Sebaceous filament

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sebaceous filament
Other namesBlackhead (mistakenly)
A 14 year old male with characteristic black spots of sebaceous filaments on the nose
TreatmentA topical retinol cream will help.

A sebaceous filament is a tiny collection of sebum and dead skin cells around a hair follicle, which usually takes the form of a small, yellow to off-white hair-like strand when expressed from the skin.[1][2]

These filaments are naturally occurring, and are especially prominent on the nose.[3][2]:64 They are typical among those with naturally oily skin and large pores, even if said individuals have ceased to produce acne.[2]:64 They are not a sign of infection or any other ailment including acne,[2]:16 and are commonly mistaken for, though cannot form[2]:26 blackheads. Expression, or squeezing, is discouraged as sebaceous filaments are a natural part of healthy human skin. As such, squeezing can lead to unintentional unnecessary harm, such as scarring or inflammation.[citation needed] They help to channel the flow of sebum within a given pore, allowing it to seep gradually to the surface. David A. Whiting described them in his review in the Western Journal of Medicine as "a loose, porous mass of horny detritus".[1]


  1. ^ a b Whiting, D. A. (1979). "Acne". The Western Journal of Medicine. 131 (6): 551–7. PMC 1271924. PMID 161830.
  2. ^ a b c d e Plewig, Gerd; Melnik, Bodo; WenChieh, Chen (2019). Plewig and Kligman's Acne and Rosacea (4th ed.). Basel, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.:2
  3. ^ Plewig, G.; Wolff, H. H. (1976). "Sebaceous filaments (author's transl)". Archiv für Dermatologische Forschung. 255 (1): 9–21. PMID 130839.