“My skin pores are very obvious. What can I do?”
Do you think you have large skin pores? Well, I can assure you you are not alone. Even patients with good skin find their skin pores large and often unsightly. One instant solution that will cost you no time or effort is to lose your magnifying mirror! The reality in some cases is that the only two people who actually see the size of your pores is you and your dermatologist. People don’t generally stare straight at your pores when they talk or look at you, especially if your skin type is normal or dry.
Pores are little natural openings in the skin through which oil and sweat reach the surface from their glands underneath. They tend to become more noticeable during puberty when hormonal changes trigger more oil secretion from the skin, and subsequently they become less obvious. Unfortunately, the roles reverse again, and as the skin ages and loses its elasticity, the pores can once again appear larger. Skin without visible pores would look odd, unnatural and in addition, I am sorry to disappoint you, but one cannot eliminate pores entirely. There are things however that can be used to improve the appearance of this “enemy”!
- A basic, simple and cost-effective way of preventing your pores from looking worse is to cleanse your face and remove any make-up or sunscreen lotion daily before bedtime.
- If you have breakout prone skin, avoid squeezing spots. If blackheads are your main problem, again leave extractions to an aesthetician you trust or see your dermatologist for prescription treatments. Squeezing the skin can stretch your pores and make them more visible, and in addition it could cause abnormal pigmentation and scarring.
- Opt for over the counter products that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid or other alpha-hydroxy acids or retinol. These act as exfoliating agents, thereby preventing your pores from getting clogged up, and this way making them less obvious.
- Vitamin C creams and prescription strength retinoid creams can have an additive benefit. By promoting new collagen and elastin production, they can strengthen the walls of the pores and prevent them from stretching.
- For those who want more dramatic results, professional treatments including particular types of lasers and facial peels can help minimise the appearance of enlarged pores. These treatments should be carried out after a professional consultation in a specialised laser or skin clinic respectively.
- Lastly, oral retinoid and specific hormonal treatments can help reduce enlarged pores. These will usually be considered if there is associated acne, which is either severe or resistant to other treatments. Your dermatologist should assess you and start treatment accordingly.
Good luck with the first steps to less visible skin pores!