Enlarged Pores

Your pores are vital to your skin's health. They produce sebum, a substance that helps keep your skin soft and flexible and protects you against bacteria and viruses. However, pores can also cause skin problems. Overproduction of sebum and/or poor skin care can lead to clogged pores, blackheads, and acne. And as your skin gets older and begins to sag, pores can become stretched out, producing visible and unattractive openings in the skin. Large pores are a permanent skin condition. There is no way to get rid of them for good. However, the right cosmetic treatment can help minimize the appearance of pores.

Cosmetic Treatments: No Surgery Involved

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Schwarcz has several options for reducing the look of enlarged pores.

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel can improve the appearance of pores in two ways. First, the peel will remove several upper layers of skin -- how deep it goes depends on the strength of the peel. This will also remove the stretched-out opening of enlarged pores and restore a smaller appearance, as well as making the skin look younger and fresher. Second, a peel can help clear dirt, debris, and excess sebum out of the pores, allowing them to shrink and reducing the risk of clogs. The aftereffects of a peel depend on how strong the solution used is and how deep it goes. Your physician can advise you on how to prepare for recovery after a peel. Be aware that peeled skin is excessively sensitive to sunlight and must be protected until it is fully healed.

Laser Treatments

Lasers can be used to reduce the appearance of pores by heating the connective tissue beneath the skin. This stimulates the tissue to produce collagen, which makes the skin look fuller and plumper, reducing skin looseness and the sagging that produces oversized pores.

These treatments are generally done with low-powered, or fractional lasers. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser treatments can similarly produce more collagen. Laser pore treatments usually require one or two sessions for full benefits. Since the laser is low-powered, there is rarely any pain or real damage to the skin, although there may be some redness and dryness on the affected area immediately after treatment.