Demystifying Open Pores

First of all one should understand what are open pores! They do serve a purpose: pores house a hair follicle and sebaceous gland and serve as a gateway for sebum, our skin’s natural oil. A pore is just a route or a channel for these things to reach the skin’s surface.

While the size of our pores is largely determined by genetics, some pores tend to be bigger than others because of the size of the hair follicle and oil gland. Poor hygiene and the resulting dirt, oil and dead skin cells that often build up can also make pores look bigger. Pores are generally clogged with sebum and dead skin cells, which naturally slough off from the side of the pore.

Excessive clogged pores can lead to another unwelcome skin condition: blackheads and whiteheads. And if your pores seem to be getting bigger as you get older, you’re not imagining things: aging and sun damage also contribute to pore size. As the skin around a pore loses its firmness when we age, the pore may appear larger because of the lack of support from the surrounding tissue.

You can’t banish them completely, but with the right skin care, you can make pores less noticeable. You can make pores look smaller by removing excess sebum, debris and makeup from the pore. Be sure to cleanse twice daily and after an intense workout or whenever you get sweaty or dirty.

Open pores depends on the skin type

  • Normal Skin- fine, barely visible pores
  • Combination skin- Visible pores on the nose and cheeks
  • Oily skin- visible pores on the nose/cheeks but more dilated pores
  • Dry skin- almost invisible pores

Patient desire a quick fix while no quick but long term therapeutic solution is most appropriate for this problem.

There are several effective treatments for open pores

  • Microdermabrasion is an excellent treatment for open pores, as it peels off the outermost layer of skin, abrading the blackheads (or at least the head of the plug). The suction then effectively pulls out the remaining dirt and hardened oil from the pores. It also stimulates collagen production that increases elasticity in the skin and keeps pores tight. When the natural oil reaches the surface of the skin, the pores return to their natural shape and size because there’s nothing left stuck inside to enlarge them.
  • Regular chemical peels like TCA (tricloroacetic acid), Salicylic acid and Retinol peels. These peels have to done on a regular basis by the dermatologists to maintain the results. With peels the skin becomes smoother and the appearance of open pores is dulled.
  • The fractional lasers are the latest in treating open pores and helps in pore reduction. They are very effective with less downtime. 4 – 6 sessions are required on a monthly basis depending on the severity of the scars. The results achieved are permanent. This is the latest technique presently available.

Home care

The use of retinol based products at least thrice a week helps prevent the appearance of open pores as we age. Retinol also helps to smoothen the existing pores.