Enlarged Pore Treatments At A Glance
- Best Results4-10 weeks
- Treatment Recovery0-4 day
- Procedure Time5 to 30 minutes
- Skin SpecialistNurse, Medical Dermatologist
- Duration of ResultsVariable
- Back to WorkVariable
- Cost$ to $$
Enlarged Pores & Acne
There are many treatments available for enlarged pores due to acne. Dermatologists use a combination of Vitamin A creams, chemical peels, & lasers to treat mild cases of enlarged pores. Larger open pores can be treated with TCA CROSS or Paint.
FactsFacts on enlarged pores & acne
- Pores are genetically predetermined
- Enlarged pores can be related to acne & sebum production
- Larger pores can be seen on the nose & cheeks- regions with the most oil glands
- Mild cases of enlarged pores can be treated with retinoids & chemical peels
- Pores due to increased oil production can be treated with anti-hormonal medications
- Lasers are very effective in treating enlarged pores
What causes open and prominent pores?
Enlarged Pores & Acne
Pores are essential for healthy skin, however, some people have more prominent pores. Pores size is genetically predetermined. People who have acne-prone skin, oily skin or ‘squeezers’ are more likely to have enlarged pores. Enlarged pores most frequently occur in areas of high oil glands including the nose, cheeks, and upper lips.
Why do pores enlarge with age?
Loss of collagen support surrounding the pore results in enlargement over time. Collagen decreases with age, sun exposure & in people who smoke.
What simple skin treatments can I do to help with open and enlarged pores?
These simple skin solutions should be tried as the first step in managing open pores & blackheads.
- Wash your face daily with a wash containing salicylic acid. We recommend Neutrogena Oil Free Acne wash.
- Dab your face instead of scrubbing. This method is gentler on your skin.
- Avoid oil-based cosmetics which may block pores. Use water based non-comedogenic make up.
- Use an oil free moisturiser that is light on your skin. This can protect your skin’s barrier.
- Consider using a Glycolic Acid creams. If you have sensitive skin, start with a lower concentration, and work up to 15%. This can help reduce pore size.
What treatments are there for enlarged pores?
Creams for enlarged pores
Pore size can be decreased by 10-40% on a combination of creams including Vitamin A & AHA or Glycolic acid – Fruit acid preps. The concentration of vitamin A and the application regime will be dependent on your skin type and sensitivities. Your Dermatologist will guide you as to the use of these creams.
AHA Chemical Peels for enlarged pores
Glycolic acid peels using gentle fruit acids or AHAs may reduce the size of enlarged pores as well as prevent blackheads. AHAs refresh the skin’s surface, and evens outs texture. Dermatologists often combine chemical peels with other treatments for optimal results.
TCA CROSS Chemical peels for enlarged pores
Glycolic acid peels have their limitations- this type of chemical peeling can treat mild and superficial pores, however deeper, larger and enlarged pores respond well to more powerful peels such as TCA or TrichloroAcetic Acid. This form of peeling is associated with a downtime of 5-7 days and should only be performed by a Specialist. Depending on the size and depth of pores, 2-3 treatments of TCA Cross are required for best results.
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Vitamin A tablets for oily skin, pimples & enlarged pores
Vitamin A (Roaccutane or Oratane) can be a very effective tablet to reduce oil production, and treat blackheads. This form of treatment can also reduce pores size, however most Dermatologist will not recommend this as primary management of enlarged pores as it is not indicated under the PBS.
Can laser treat enlarged pores?
Specialist laser dermatologists employ several lasers to help reduce the size of enlarged skin pores and scars. The type of laser we choose will depend on several important factors including-
- Your skin colour
- The depth of open pores and severity of enlarged pores
- Your downtime
Once the 3 factors are determined we can tailor a laser program to suit. The most commonly used lasers are-
Erbium laser or CO2 laser: this resurfaces the upper layers of skin and is ideal for mid depth-enlarged pores. Erbium is preferable in darker skin patients.
CO2 Fractional laser resurfacing: this treats fractions of skin, enabling faster recovery times. Ideal for deeper enlarged pores. 3-5 treatments are required for optimal results.
RFM or Fractional Microneedling RadioFrequency treatments: This is a non- laser method of treating enlarged and prominent skin pores. RF uses heat to contact collagen, and shrink down enlarged pores. We often combine this method of pore reduction with lasers for optimal results.
Tixel can be highly effective for small to medium pores. This technology uses heat to shrink pores over time. Recovery ranges from 0 to 3 days.
Fraxel & LaseMD Fractional 1927 lasers are good for small pores. 2-3 sessions are required.
Pico lasers are good for darker skin type. Recovery is 1-3 days, 2-3 sessions are best.
Can skin needling and fractional resurfacing reduce pore size?
Skin needling (incorrectly termed as Fractional Skin Resurfacing) has been shown to reduce pores. 3-5 treatments of skin needling are required. You can perform this procedure with a 0.2 to 0.25 mm Derma Roller from eBay. I have done many videos on this technique. Just as long as you keep the depth to 0.25 mm or shallower, it is safe.
Dermapen or microneedling can also be effective, however the results are not as good as fractional laser resurfacing.
How effective are our pore reduction treatments?
Reducing the size of enlarged skin pores is the Holy Grail of cosmetic treatments. The size of your skin pores is a genetic trait and can be very hard to permanently fix, however successful treatments are possible.
Mild cases can respond well to chemical peels and Vitamin A creams, however most patients will need to go onto a maintenance program.
Moderate to severe cases respond best. The TCA Cross Chemical peel method coupled with laser treatment provides the best results. The larger and deeper the pore – the better the outcome!
In cases of enlarged pores occurring with blackheads, mild chemical peels are an excellent method of treating both conditions. Depending on the extent of your blackheads, your specialist will prescribe either a Beta Hydroxy acid, or an Alpha Hydroxy acid peel. One peel can remove as much as 80% of blackheads.
Are enlarged facial pores more common in certain skin types?
Yes, enlarged facial pores are more commonly seen in Asians and in patients who have oily skin. Enlarged pores also occur in skin conditions such as rosacea and in patients who are more prone to blackheads. Treating the underlying skin condition can reduce pore size.
We find that a combination of glycolic acid skin peels, coupled with fractional lasers provides the best outcome in reducing pore size.
Is excessive oil production related to open and enlarged pores?
Excessive oil or sebum production can be associated with open pores. Sebum is the skins natural way of producing oil. Some people produce more oil than others, leading to a condition known as seborrhoea or excessive oil production. Enlarged pores most commonly occur in areas of excess oil, such as the nose, cheeks and foreheads. Once oil production decreases, pores will shrink. See the section on Oil Skin Treatments to know more.
What is the cost of treating enlarged skin pores?
Treating enlarged pores is more affordable than you may think. Treatments start from just $98 for a simple AHA, BHA or retinoic acid chemical peel.
As a guide-
- AHA chemical peels for open and enlarged pores- $98 per treatment. 4-5 peels advised. Best suited for blackheads and mild open pores.
- Laser Resurfacing starts at $490
Optimal treatments for enlarged pores will depend on your skin type, pore location, pore size, and number and your downtime.
To discuss solutions, book an appointment with our clinical team of nurses & dermal therapists.
Davin’s viewpoint on treating enlarged pores
‘What can I do to reduce pore size?’ This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Enlarged pores are very common, and are most frequently encountered in areas of high oil glands, including the nose, upper lip and cheeks. The size of your skin pores are genetically predetermined, however skin conditions such as blackhead acne, rosacea, & oily skin can enlarge skin pores.
Deep and large pores are the easiest to treat. We combine TCA & laser- this can produce outstanding results in most patients. The number of treatments and type of laser will be determined by the size and depth of enlarged pores, as well as the skin type of patients.
Mild cases of enlarged pores can be more difficult to treat. In this situation, I usually advise a series of chemical peels (AHA) coupled with prescription Vitamin A creams. Laser resurfacing with the 1927 Fraxel or LaseMD provides the best results.
Newer laser fractional treatments such as eCO2 Fractional with our CO2RE system has more promising results. As with all skin treatments a tailored approach provides the best outcomes.
Disclaimer: For cosmetic pore size reduction, please book with my nurses & dermal therapist. My work is focused on pathologically significant enlarged pores associated with severe scars, based on objective measurement.
Body dysmorphic syndrome or cases are not my interest nor speciality. If you have enlarged pores that can only be demonstrated by close magnification, it is unlikely that I can assist.
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