Feb 14, 2012
…..most of the time.
Almost every day I get clients at my acne clinic who think they have blackheads on their nose. I know that what they see in their nose looks just like blackheads, but it is not. Those are what are called sebaceous filaments. They are basically the oil glands on your nose and in the chin area just below the lower lip. They are meant to be there and will never go away. Even if extracted, it still looks the same and it fills right back up again a week later.
Once in a while, someone actually will have blackheads in their nose. The picture below shows a client of mine who has blackheads in between the sebaceous filaments. Those definitely need to be extracted.
So, my rule of thumb is, if all the so-called "blackheads" in your nose are all the same size, then they are not blackheads. If, however, you have a "blackhead" that is bigger than the rest of the other "blackheads" in the nose, then it really is a blackhead and not just another sebaceous filament.
My clients tend to have a very disappointing reaction to my assessment of their "blackheads" on their nose. They, most often, desperately want them to go away. I reassure them that everybody, even people who have never had acne, have them. Everyone but the most oil-dry of skin does have them. When you are standing a couple of feet away from someone, which is the normal "space" between people, you can't even see the pores on the nose. We are all so used to looking at air-brushed pictures of models in fashion magazines that have absolutely perfect skin with no pores showing at all. Unfortunately, this sets up an expectation and fantasy that our skin should look just like this. Sorry…… it's just not real and I tell my clients that they are just going to have to accept their nose the way it is.