Skin Pores

skin_poresI frequently get asked about problems with skin pores. In fact, in our most recent survey, several respondents specifically requested more information about pores and their function.

It is an anatomic fact that for every hair on your body, there is a corresponding skin pore. The average adult human has around 5 million hairs on his or her body, which means there are also approximately 5 million pores.

The vast majority of skin pores are small and not very noticeable. Only a small portion predominately on the face cause us trouble.

Healthy skin pores are important to maintain clean and healthy skin. Problems develop when dirt and oil on the face collect around pores in the pores get clogged.

clogged-poresWhen pores become clogged, bacteria from the surface of the skin can migrate below the blockage and feed off of the accumulated oil and dead skin cells. The growth of bacteria causes inflammation and redness.  Eventually, white blood cells move into fight the bacteria which results in an accumulation of pus and pimple formation.

As frustrating as large pores can be, there are a number of steps that you can take to minimize their appearance and prevent inflammation and pimple formation:

  • If you use make up, wash it off every night with a gentle cleanser which will prevent blockage of the pores.
  • Always protect your skin with sunblock.  The aging affects of the sun thicken the outer layer of the skin resulting in large skin cells which result in the pores appearing bigger.
  • Oily skin also tends to have larger pores.  Washing your face regularly especially with solutions containing salicylic acid can cut down on excess of skin oiliness and improve appearance of pores.
  • Excess dead skin cells can collect around the edges of pores and make them look bigger in appearance.  With regular use of topical vitamin A or retinol treatments, dead skin cells are prevented from sticking to the surface and are less likely to clog pores.
  • Exfoliating treatments such as Hydrafacial remove dead skin layers, giving the skin a more healthy and cleaner appearance with minimized pores.

Since we obviously cannot live without pores, we need to learn how to manage them.  Although large pores can be frustrating, their appearance can be minimized by regular skin care. Using combinations of salicylic-based facial washing and Retinol topically at night as well as periodic Hydrafacials can help you manage your pores and keep them under control.

If you have problem pores and would like to discuss solutions, call us at (207) 873-2158 for a free consultation or to pick up products

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
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