advertisement
08 April 2011

What is sebum?

Sebum is a fatty substance secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It consists mainly of fatty acids, waxes, triglycerides and cholesterol.

0

Sebum is a fatty substance secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It consists mainly of fatty acids, waxes, triglycerides and cholesterol. The substance reaches the surface of the skin via the small ducts that lead to the hair follicles.

Sebum is one of many oily substances associated with the skin's surface. More sebaceous glands can be found on the forehead and chin than in other areas of the face. For this reason, the face's sebum levels are more pronounced in these areas.

Under normal circumstances, sebum provides the skin with a thin film, which protects the skin from drying. It also has an antibacterial effect. Overproduction of sebum can, however, aggravate the skin and lead to the development of blackheads, whiteheads and full-blown acne.

It is interesting to note that sebum is linked to humans' odour profile and that its smell can be detected by certain canines. It is also believed that this profile might have played a role in primitive man's communication with his peers.

Read more:
What is skin ph
Preventing skin cancer

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Strenghten your immunity »

Keep your immunity strong Immune system boosters Boost your family's immunity

5 immune boosters in your kitchen

You don’t need a handful of vitamins and supplements to keep your body healthy, check out these five immune boosting foods you probably already have in your kitchen.

Laugh a little »

Eat yourself happy Laugh more and live longer Laughing yoga the best medicine

The healing power of laughter

A good chuckle doesn't only make you feel happy for a moment, it's beneficial to your health too.