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What are the 7 commonly asked questions about open pores on the face?
A large number of people complain about open pores and with so many products and information, it is very confusing for the patient. Open pores do not cause any harm but they definitely look odd to some people who want to get rid of them. Open pores give the appearance of an orange peel skin and some even consider it as a sign of ageing. This blog will take you through open pores, their causes and treatments in detail via some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
Q1) What are ‘open pores’ and how do we define them?
Pores are defined as apertures from the surface of a tegument (animal, vegetal) that ensure the input or output of gases or fluids. In skin open pores are the tiny ostia from either pilosebaceous follicles or eccrine sweat glands.
Open pores are those pores which are of much larger dimensions and are visible to the naked eye, ranging from 250 to 500 ?m in size with surface areas of 0.05–0.2 mm2 and above.
Q2) What are the causes of ‘Open pores’ on the face?
Open pores are ‘prominent’ or ‘visible to the naked eye’ pores . It is still enigmatic to know how they become prominent. Most of the scientific studies point towards these causes of open pores-
Excessive sebum production – Increased activity of the oil glands can make the pores larger or visible. Most of the people complain of pores on the face especially nose and cheeks.
Genetics- Heredity may also play a role in prominent pores as seen in various families.
Fairer skin type- Caucasian and fair skin types are more predisposed to the prominent facial pores.
Sun exposure and Radiation exposure- Increased exposure to sun and indoor radiation sources like smart phones, computer screens can increase the open pores.
Prominent hair follicle openings- hair follicles are tubular in shape and sometimes they appear as prominent open pores on the nose are actually dilated hair follicle openings.
Hormonal changes – Polycystic ovarian syndrome and other hormonal changes cause an increased oiliness on face and make open pores look prominent.
Nutritional deficiency- Vitamin A deficiency can also cause prominent open pores.
Ethnicity- Chinese women have the lowest density of open pores followed by Indian patients.
A slight decline in densities with age is even noticeable among Indian and Caucasian women. Chinese women clearly differ from the three other groups, in that they display very low density.
Q3) What is the difference between ‘open pores’ and ‘acne scars’?
Sometimes scars left behind by pimples also look like pores and such scars are called ‘ice- pick scars’. These ice –pick scars are due to degradation of collagen due to scarring left behind by pimples. Although commonly referred to by patients as ‘open pores’ they are altogether different.
Q4) Are the black spots on nose Blackheads or open pores?
The commonly thought blackheads on nose are actually not blackheads or comedones but actually stunned hair follicles with patent openings known as ‘trichostasis spinulosa’ and sometimes the pores may actually be tiny corkscrew shaped hairs retained in hair follicles. At a few times the pores may retain dirt and sebum giving it a blackhead appearance.
Q4) Do the open pores permanently close or shrink in size?
The open pores can be actually minimized or treated but with procedures. None of the natural remedies or non invasive modality can remove or shrink the size of the pores.
Q5) Does steaming really work for open pores?
Steaming helps in blackhead removal as a warmer skin enables sebum extraction easier. But it cannot help in reducing the size of the open pores and is a myth with no scientific basis.
Q6) What are the factors that increase open pores apart from the causes mentioned?
Obesity and overweight people do see an increase in open pores as their sebaceous or oil glands increase in size due to hormonal fluctuations. Hence regular exercise may be helpful in preventing open pores.
Facial massages – Regular massages (as popularly believed otherwise) actually aggravate the pores and increase the size of the open pores.
Application of facial oils- Facial oils are abhorred by the dermatologists as they may block comedones and cause acne like eruptions and increase the size of the pores.
Q7) What kind of diet is helpful in open pores?
A diet which is low in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids accompanied with an increased protein intake would be helpful in treatment of open pores. Antioxidants especially containing Vitamin C and Vitamin A would help in preventing increase in open pores.
The next section of this blog talks about treatment options for open pores, both home based and Dermatologist led treatments which will help in minimizing the open pores on face. We will also review the various products available for home made treatments. Stay tuned!