Sebaceous Filaments Vs. Blackheads – What’s the Difference? by: Jen Okhiria February 5, 2019 Updated on February 7, 2019 If you’ve ever suffered a smattering of blackheads that just don’t clear away, take a closer look. You might not be dealing with blackheads at all, but sebaceous filaments instead. While similar to blackheads, sebaceous filaments are a different animal altogether. What Are Sebaceous Filaments? Unlike blackheads, sebaceous filaments are not a clogged hair follicle that needs to be cleared away. Rather, they are a completely normal function of the skin. As Dr. Lily Talakoub of McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center explained to us, “Sebaceous filaments are particles released from oil glands. Blackheads are oxidized keratin (produced by the squamous cells of the skin). Because they are open to the air, they oxidize and look black.” Sebaceous filaments are needed in order to carry sebum through the hair follicle to the…Read More.