The first step in cleaning sebum plugs from the scalp is to wash your scalp with warm water. Next, use a mild shampoo while gently massaging your scalp with your fingertips. This helps loosen all the hardened and dried sebum on the scalp. Excess build-up of sebum occurs on the scalp rather than hair strands.
Nazarian recommends exfoliating with topical medications, such as glycolic acid, retinoids, and salicylic acid, to break down the plugs and dissolve them.
6 tips for treating sebum plugs
Exfoliate: Use chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid rather than physical exfoliants, to gently dissolve dead skin cells. This can improve skin health and elasticity and reduce sensitivity. Apply topical creams: Apply topical treatments designed to address acne.
Any hair loss that occurs as a result of seborrheic dermatitis is usually reversible. Typically, the hair will grow back once a person has received treatment for the inflammation that triggered the hair loss and stopped scratching or rubbing the scalp.
The overproduction of sebum causes the hair and skin to become greasy and can lead to various complications such as dandruff and acne. If left untreated, sebum buildup on the scalp can cause more serious symptoms and complications, including hair loss.
You can help get rid of dead skin cells that may be trapped with keratin in these bumps by using gentle exfoliation methods. You can exfoliate with gentle acids, such as peels or topicals with lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acid. Over-the-counter options include Eucerin or Am-Lactin.
Use gentle exfoliants to remove dead skin cells trapped along with keratin. You can try gentle acids like topicals or peels that have lactic, salicylic or glycolic acid. If exfoliation doesn't work, a dermatologist may suggest stronger prescription creams to help dissolve them.
Sebaceous filaments are a normal part of your skin, which means you cannot get rid of them. Sebaceous filaments can never be completely removed.
Don't: Squeeze them.
You might see a gnarly-looking plug in the mirror, your fingers practically itching to pop and squeeze the blemish—don't. "Squeezing can traumatize the skin, introduce bacteria, and damage the pore, which can spread debris and bacteria deeper into the tissue," King notes.
Salicylic acid is oil-soluble , which means that it can penetrate sebum and help clear pores. If a person has not used a product with salicylic acid before, it may be a good idea to start with one application every day or every other day.
WHAT CAUSES AN EXCESS OF SEBUM? If your skin is very oily, your body may be producing too much sebum, leading to skin conditions like acne and breakouts. The main cause of an overproduction of sebum is hormonal imbalances, including as a result of puberty and pregnancy.
Though you may be tempted to squeeze or otherwise get rid of a sebaceous filament, it's best to leave them alone. Squeezing or picking at sebaceous filaments risks scarring and spreading any bacteria that may be in or around the pore to other parts of your face, causing a breakout.
Board-certified dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD, said pore strips aim to remove debris that accumulate within pores, which includes dead skin cells, oil, wax, mixed yeast and bacteria.
Truth be told, you can never completely get rid of sebaceous filaments. You can extract them, but they'll come back shortly thereafter, usually around 30 days or less for those with very oily skin. They're something everyone has, and most people won't notice them anyway.
Sebum plugs, also known as sebaceous filaments are actually a completely natural and normal part of our skin. However, we're willing to take a guess and say you have probably been mistaking them for blackheads! In fact, they are quite simply a build up of the oily liquid known as sebum within the pore.
As lesions age, dilation of follicular openings occurs with a keratinous plug, termed follicular plugging or patulous follicles (see the image below). Resolution of the active lesion results in atrophy and scarring.
And when it grows back gray—because it always will—pulling it out again and again may lead to infection or scarring of that hair follicle. Color it, cut it if you must, but stop plucking. You should never, ever touch these parts of your body.
Sebaceous hyperplasia causes yellowish or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. These bumps are shiny and usually on the face, especially the forehead and nose. They're also small, usually between 2 and 4 millimeters wide, and painless.
Over-the-counter medications, creams, and face washes that contain retinol may help clear clogged sebaceous glands. Some people may find that regularly washing the skin with a cleanser containing salicylic acid can help dry-oily skin and prevent clogged glands.
Dandruff flakes are actually dead skin cells that naturally fall off the scalp — more so if you scratch. Many people think that a dry scalp is synonymous with dandruff, but either a dry scalp or an overly oily scalp can cause excess cells to clump and fall off, forming dandruff flakes.
Sebum is the oil produced by the sebaceous or oil glands on your scalp. This naturally occurring oil helps hydrate your hair just like other naturally occurring oils do for your skin. This is why scalp sebum is essential for healthy hair growth. This is why it needs to be protected.
Your Hair, Your Sebum
The reason that people with fine hair are more likely to complain about oiliness is simple: There may not be enough hair to fully absorb the amount of sebum their scalps produce.
How to Reduce Sebaceous Filaments on Your Face. Use a Cleanser with Salicylic Acid. Remove excess impurities and sebum with a charcoal acne cleanser with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps dissolve the dead skin cells and oils clogging pores that might lead to large sebaceous filaments.