if youâ€™re tired of being made to feel badabout your skin â€¦ …getting zit-shamed by commercials for lotionsor little strips thatâ€™ll get rid of those â€œunsightlyâ€ spots on your noseâ€¦ …then i have some good news for you. those ads often refer to those tiny littlespots as blackheads, but â€¦ that is not what they are! those are just your normal hair follicles,doing what theyâ€™re supposed to do! blackheads are a type of non-inflammatoryacne, the type that doesnâ€™t make your skin really red and swollen.
the medical name for blackheads is open comedones, a comedo just being a clogged pore. and your pores can get clogged because ofoverproduction by the oil glands in your skin called sebaceous glands. sometimes, the mixture of this natural skin oil — or sebum– along with dead skin cells and bacteria builds up and formsa thick plug in a pore, instead of being secreted normally. and because blackheads are open comedones, all that gunk is being exposed to the air, instead of being covered by a layer of skin,like a whitehead. this means that the sebum buildup, along withthe pigment in all those dead skin cells,
can be oxidized by the air to form a dark,almost black, color. so if blackheads are caused by a buildup ofoily debris, whatâ€™s going on with those tiny little spots on your nose, that you shouldnot be concerned about? those spots are different and totally normalfeatures of your skin called sebaceous filaments. and these filaments are just collections ofoil and dead skin cells that build up around tiny hair follicles. they tend to be more noticeable on your nose,because your pores there are bigger, and the glands on certain areas of your face tendto produce more sebum. unlike blackheads, which are clogged pores,these filaments are natural products of sebum
production, and not an infection. thesefilaments might actually help your pores secrete sebum more freely. and, also unlike blackheads, they willkeep coming back even if you try to squeeze them out, because your sebaceous glands willkeep on producing sebum. itâ€™s kind of their job. your skin needs sebum to keep itself soft,lubricated and pretty much waterproof. now, sebaceous filaments can develop intoacne if your skin is not kept clean, or if you use products that clog your pores. doctors pretty much agree that the worstthing you can do is constantly squeeze blackheads
or your sebaceous filaments out, which cancause inflammation, infection, and even scarring. so, just let your skin do its thing. thank you for asking, and thank you especially to all of our patrons on patreon who made it possible for us to hire our new staff writer ceri riley, you wrote this episode. thank you very much ceri! if you want to submit questions to be answered, or get episode a few days before everybody else, you can go to patreon.com/scishow. and don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe!