There are many treatments available for enlarged pores and reducing facial pore size. Specialists use a combination of Vitamin A creams, and Fruit acid peels to treat mild cases of open and blocked pores.
Larger open pores can be treated with either laser or TCA chemical peels.
Specialist viewpoint on treating enlarged pores
"What can I do to reduce pore size?" This is one of the most frequently asked questions encountered on a daily basis. 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 blackheads, rosacea, oily skin and acne can enlarge skin pores. Deep and large pores are the easiest to treat in my experience. I often combine TCA Cross, coupled with 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. Skin needling (incorrectly termed Fractional Resufacing), has minimal impact on enlarged pores, however newer laser fractional treatments such as CO2 Fractional with our CO2RE system has more promising results. As with all skin treatments a tailored approach provides the best outcomes.
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.
These simple skin solutions should be tried as the first step in managing open pores and blackheads.
- Wash you 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.
Creams for enlarged pores
Pore size can be decreased by 10-40% on a combination of creams including Vitamin A and 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.
More on chemical peels for acne
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.
More on TCA Cross
Vitamin A tablets for oily skin, pimples and 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.
Specialist laser dermatologists utilize 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.
CO2RE or 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.
RF or Fractional Radio Frequency 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.
Radiant Skin Program
A good pore reduction program is our Radiant Skin Program
Skin needling (incorrectly termed as Fractional Skin Resurfacing) has minimal impact on enlarged pores. 3-5 treatments of skin needling may reduce pore size by only 10-20%. Needling of skin has been replaced with more effective treatments such as laser.
Fractional lasers such as Fraxel, Pearl, ProFractional, and RedDot can reduce pore size by 20-40% after 4-5 treatments.
Specialists prefer to utilize chemical peels combined with laser treatments as this has a much higher success rate of reducing pore size compared to other methods. We do not recommend skin needling as a sole method of enlarged pore reduction.
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.
Yes, enlarged facial pores are more commonly seen in Asian women 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.
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.
Treating enlarged pores is more affordable than you may think. Treatments start from just $95 for a simple AHA chemical peel.
As a guide:
AHA chemical peels for open and enlarged pores
$95 per treatment. 4-5 peels advised. Best suited for blackheads and mild open pores.
Vitamin A and AHA creams
$25-35. Very mild improvement in pore size
TCA cross and TCA chemical peels (Performed by Specialist)
$450- 1200 per treatment. Best for deep isolated pores. 2-3 sessions are ideal
Radiant Skin Package
3 Fractional Laser treatments combine with our Specialist Peel Package: $1,900
Laser resurfacing (Performed by Specialist)
$3,500- $5,200. Best for mid depth pores, acne scars, and rejuvenation.
Optimal treatments for enlarged pores will depend on your skin type, pore location, pore size, and number and your downtime.