The Difference Between Keratin And Sebum Plugs, Treatments Options For Both

A viewer wants to know if there is anything they can do for a keratin plug, besides going to the dermatologist. Doctor Lacy Anderson shares the difference between a sebum plug and keratin plug, and treatment options for both.

Tuesday, June 4th 2024, 12:33 pm

By: News 9


A viewer wants to know if there is anything they can do for a keratin plug, besides going to the dermatologist. Doctor Lacy Anderson shares the difference between a sebum plug and keratin plug, and treatment options for both.

First, it’s good to know whether you have a sebum plug or keratin plug in your skin.

Sebum plugs are also called blackheads and are caused by oil building up and clogging

the pores. Sebum plugs are commonly found on the chin, forehead and nose and

usually have a smooth appearance but may have a head filled with debris. 

Keratin plugs are formed when keratin, a type of protein in the skin, builds up and clogs the pores. Keratin plugs are often found on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks and buttocks. Keratin plugs cause the skin to feel rough, like sandpaper. 

Sebum plugs are usually seen in people with oily skin and keratin plugs are found in people with dryer skin or people with eczema. 

Keratin plugs are also known as keratosis pilaris and we usually treat this with gentle exfoliation with a washcloth or loofah to remove dead skin cells. You can also use topical treatments or peels that contain lactic acid, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid. You can find these acids in several inexpensive over the counter toners and creams.

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