Large pores are a common skin concern that many patients have to deal with. While some choose to embrace their larger pores, for others they can be a source of self-consciousness. While pores are essential for the skin’s essential functions, including releasing oil and sweat, enlarged pores can be unsightly and lead to unwanted skin issues. Naturally, many patients wonder if there is a treatment for large pores.
There are various factors that contribute to one’s pore size, including genetics, age, and skin type. As such, treating this issue can be tricky, as every case requires a specific approach. While there is no protocol that will be helpful for all patients, the consensus among specialists is that following a skin routine with high-quality products can help improve skin tone and keep pores looking their best.
What are pores?
Pores are tiny openings on the skin's surface that allow sweat and oil to come out. They are also the openings for hair follicles. Pores are essential for the skin to breathe and stay healthy. The size of the pores is determined by genetics, and they are more prominent on certain parts of the body, such as the nose, forehead, and chin.
What causes large pores?
There are multiple factors that can cause large pores, such as:
- Genetics: Some individuals are genetically predisposed to having larger pores
- Age: The aging process causes the skin to become looser, resulting in larger pores
- Sun damage: Excessive sun exposure causes the skin to become thicker, which makes the skin’s pores more noticeable
- Oily skin: Individuals with excessively oily skin tend to have larger pores, as the pores are clogged with oil and expand
- Blackheads and whiteheads: Pores that become clogged with oil and dead skin cells stretch out and start to appear larger
Overall, figuring out the cause of one’s overly large pores is essential to understanding how they can be treated. While certain factors, like genetics, cannot be changed, there are ways to take on the other contributing factors to large pores and improve one’s appearance.
How to prevent the development of large pores
Sufferers from large pores know just how upsetting the condition can be. While there are treatments available that can vastly improve their appearance, it is best to prevent them from developing in the first place. Following certain guidelines will help us decrease the chances of developing this unpleasant condition.
Some of these include:
Following a skin routine
Proper cleansing is vital for preventing the development of overly large pores. It is recommended to wash with a gentle cleanser twice a day to rid the skin of any dirt, oil, and makeup. Harsh scrubs and exfoliants should be avoided, as they can damage the skin and lead to irritation. Patients should also make sure not to “over-cleanse” as this can strip the skin of its natural oils, resulting in increased oil production. Over time, this will lead to clogged pores and enlarged pores.
Over time, sun damage can cause the skin to lose its natural elasticity and collagen, leading to enlarged pores. Wearing an SPF of at least 30 is vital for keeping the skin protected when out in the sun. Wearing a hat and staying in the shade during peak sunlight hours (around noon) is also of major importance.
Exfoliation is another important step in preventing large pores. It aids in removing dead skin cells, which can lead to smaller pores. It is usually recommended that patients exfoliate one to two times a week with a gentle exfoliating scrub or a chemical exfoliant such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). That said, one must make sure not to “over-exfoliate” as this can lead to irritation.
Following the aforementioned steps can help keep pores healthy and prevent them from growing larger.
How to treat large pores
People with large pores tend to feel less than positive about their appearance. While most cases of large pores cannot be eliminated entirely, there are treatments available that can reduce them considerably.
Laser treatments are by far the best way to treat overly large pores. During a laser treatment, a beam of light is emitted into the targeted area of the skin to heat it up, stimulating collagen production and reducing the appearance of overly large pores.
Some of the most common laser treatments for treating large pores include:
Fractional laser resurfacing: This treatment involves using a laser to make small wounds in the skin. This process stimulates collagen production and brings a major reduction to the size of pores.
IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy: This treatment involves a broad-spectrum light that heats up and lightly damages the skin. This mechanism ultimately triggers new collagen growth and slowly reduces overly large pores.
Topical treatments, such as retinoids, salicylic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acids, are all non-invasive means of treating large pores. These products are designed to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells from the area and unclogging pores. After undergoing several sessions, patients find that their pores are significantly smaller and their skin is smoother.
Chemical peels are a more aggressive treatment option for large pores. The most common products used in these peels are glycolic acid and trichloroacetic acid (TCA). During a chemical peel, the acid solution is applied to the skin, which causes the outer layer of the skin to peel and come off. This process is helpful both for creating smoother skin and achieving smaller pores. What’s more, it reduces the likelihood of pores becoming clogged and enlarged again in the future.
What is the takeaway?
Overall, there are multiple treatment options available for patients who are struggling with large pores. As with any cosmetic treatment, it is essential that patients refer to an experienced, highly revered practitioner to perform an assessment and help them determine which treatment option is best for their needs.