Large Pores: Suprisingly common facial problem
Leading Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Fox explains unsightly large pores on the face and offers tips for treatment.
New Hyde Park, New York (PRWEB) July 2009 – Most people associate enlarged, and often unsightly, facial pores with the teen-age years, when puberty causes increased oil gland production and, in turn, larger pores. For many, however, the problem of enlarged pores and excess oil continues into adulthood. The condition, in fact, is one of the most common facial problems that adult women complain about, experts say.
“As with any medical problem, the degree of pore enlargement varies from person to person, but in some it can be quite pronounced and embarrassing,” says New York-based dermatologist Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., medical director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. “The good news is there are ways to improve the condition.”
What causes enlarged pores?
On the body, everywhere there is skin, there are pores. These tiny openings are responsible for secreting perspiration and oil–perspiration to keep the body cool, and oil to lubricate and protect the skin. Although it’s impossible to count the number of pores on any one person, some estimate as many as 1 million pores per square inch of skin.
Most of those pores are too small to be seen, which is desirable, Dr. Fox says. Small pores keep the skin looking tight and young.
It’s common for both men and women to have bigger pores around the nose, forehead and central facial area, where extra body oil is secreted. But those born with bigger pores, or experiencing the problem because of either a medical condition or the environment, may see them all over, though the face is where they tend to be most noticeable, Dr. Fox says.
In addition to heredity, causes of enlarged pores generally include:
- Skin damage caused by chronic, unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays
- Oily skin and seborrhea,, one of the most common skin problems, characterized by a red, itchy rash and white scales”Enlarged skin pores sound like a somewhat silly problem, but it can be a real issue,” explains Dr. Fox, who as a leading authority on skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures is also a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. “Enlarged pores can be quite prominent and unsightly, causing people to have self-confidence and self-esteem issues and to just not feel good about themselves,” adds Dr. Fox.How enlarged pores are treatedKeeping the skin clean, and free of excess oil, is among the best ways to care for enlarged pores. This will also help prevent blackheads, which on the face can draw attention to larger pores.
The internet offers many alleged holistic and “proven” home remedies. But like most health experts, Dr. Fox recommends people with the condition stay away from online advice or self-treatment and instead to seek the help of a board-certified dermatologist.
“There are good over-the-counter and in-office treatment options. But whatever a patient chooses, it should be with the guidance of a physician,” Dr. Fox stresses.
Topical treatments include using a facial cream with benzoyl peroxide, which removes excess oil and dead skin, or salicylic acid, which helps prevent pores from clogging. Also helpful are topical acne creams made with sulfur or resorcinol, or skin astringents used to clean away oil. Products which stimulate collagen and elastin, like vitamin C, are also useful because they may help the pores from stretching. Lastly, topical retinoids and retinol can help reduce oil production and increase collagen and elastin.
Other treatments performed in a doctor’s office include:
- Microdermabrasion. A technique that uses tiny rough grains or crystals to buff away the surface layer of skin and, with it, excess oil and dead skin.
- Laser resurfacing. Short, concentrated, pulsating laser beams are used to carefully and precisely remove dead or irregular skin, layer by layer, while stimulating and tightening underlying collagen.
- Chemical peel. A chemical solution is applied to the skin, and reveals “new” smooth skin underneath. Over-the-counter peels are also available.For most people, it’s a combination of good, at-home facial cleansing and doctor care that leads to the best results. Dr. Fox advises patients to be thorough, but careful in their facial cleansing and not to over scrub or rub, which can cause pores to be enlarged. “And since it’s summertime and sunny, it’s important for me to stress the effects of unprotected sun exposure. Sunscreen use is essential for everyone, but those who are unhappy with large pores should be extra diligent since sun damage is one of the causes.”