Clogged Hair Follicles


Clogged hair follicles affect men and women and is a process that begins during puberty. Being something that occurs in the dermis--the layer just below the skin--clogged hair follicles are not visible but its effects, particularly on scalp and facial skin, certainly are. While clogged hair follicles are the result of the body's natural dermatological process, research over the years has led to the development of several products and methods to limit its occurrence and treat its effects.


  • The primary cause of clogged hair follicles is sebum, an oily secretion produced by the skin's sebaceous glands. Sebum deposits a coat around the hair follicles, then travels through the pores of the follicles, and eventually reaches the outer surface of the skin. Here, it encounters lipids and sweat. As a result, a fine coat--referred to as an acid mantle--is formed. This coat is responsible for clogged hair follicles. The volume of sebum production varies from person to person.


  • One common effect of clogged hair follicles is mild acne, or more severe forms such as cystic acne. Other common effects are hair thinning and hair loss. Acne is the result of bacterial formation just below the skin, because of the clogged pores of hair follicles. This leads to skin eruptions in the form of pimples. Oily or dry scalps are the result of undernourished hair roots due to clogged hair follicles, which, in turn, are caused by too much or too little sebum production.


  • There are several topical and oral medications now available to treat clogged hair follicles, specifically, its effects of acne and hair loss. However, a qualified dermatologist prescribe the ideal treatment for specific skin conditions of individual sufferers. In the case of acne, caused by oily skin, reduction in pore size and sebum secretion can be achieved by topical medication in the form of anti-bacterial creams, gels, lotions and toners, or orally by way of capsules.

    The same applies for treating dandruff and oily hair/scalps that cause hair loss. Hormonal treatment is recommended where sebum secretion is below the essential volume required for normal healthy skin and hair follicles.


  • While topical and oral medical formulations are available to treat clogged hair follicles, a few lifestyle and dietary changes are also recommended to prevent its effects to a reasonable extent. To minimize acne, diets that include oily food or those rich in sugar must be avoided. Certain vitamin deficiencies can be addressed by supplements that help avoid acne. Regular exercise also helps prevent acne by removing toxins from the body via pores, and reducing stress, too.

    For prevention of clogged hair follicles and promotion of healthy scalp and hair, adequate doses of vitamin A (apricots, broccoli, carrots, spinach, meats, eggs, cheese); Vitamin B3 (lean meats, fish, poultry); Vitamin B5 (egg yolks, whole-grain cereals) should be consumed.


  • A significant number of people suffering from the effects of clogged hair follicles, either fail to seek medical treatment early on or resort to self-medication and other methods that do more harm than good. To treat an oily scalp, do not resort to excessive shampooing. This will eliminate the skin's natural oils and result in a dry scalp.

    For acne, do not scrub facial skin excessively. This can only aggravate an acne condition. Women must remove make-up before bed and avoid the use of oil-based cosmetics. Finally, get enough sleep. It is essential for healthy skin and all-round health.


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