Pore treatments At A Glance
- Best Results1-4 treatments
- Treatment Recovery0-3 days
- Procedure Time10-30 min
- Skin SpecialistDermal therapist, nurse
- Duration of ResultsMonths to years
- AnaestheticNumbing cream
- Back to WorkImmediately-3 days
Pore size reduction
How do I reduce my pore size is a common question I get asked. Mild cases can be improved with vitamin A creams, mesotherapy, special washes & AHA Peels. For deep prominent pores, I use TCA, high density lasers, Tixel or ablative laser resurfacing to reduce the size of pores.
FactsFacts on reducing pore size
- Mild cases of enlarged pores can be treated with Beta Hydroxy Acid washes, chemical peels & prescription Vitamin A cream
- The size of your pores are determined by genes, as well as oil production
- Patients who have oily or acne prone skin tend to have larger skin pores
- Permanently enlarged pores maybe secondary to squeezing pimples and acne
- Large pores can be treated with TCA peels or with laser resurfacing
Why are my pores enlarged?
Pore size is determined by genetics- some people are born with larger pores than normal. Patients with a history of oily skin or acne generally will have larger pores. Patients who have a history of squeezing their pimples may have permanently enlarged pores.
Enlarged pores are most prominent in areas that are oily or sebaceous. An example is around the nose and upper lip. Certain races including Asian, African & Middle Eastern people have larger pores compared to fair skin people.
Can creams and simple treatments decrease the size of my pores?
In some cases, yes. If you have a mild increase in pore size, you the try the following before taking dramatic steps towards TCA or laser resurfacing-
- Wash twice a day with Neutrogena Oil Free wash
- Use good make up – I recommend mineral make up
- Use a light moisturiser
- See a medical dermatologist for some vitamin A creams- especially if you have black heads and open pores. Make sure you are careful mixing Vitamin A prescription creams with Salicylic Acid washes, as this can irritate your skin.
- If you still have enlarged pores, consult my clinical team of nurses & dermal therapist for advice. At Clinic Cutis we perform a vast array of pore reducing treatments including peels & lasers.
What is the best treatment for open pores?
The best treatment will depend on your pore size, skin type and previous treatments.
Mild cases of open pores can be treated with creams. Specialist strength glycolic, lactic or retinoic acid peels can also aid in decreasing pores size.
For large pores, I perform either TCA or laser resurfacing. TCA CROSS or paint is an excellent treatment for very deep, and large pores in all skin types- including ethnic skin.
Laser resurfacing is great for the over all treatment of small but deep pores. I use either an erbium Sciton laser, Fraxel , Clear & Brilliant lasers, LaseMD Thulium or one of my many CO2 lasers to shirk enlarged pores.
What is involved in TCA for large pores?
TCA CROSS stands for Trichloroacetic acid chemical reconstitution of skin scars. This technique was invented by the Asian dermatologists over a decade ago, and is still the number one treatment for ice pick scars & deep pores. In the past few years I have modified this application to give better results with less treatments.
TCA works by stimulating collagen production within the scar or pore, to increase the height of the scar. Each TCA procedure should increase the height of the scar or open pore by 20-40%. Most people will need 2-4 procedures followed by laser resurfacing for an almost ‘perfect outcome.’
TCA only treats the pores and spares the surrounding skin. Your skin heals within 6-7 days.
With TCA in darker skin types, expect PIH or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation for at least 2-3 months following this procedure. The use of sunscreen, & pigmentation inhibitors / bleaching creams can speed up recovery.
My lead clinical team of nurses & dermal therapist can assist you, as they have been extensively trained (over 5 years) to apply TCA to appropriate pores & scars.
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What laser do we use for reducing pore size?
Pore size reduction is much harder than it looks. At Cutis we match the size of the pores together with the colour of your skin. Here are just some of the lasers we employ to reduce the size or pores-
- 1927 Thulium Fraxel: Best for skin type 1-2
- 1927 Thulium LaseMD Best for skin type 1-4
- 1927 Diode Clear + Brilliant: Best for skin type 1-4
- CO2 fine spot: Best for skin type 1-4
- Pico Lasers: Best for skin type 1-5
- Nano Spectra Lasers: All skin types
- Ablative erbium laser: Skin type 1-3
- eMatrix RF: All skin types
- Genius RF: All skin types
- Vascular lasers: Skin type 1-4 with associated rosacea
Day 8 after fully ablative laser for pore size reduction. Lasers can make you red for up to 2 months after treatment.
Can RF or Fractional lasers help decrease pore size?
All these methods can reduce pore size, especially fractional lasers such as Fraxel, Clear & Brilliant, & LaseMD.
RF eMarix can remodel collagen using RadioFrequency to reduce pore size by 20-50%. 4-5 treatments are needed, downtime following eMatrix is only 1-2 days.
- Fractional laser such as Fraxel can reduce pore size by up to 60%, however 2-3 treatments are required.
- Fractional Pico lasers are useful in darker skin type
- Fractional eCo2 combined with TCA is best for medium to large enlarged pores
- Contrary to belief, Omnilux Blue / Red light LED does not reduce pore size, however this treatment is useful for treating acne in pregnancy.
Can Pico lasers treat enlarged pores?
Pico lasers are only useful for the management of enlarged pores in darker skin types (Asians, Latinos, Middle Eastern). This is because Pico targets pigment through a mechanism known as photoacoustic treatments. For collagen remodelling laser requires a target to hit, in turn producing growth factors (complex LIOB’s). Dark skin means more target. More target means better collagen tightening, in turn shrinking pores.
I did use Picosure in the past, but I have replaced this first generation laser with third generation Pico Laser. To see if pico is suitable for your skin type, book an appointment with my laser nurses or myself.
Can microneedling treat enlarged pores?
Microneedling can reduce the size of some pores. I do not routinely offer microneedling at Clinic Cutis for a few reasons.
- This treatment can be performed safely at home with a 0.25 mm needle. You do not need to needle deeply to get a good results. Dermarollers containing 256 or 512 needles can be bought online for around $4 to $8. With careful ‘home use’ these are safe & effective. I have done several instructional videos on @101.skin demonstrating ‘how to microneedle.’
- Lasers & peels give superior results compared to microneedling. Lasers & devices, including RFM or radiofrequency microneedling generate controlled heating. This heat stimulates more collagen per treatment than devices that do not employ heating.
- Size matters. When it comes to fine enlarged pores, the use of a device that has a smaller beam or hole profile than a pore gives better & safer results. If you have fine or small diameter enlarged pores find a solution that is smaller than the problem itself. By using larger diameter needles, you may run the risk of making pores worse.
Can procedures worsen enlarged pores?
If inappropriate procedure are conducted, pores can enlarge. A classic example is widening of nose pores with TCA (midline lesions). Microneedling or RFM can also enlarge small pores. If you have enlarged ‘small size’ pores I prefer small spot lasers such as 1927 Thulium or short PD CO2 lasers over microneedling, skin needling & even RF microneedling.
Removing enlarged pores forever is harder than it looks. Its because pores are shaped like a flask, and laser has to go below the lowest point of the flask. This is why it takes so long for the healing time (up to 8-12 days).
Will pore size reduction be permanent?
Yes, once I achieve pore size reduction, it is permanent, at least until one looses the supporting collagen network. This is called ageing. TCA & laser resurfacing gives the most predictable results for open and enlarged pores.
Scars and open pores like these are best treated with TCA & laser.
Can oil production be related to an increase in pore size?
Yes. If you produce lots of oil, reducing oil production with Vitamin A tablets such as Roaccutane may help reduce sebum (oil), decrease acne, and also may reduce the size of pores. Consult a medical dermatologist regarding this non-procedural method of oil reduction. The use of anti-hormone tablets such as spironolactone & cyproterone acetate may also help females with oily skin and acne.
Disclaimer: I am a procedural dermatologist, for medical management of enlarged pores including prescription creams &/or tablets, please consult a medical dermatologist.
This is what a pore looks like. See how it opens up the deeper you go. For permanent reduction, laser needs to go below the widest opening of the pore.
What is the cost of reducing my pore size?
- TCA cost $490 to $990 per treatment. You will need 2-3 treatments. These are conducted by my clinical team to help keep costs down
- Peels start at $92 (Lactic, glycolic, salicylic & retinoic acid)
- Fractional laser can give a good reduction in pores size. Cost is $790 to $1290. You may require 2 treatments for best results.
- Laser resurfacing starts at $4900. This is performed by myself for the treatment of pathological pores- acne scars that are severe in nature.
Some patients with deep pores will require two to three TCA followed by one deep laser resurfacing procedure. Other patients will require only one fully ablative laser session without the TCA CROSS procedure. Most cases are NOT covered under Medicare, unless pores are associated with severe facial scars. A Medicare rebate only applies to deep ice pick scars.
For an accurate clinical assessment of pores & associated costs, please arrange a consultation with my clinical nurses @cliniccutis
Davin’s viewpoint on reducing pore size
Facts surrounding pore size treatments seem to be many, just as there are myths. The truth is that pore sizing is determined by genes, much like acne. Some patients just have enlarged pores for no apparent reason, others have pores associated acne and oily skin. In the later group, visiting a medical dermatologist will sort out all 3 conditions. Pores may also be associated with acne scarring, previously picked acne lesions, and conditions such as rosacea.
Deep pores are very easily treated with TCA CROSS or Paint. We choose a concentration based upon your skin type and location of the pore. 2-3 treatments are ideally needed. TCA is excellent for treating individual lesions, whilst laser resurfacing is a huge step towards an ‘overall’ reduction in pore size. Now a days I tend to use ‘Fractional laser’ for moderate size skin pores as treatments are predictable. Pico lasers can be used on darker skin types.
I do not perform microneedling for open pores because in some cases this treatment can make pore sizing worse. My rule is deliver a treatment that has a smaller caliber than the pore itself. In the case of fine pores, small diameter lasers are my go to solutions.
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