Enlarged Pores!

Enlarged Pores!

I have been troubled by deep and enlarged pores on both sides of my face for many years. I will usually use cosmetics to cover them up. Are there any treatments to eliminate deep and enlarged pores from my face?

– Mrs Tay, 48

Enlarged pores are caused by undulations between the superficial layer (epidermis) and the deep layer (dermis) of the skin. There are three main causes of enlarged pores: Increased sebum or oil production; decreased elasticity of skin around the pores, especially in aged skin; and increased hair follicle volume, especially in areas with thick hair. In addition, increased pore size is also linked to chronic pimples, stimulation by sex hormones, inappropriate use of cosmetics and cleansers, sun exposure and genetics.

In terms of appearance, open pores can be classified into three categories: Visible skin pores (0.1–0.3 mm ), enlarged skin pores (0.3–0.6 mm  ) and blackhead embedded skin pores.

Enlarged pores are often found on the nose and cheek (areas adjacent to the nose) as these areas have more sebaceous glands, producing more sebum. People often mistake pitted scars left from past pimples for enlarged pores. These enlarged pores affect individuals of both sexes, from all races and across a wide age group. When you use make-up to cover up your pores, the pores are often made more prominent instead, due to the undulations of the skin.

Following are some ways to treat these pores:

Increased sebum production

We can reduce sebum production with the application of a retinoid cream, a form of medical grade vitamin A. Oral medical grade vitamin A, known as isotretinoin, is especially useful when the increased sebum is associated with the presence of severe pimples.

Other medications that reduce sebum secretion include cyproterone, which is found in some oral contraceptives, and spironolactone, which blocks off androgen receptors. These receptors are sensitive to male hormones and cause the sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum.

Chemical peeling such as using salicylic acid peels can also improve oily and pimple-prone skin.

It is important to wash your skin two to three times a day with a cleanser that does not contain oils, wax or fatty agents.

This condition can be easily treated with hair removal devices like lasers and intense pulsed light.

For more effective treatment of pores and oily skin, you can consider lasers and needled radiofrequency. The latter makes use of a calibrated needle to penetrate the skin and deliver special settings of radiofrequency waves to treat the sebaceous glands.  There is hardly any pain as numbing cream is applied before treatment.  This method can also be used to treat bad scars resulting from pimples.

Another possible choice of treatment is the injection of micro-doses of botulinum (Botox) into the dermis layer of the skin. This can greatly improve the appearance of the pores and decrease oil production.

In terms of diet, you should avoid high glycemic index carbohydrates found in sweet foods as these provide substrate for sebum production.

Decreased elasticity of skin

This condition can be treated using lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL) and creams like tretinoin and tarzarotene which can increase collagen and elastin production in the skin.

Increased hair follicle volume

This condition can be easily treated with hair removal devices like lasers and intense pulsed light


Dr Steven Ang Aesthetic & Family Clinic Blk 75D Redhill Road #01-112 Singapore 154075

Dr Steven Aesthetics and Laser Clinic Orchard Medical Specialist Centre #05-29 Lucky Plaza Singapore 238863

Call Centre: 64767333 www.stevenaesthetics.com

Dr Steven Ang

Brief Bio

Dr Steven Ang, MBBS (NUS) 1987 and Master of Science in Clinical Dermatology, (University of London) 1994, is a family physician with a special interest in aesthetic medicine. In 1998, he introduced the term “Aesthetic Medicine” into Singapore’s lexicology when he became a member of the International Union of Esthetic Medicine and started his aesthetic practice.

He is well-known for his expertise on 2Rs, 3Ps and 4Ss: Removal of hair, Regrowth of hair; Pigmentation, Pores, Pimples; Skin ageing and rejuvenation, Stretch mark treatment, Scar treatment and Slimming (which includes body contouring). He is well-versed in procedures like laser surgery, radiofrequency treatment, botox injection, filler injection and thread-lifts. His mission is to provide Happiness and Hope for the total beauty needs of his patients. He offers honest assessment and safe, tested treatments with minimal pain and downtime.

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