difference between acne, pimple and sebaceous filaments

The Difference between Acne, Pimple, And Sebaceous Filaments

Hey lovelies! I hope everyone is doing good and staying safe! Hopefully all this will be over soon because I don tire fr!


Today I will be explaining the differences between Acne, Pimple, Blackheads, Whiteheads, and Sebaceous Filaments. Many people find it hard to distinguish one from the other, most people use acne and pimple interchangeably, this is not completely wrong though. But it’s not exactly right.

Now, let’s dive in!



Acne, which is pronounced ‘aknee’ (asked that a lot), is a broad skin condition. It comprises blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pimple. So, when you say someone has acne, you might mean the person has blackheads, whiteheads, or pimple. It could be a combination or just one of them. Acne is basically a broad classification of the likes.



This is a form of acne [pustules (filled with pus) and papules (no pus)], manifesting as small, tender (sometimes red) bumps on the skin, filled with white pus. Pimple is very common among pubescent teens and younger adults. Although adult pimple is also common, usually among those who skipped it when they were younger (Hehe). Pimples can be because of the overproduction of oil, dirt, and germs clogging our pores, other foreign substances clogging our pores, and mostly hormones.


Sebaceous Filaments

You know that kind of rough spot under your lips (slightly above the chin area) and on your nose, the one that some of you like pressing and the white-ish substance will ooze out? Yeah, those are sebaceous filaments (God bless you lucky ones that don’t know what I’m talking about).

These filaments contain sebum that helps keep our skin’s oil balance. Sebum is our skin’s natural oil. Yes o! the natural oil I’m always shouting about.

Anyway, these filaments are normal. It isn’t a skin condition and you really shouldn’t be squeezing it either. Las las it’ll come back and the squeezing cycle continues. Sebaceous filaments usually become very visible in oily skin when there’s an overproduction of sebum (think a tiny swelling). If you don’t like seeing it, use products targeted at reducing the appearance of pores, salicylic acid works well for that.



Whiteheads could be confused with sebaceous filaments, but they shouldn’t. One is normal, and the other is acne, which can generate to a pimple later on. Whiteheads occur when dirt and dead skin cells are trapped in our pores. It’s a mild form of acne (compared to a pimple). They aren’t inflamed, and it’s much easier to get rid of.



These are a bit like whiteheads, but the only difference here is its dark rather than white. Basically, when sebaceous filaments/whiteheads have been exposed to air they turn black. What do I mean by exposure to air? Whiteheads and sebaceous filaments are closed, but when that covering is gone, it turns black. And a dark plug-like acne develops. They aren’t inflamed either but are very hard to get rid of.


Tips to Prevent/Curb Acne


  • Do not pick or squeeze at them! I beg you! Hyper-pigmentation is a serious matter 
  • Wash your face with warm water twice a day
  • Develop proper skin habits 
  • Acne predominantly manifests in oily skin, if you have oily skin use products best for your skin type.
  • Use Sunscreen.
  • Exfoliate regularly, 3 times a week is good. 
  • Use products containing salicylic acid
  • Honey is very effective for preventing pimples due to it’s antibacterial properties 
  • Steaming/ a warm cloth to the face really helps as well. Warm o not hot!
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Heyy! It’s your favourite Nigerian skincare addict.

Hope you and your skin are good and living your best life. I'm thrilled to have you on this never-ending journey with me! When you can't find me here, I'm definitely nose-deep in a book or on Ig. Let's stay in touch?

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