What Are Pores? Why Are Mine So BIG?
Let’s talk pores. First of all, what are pores? The skin is the largest human organ and it’s covered with millions of pores that allow the skin to “breathe.” In each pore is a tiny hair (except on the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet). Each pore on the face, back, chest, and groin contains a hair follicle with a gland inside it, called the sebaceous gland, which produces oil or sebum. When this gland releases, the sebum rises to the top and collects in the pore. Hormones play a large role in how and when the sebaceous gland releases.
Excessive production of sebum is a primary cause of enlarged pores. How active your glands are depends on genetics, hormones, and also the size of your pores. People with very active sebaceous glands will appear to have an oily face. When sebum collects in the pore and combines with dirt or makeup, the pore can become blocked or clogged. This will stretch the pore, making it appear larger. If the pore remains clogged a pimple may appear.
Even though large pores are not a medical concern, they can become a cosmetic issue for some people. Their skin can appear dull, especially if proper a proper skin care routine is not followed. In adolescents or people who are prone to acne, open pores can easily become clogged and turn into blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. Aging skin causes the elasticity to diminish, making the pores appear larger. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to open or close pores or to make them smaller. There are some things to try if you want to reduce the appearance of large pores, though.
Treatments to Improve the Appearance of Pores
Always wash your face twice a day with water based products. Use a light exfoliator and be sure to moisturize. Never go to sleep with makeup on! There is an overwhelming amount of “pore shrinking” masks available out there. You can give them all a go, but try to stick to natural ingredients or even something you can whip up at home. Many contain acids that can be harsh and even painful on the skin. If masks are not your thing, or if you’ve already gone down that road with little success, maybe you’d like to explore some laser skin treatment options.
Laser Treatments for Enlarged Pores
Intense pulsed light (ILP) may reduce the appearance of pores. This technique uses highly targeted light pulses to stimulate collagen production, evening out skin tone and reducing hyperpigmentation. By improving skin texture and increasing firmness, IPL helps to ease skin issues that call attention to the pores. This procedure takes little time and is relatively gentle, meaning it does not require much down time afterwards. In order to maintain healthy skin after IPL, follow a well rounded at-home skin care routine and consider regular non-invasive, in-office services for maintenance.
Non-Invasive Treatments for Maintenance
Chemical peels use natural acids to peel away the dead skin cells on your face to reveal newer, fresher skin. Microdermabrasion is a wonderful, painless exfoliation to cleanse pores and even skin tone. HydraFacial MD is a three step process that deep cleanses your pores, rehydrates, and introduces nourishment to stimulate the skin to improve itself. Lastly, microneedling uses very tiny needles to prick the surface of the skin after a numbing cream is applied. It will boost the overall appearance of the skin, keeping your pores in good condition.
Whether you choose to address the appearance of your pores at home or in our office, we are available to walk you through all of your options.