Pores play a vital role in skin physiology. After all, without them we'd have nowhere for hair to grow out of, no method for skin oils to reach the surface, protecting skin from environmental dehydration. Skin pores are not invisible and everyone has them. The question is how best to minimize pores' appearance.
The pore is little more than the opening of the hair follicle onto the surface of the skin. The source of the hair follicle lies deep within the dermis. Midway up the dermal layer, the sebaceous oil gland empties into the hair follicle. Both skin oil (sebum) and the hair breach the surface through this tiny aperture. Wherever there is a hair, there will be a pore.
Reasons for Enlarged Pores
Anything that attracts attention or expands the natural shape of pores magnifies their appearance. Genetics may certainly be to blame. Barely visible on those prone to drier skin`, individuals with oily, thicker (glabrous) skin tend to have larger looking, more noticeable pores.
Sun damage is another cause. As we age, one of the ways sun damage affects the skin is through the enlargement of the pores. Sun damage and aging cause the epidermis to thicken and a rim of cells are more likely to collect around individual pores. While microscopic, these rings exaggerate pore diameter.
Pores may be more visible simply due to lack of good skin grooming and poor exfoliation. Too much surface oil and remnant naturally shed skin cells can collect around the edges of pores, creating the illusion of the pores being larger than they really are.
Blackheads and enlarged pores often go hand-in-hand. Blackheads can either expand pores or simply focus attention on them. But pores can appear larger than life for many reasons, blackheads being but one of them.
Black Heads Plug Pores
Pores are a natural part of the skin; blackheads are the superficial plugs that may form within them. Pore dilatation begins with faulty exfoliation of cells lining the interior gland - cells are too "sticky" leading to microscopic plugs.
Sebaceous glands continue to produce sebum that accumulate behind the plug. Protracted pooling of skin oils also serves to nourish bacteria (like P. Acnes and S. Epidermidis).
Dead skin cells, oils and bacteria choke the follicular opening, expanding the diameter of the pore. Blackheads - medically termed "open comedones" - are an all too common outcome. Plugs within the pores composed of sebum, cellular debris and bacteria congest the gland and expand the pore. Contact with air allows oxygenation to take place, turning the plugs black, further heightening visibility.
Treatments for Enlarged Pores
Target the key factors that cause enlarged pores:
Reducing excessive oiliness
Increasing collagen proliferation and skin elasticity
Treatments to unclog pores
Customised alpha beta face peels can help to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores. Microdermabrasion is another clinically effective method of keeping pores clean and healthy. At Sloane Medical Aesthetics, we also have a wide selection of Skin Spa facials which can help you keep your face clean, fresh and clear. You can find out more about them here.
Treatments to minimize pores
Laser Peel is useful for decreasing pore size and refining skin texture. Patients who wish for a more dramatic result and do not mind a 5-7 day downtime can also choose to go for the Fraxel laser.
If you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation, please contact us at Sloane Medical Aesthetics. We will be pleased to assist you further.