What are Enlarged Pores?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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Enlarged pores are pores on the skin that are larger than average. While many pores on the skin are small enough to be nearly invisible to the naked eye, enlarged pores are more noticeable. Many people who are beauty-conscious attempt to keep the size of their pores small so as to have smoother-looking skin. For the most part, people are concerned about enlarged pores on the face, not other parts of the body.

There are a few ways that pores can become enlarged. Very often, enlarged pores are the result of the natural aging process. However, pores can also become enlarged if dead skin cells are allowed to build up inside of them. The presence of the dead skin cells will stretch the pores, causing them to become bigger. Pores can also be enlarged if they become infected and the resulting pimple is squeezed before it is ready to be cleared out.


There are numerous skin care products and facial treatments that are intended to shrink the size of pores or to reduce the appearance of large pores. Estheticians are trained to deal with many different types of skin conditions. If you want to reduce the size of your pores, you can book a facial at a spa. Be sure to tell your esthetician that you are specifically concerned with your pores and ask for a treatment that will reduce their size. Some people go as far as using microdermabrasion or laser treatments to reduce the size of their pores.

There are many less drastic and more affordable methods of treating enlarged pores. If the key problem is a buildup of dead skin cells in the pores, then a good exfoliant will help. Most skin care lines, from the most affordable to the most expensive, offer an exfoliant of one kind or another. While exfoliating your skin, be sure not to rub too hard or you will run the risk of irritating your skin and creating other problems. Also, be sure not to use exfoliants or scrubs too often.

The facial area that usually has the most number of enlarged pores is the nose. For this reason, there are a few beauty products that target this area in particular. One of the most popular products is the nose strip. These strips are applied to the nose when they are wet, and are allowed to harden by air drying. When these strips are removed, they pull dead skin cells and dirt out of the pores.


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Post 9

I have noticed a big difference in my face as I have aged. I don't have to worry so much about acne anymore, but the pores on my face seem to be so much bigger.

I even went to the dermatologist and had microdermabrasion for my enlarged pores. This was a pretty painless treatment, and I noticed a difference right away.

It is something that I will have done every so often. One treatment helped quite a bit, but it doesn't seem to work as long as I hoped it would.

It seems like there is always some kind of battle with your face. When you are a teenager, you have to deal with acne and oily skin. As you get older, your skin is too dry, your pores get bigger and you have dark circles under your eyes!

Post 8

When I was a teenager I was self conscious about the large pores and blackheads on my nose.

I remember giving myself steam facials in an attempt to shrink the enlarged pores. This never seemed to work and it seemed like all I did was irritate my skin and make it red. Using makeup never seemed to help much either.

I have always been faithful at washing my face every morning and night and making sure it stays clean and moisturized. I also use a cleanser that has a mild exfoliant in it.

My pores probably don't look much different than they did when I was a teenager. Now that I am a parent, I have a lot more things to worry about than the enlarged pores on my face though.

As long as I continue to use good cleansing habits, I am not going to worry too much about it.

Post 7

@Oceana-- Have you tried any of the brand name skin care products for enlarged pores?

I'm using one right now from a well known skin care and cosmetics brand and it's working really well. I have the whole line which has a cleanser, toner and two different moisturizers, one for day and one for night. All of the products have pore minimizing effects.

I've been using this line for six months and I'm getting a lot of results. I used to have huge enlarged facial pores before. Now my face actually looks uniform and smooth.

Post 6

I get enlarged skin pores in addition to facial pores. I'm managing my face, but it's harder to treat the enlarged pores on my arms and legs.

From what I understand, unlike facial pores, skin pores don't become enlarged due to oil or dirt. Mine become enlarged due to blocked hair follicles which enlarge my skin's pores and form little bumps on my skin. It gives the appearance of 'chicken skin' and looks very bad.

The only way I can treat this is by using exfoliating bath mittens and scrubbing off the outer layer of my skin. Only then are the follicles able to open up and the hair come out from under.

Unfortunately, I'm too lazy to do this at every single shower and so I always have visible enlarged pores on my arms and on several areas on my legs. I just hate them.

Post 5

@seag47-- I know what you mean. Nose strips don't work for me either. They used to when I was in high school but they don't anymore. I think when the pores become larger and the blackheads deeper, it becomes harder to remove them.

Have you tried using a blackhead tool? It's a long tool with a tiny round end that you press down onto the blackhead which causes the blackhead to be pushed out. I think this works much better than nose strips and is also more hygienic than using hands.

Before you do any kind of enlarged pores treatment, you need to open up your pores with hot water. I always do a little steam bath to

open up my pores before I use an exfoliating peeling mask.

Just put some boiling hot water into a large bowl or container. Put your face over it (be careful not to get burned) and cover with a towel. Stay in the steam for 5-10 minutes for the pores to open up. The blackhead pump you have might work better if you do the steam bath first too.

Post 4

I went to a dermatologist for acne treatment when I was 26. He gave me some topical gel to use on my face, and he said that I could use it for the next five years.

One of the extra benefits of this gel is that it minimizes pores. He said that after I turned thirty, my pores would most likely become enlarged, but this gel would help control that.

So, I went in for an acne solution and went away with both that and pore enlargement prevention. This was a pretty good deal.

Post 3

@cloudel – You need to treat your pores right after you remove the blackheads. Whether you squeeze them out or use a nose strip, you should have some astringent on hand to apply right afterward.

This will help the swelling go down right away. Use the astringent twice a day, because it closes your pores, and if they are closed, nothing can get in and enlarge them.

I know it sounds hard, but you need to switch to a lighter coverage foundation. Mineral makeup is best, because you can dust it on in powder form to smooth out your complexion, but it won't settle into pores.

If you use the astringent, then you won't need a heavy makeup to cover up your pores, because they will have shrunk. So, you won't have to worry about your appearance while wearing a lighter makeup.

Post 2

@seag47 – I am like you. I seem to be stuck with perpetually clogged, enlarged pores on my nose.

You would think that squeezing out the grime would make the pore close back up, but mine seemed to just fill with more junk. This is probably because I have an oily nose.

I'm sure my makeup isn't helping, either. I wear a foundation that offers heavy coverage, and I put powder on top of that. I do this to cover my large pores, but I think I'm contributing to the problem.

Does anyone know what I can do to shrink my pores? I am running out of options.

Post 1

I need to try a nose strip. I have tried something that felt like sticky tape before, but it didn't work very well. The package didn't say anything about wetting my nose and leaving the strip on to harden, so it probably was just a low end product.

My nose is full of blackheads. Even though I don't have much trouble with them anywhere else on my face, I have kept them in my nose since I was a young teenager.

I even tried using a blackhead pump. You put it on top of your clogged pore and push down a button, creating a vacuum. This is supposed to suck out the blackhead, but it didn't work for me.

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