Sebum Plugs: Types, Causes & Removal

In this article, we shall be discuss what sebum plugs is all about. Sebum is one of our skin identity that we own and cherish. Just below the surface of our most precious skin, spreading across most of the body are tiny sebaceous glands that produce an oily substance called Sebum; that yellow oil necessary for keeping our skin and hair moisturized. sebum plugs occurs when sebum oil from your sebaceous glands become trapped in your hair follicles. Sebum plugs usually comes in the form of an inflammatory acne.

The study of sebum plugs is important because human sebum is a combination of lipids (including triglycerides, fatty acids, cholesterol, and more) and is produced in the hair follicle.

Body Parts with Abundance of Sebum Plug

One of the essential part of the body in which sebum plug is predominant are : One’s face, neck, shoulders, chest and back are major parts of the body that tend to contain more sebaceous glands than other parts of the body.

The palms and soles of the hands and soles of the feet aren’t left out but they contain few sebaceous glands.

Sebum oil tends to rise to the surface through pores around your hair follicles and by doing so, the sebum helps to lubricate and protect your skin through the hair follicle essentially by waterproofing the surface with scalp. In some situation , the sebum oil forms the sebum plus which are also the dead cells found around the hair follicle in forms of scalp.

Correspondingly, in a situation where the sebacious glands are producing just the right amount of sebum, your skin looks healthy and radiant thereby preventing water loss. Also, if the sebum is produce in a disproportionate amount, then this will lead to dry, cracking skin and too much sebum in a follicle which forms the sebum plug and various forms of acne.

Sebum Plugs

A sebum plug also known as sebaceous filaments are actually a completely natural and normal part of our skin which result from too much sebum production, or dead skin cells that block sebum from reaching the surface.

It could also mean when a person has excess of sebum mixed with dead skin cells and bacteria, that buildup and block the oil from reaching the surface of your skin. These oily bumps have a multitude of names with slightly different profiles.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Some certified dermatologist might diagnose sebaceous hyperplasia, which is “a pink doughnut-looking bump, usually multiple, that often grows after the age of 25 on the oily areas of the forehead, nose, and cheeks”.

Nevertheless, while it also stems from sebum plug blocking the hair follicle, it’s a little more specific than any average sebum plug.

Also, this plug can appear to be like a tiny bump under the surface of the skin or it may stick out through the skin like a grain of sand.

It is worthy of note that when a sebum plug forms, bacteria that normally lives harmlessly on the surface of your skin can start to grow within the follicle which is as a result of unavailable sebum in the right proportion.

Furthermore and in some cases, inflammation follows, causing a breakout. Sebum plugs commonly form on the forehead and chin. As nose pores tend to be large, when they become even partially clogged, plugs can even be more noticeable as evidenced in some cases.

Sebum plugs can also appear on your upper arms, upper back, or just about anywhere you have hair follicles. Sebum plugs tend to be precursors for blackheads and whiteheads. Sebum plugs occur when sebum is quite literally plugging your sebaceous glands and if left untreated, sebum build up on the scalp can cause more serious symptoms and complications, including hair loss.


Types of Sebum plugs

There are some common types of skin plug majorly as a result of a sebum plug and they are either blackheads or whiteheads.
1) Blackheads: When a sebum plug only partially blocks a hair follicle, it’s known as a blackhead or a comedo. This blackhead appears black because the air changes the colour of one’s sebum.
2) Whiteheads: If a sebum plug completely blocks a hair follicle, it’s known as a whitehead. The plug remains under the skin, but produces a white bump.
In summary, if a sebum plug completely blocks a hair follicle it’s called a whitehead but if it partially blocks a hair follicle it is a blackhead.

Keratin plugs can look like sebum plugs at first sight but it develops differently and tends to cause patches of bumpy skin.

Scalp Buildup

Hyperseborrhea (an increase in sebum production) is one of several causes of buildup on the scalp. Scalp buildup is an accumulation of all or any of the following; sebum, dead skin cells, sweat or hair products. The symptoms of hyperseborrhea often mimic those of other scalp conditions such as dandruff, scalp eczema, and psoriasis on the scalp and these symptoms include flaking of the scalp, oily or crusty skin (called cradle cap in infants), redness of the sin on the scascal and itchiness of the scalp.

Causes of Scalp Buildup

The exact cause of the underlying factors that lead to scalp buildup such as hyperseborrhea are unknown, but certain factors can increase the likelihood that a person will have an increase in sebum production and scalp buildup, such as: hormone imbalances, metabolic disorders, digestive problems, washing the hair infrequently and microorganisms among others.
Complications may as well arise from long-term sebum buildup on the scalp and these complications can include any of ; hair loss (from a condition called folliculitis, which damages hair follicles), acne (around the hairline), Pityriasis steatoides (oily dandruff) and seborrheic dermatitis.

Pulling up Sebum plugs with tweezers

Following one’s natural instinct, a sight of a blackhead on one’s face when starring at the mirror, spurs up the urge to pull out sebum plug. it’s also better to use a blackhead extractor than your fingers in pulling out sebum plugs.

Nevertheless, we would all like to think we’re capable of tackling a blackhead like pimple. Blackheads and sometimes Whitehead are essentially a clogged pore, and removal can be fickle since they tend to sit quite deep in the lining of your pore.

One of the best ways and highly recommended method to remove blackheads by yourself is to use blackhead tweezers. But before you start poking around, it’s pretty crucial to know how to use pimple tweezers correctly so as to avoid skin injury .

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