Blackheads and Enlarged Pores

Posted by Audrey Kunin, MD There have been 1 comment(s)

Blackheads and Enlarged Pores


Concern with pore size is practically a national obsession. No doubt this is provoked by inescapable multimedia images of glamorous faces airbrushed to impossibly unattainable perfection and High Def TV. This skewed perception of how skin should look is as realistic as the Barbie doll's similarity to true female anatomy. The truth is that pores are a fact of life. They aren't invisible and everyone has them. But not everyone knows how best to minimize pores' appearance.

Porely Designed

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.

Technically speaking, 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.

Larger Than Life

Why do pores appear larger than life? Anything that attracts attention or expands their natural architecture magnifies their appearance. Dead skin cells, cosmetics residue, poor exfoliation, environmental debris. These physically choke a pore open, much like stretching wide a rubber band. At the same time, maturing skin faces two challenges which increase pore size. Sun damage leads to a thicker epidermis, allowing more cells cling to the rim, exaggerating more visibility. Dermal collagen fibers help squeeze pores closed. With a loss of collagen due to aging, pores easily stretch wide.

In Search Of Porefection

An inordinate amount of time seems to be devoted to facials and extractions. Certainly well performed "physical" exfoliation can indeed cleanse cellular matter caught beneath the surface. But poorly executed, glands can be ruptured contributing to sudden acne flare-ups. What they don't do however is tackle those other contributing causes of large-looking pores. Chemical based treatments can often succeed in solving multiple issues. Sometimes a strategic combination produces the best results. Targeting the key factors that cause exaggerated pore diameter quickly minimize visibility.

  • Unplugging debris
  • Eliminating bacteria
  • Reducing excessive oiliness
  • Removing blackheads
  • Smooth out the edges
  • Reduce sun damage
  • Draw the pores closed

Pore Performers

So you know what needs to be done, but how to accomplish the goal? These are the how's and why's of pore minimizing performers:

Picture Porefect

DERMAdoctor Picture Porefect provides two benefits with immediate and long-term improvement of enlarged pores.

First, it contains aluminum zirconium tetra chlorohydrex glycine, an active astringent agent that draws pores closed 29% on average within 15 minutes. Next, it chemically cleanses pore-plugging debris, allowing pores to shrink down 39% on average within 6 weeks. Envision the stretched rubber band snapping back to its normal size. Essentially it's everything in a single product to keep your regimen simple and highly effective. It is an ideal primer as it is a solution rather than a product merely masking pore visibility. Apply twice a day to keep skin looking radiant and flawless.

Film Noir

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 accumulates behind the plug. Protracted pooling of skin oils serves to nourish bacteria (like P. acnes and S. epidermidis).

Blackheads and enlarged pores often go hand-in-hand. Blackheads can either expand pores or simply focus attention on them. DERMAdoctor Intensive Mask & Spot Treatment effectively treats and prevents the formation of blackheads.

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.

Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation has its place in minimizing pore appearance and loosening blackheads. It is not necessary to be overly aggressive in the use of a scrub. DERMAdoctor Physical Chemistry is gentle to the skin yet tough on pore plugging debris.


Retinol is a cosmeceutical form of Vitamin A. Its ability to exfoliate helps reduce pore visibility and improves skin texture. DERMAdoctor Poetry in Lotion contains 1.0% retinol, which is very concentrated. Follow the directions to lessen the potential for irritation. Don't forget that any form of exfoliation including retinol increases sun sensitivity (meaning don't forget your SPF 30 during the day) and retinol should not be used while pregnant or nursing.

Thinking about trying to get skin like that model on the latest beauty magazine cover? Forget it, she doesn't have that skin either! Don't let Nature determine your skin type. Follow the guidelines and let your skin be a vision of porefection.

Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter. As always, I hope you have found it informative.

Audrey Kunin, M.D.

This content is sponsored by DERMAdoctor. The author receives compensation for its creation. All content is the legal copyright of DERMAdoctor, Inc, and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.

The information provided is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical, legal or other professional advice.

This post was posted in Articles, Pores, Acne and was tagged with blackheads, pores, acne

1 Response to Blackheads and Enlarged Pores

  • Thank you for helping understand my problem with obsession with the pores on my face.

    Posted on September 16 at 11:07 am

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