Pores are depressions on the facial skin surface that contain one or more openings to the ducts carrying sweat and oil from their respective glands.
They can be present across all ages and ethnic groups and often appear larger with age.
The 2 common concerns are clogged pores and enlarged pores.
Clogged pores develop when dead skin cells, oil or dirt gets trapped in the pores. It tend to be more common in adolescents and young adults.
It is the leading cause of acne.
Some causes of clogged pores include:
- Dry skin or skin that produces extra skin cells
- Face products like cleansers, lotions or cosmetics
- Medications that changes how much oil your glands produce
- Oily skin due to age, hormone and genetics
Enlarged skin pores refer to conditions that present with visible topographic changes of skin surfaces. There are 3 major clinical causes of enlarged facial pores, namely high sebum excretion, decreased elasticity around pores and increased hair follicle volume.
Causes of enlarged pores include:
- Age and loss of skin elasticity → A part of skin’s aging process is the loss of elasticity. Our skin’s collagen and elastin framework that supports skin resilience becomes less efficient due to aging and chronic photodamage. A protein, crucial for elastic fiber assembly, called microfibril-associated glycoprotein-1 is also produced less over time. Without it, tissues around follicles provide less structural support and there is a loss of thickness in the skin dermal layer. Such changes can lead to skin fragility, sagging and enlarged pores.
- Sun exposure
- Inflammatory acne → may cause enlarged pores through weakening of sebaceous gland and hair follicles openings, making them more prone to blockage
- Stay out of the sun. UV rays can increase inflammation and redness, possibly leading to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
*TIP: always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on a daily basis and re-apply if under prolonged sun exposure
Search: SPF 45
- Use pore minimizing creams
- Avoid applying heavy makeup and creams → thick makeup can settle into pores and cause blockages resulting in even more blemishes