, yellow-ish sebum when left to its own devices for about 2 weeks, rather than the whitish natural stuff everyone has.

Thoughts and opinions? Does this happen anyone else? Surely hardened sebum is not normal to just be sitting in your pores, despite the constant use of salicyclic acid....yet I never get an actual dark colored blackhead.

#2 Green Gables

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:01 PM

When your pores stretch (because of constant impaction, age, loss of collagen, sun damage, etc.) there's more room for sebum to sit there. It's more noticeable.

You're right, sebum is normal, lots of hardened sebum plugs are not.

Unfortunately, the only thing you can really do about this is Accutane or laser treatment. All the acids in the world aren't going to stop the main issue, which is your pores are just too big and easy to "collect and store" sebum.

If you don't want to go that route, you will get better maintenance with pure salicylic acid at a higher concentration. 2% formulations never did squat for me. I had to start using 5% and 10% formulations (I use Diane Yvonne brand).

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