Announcing The Best Lasers and Other Approaches for Treating Large Facial Pores

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NY Dermatologist Josh Fox, MD, Offers New Hope for the Old, Annoying Problem of Large Facial Pores Today

Large pores on the face are the bane of many a woman’s beauty routine. They’re tough to cover with makeup, look unsightly, and can attract debris that turns into blackheads or pimples. To the rescue: Lasers and other treatments now offered by dermatologists specializing in laser. According to Dr. Joshua Fox, founder and director of New York-based Advanced Dermatology and the Center for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery, lasers are the only way to actually change pore size on your face. Traditional cleansers and creams do little in this regard.

You also can’t “open” your pores like a window, despite products that claim to do so. “Pores are the openings to oil glands, called the sebaceous glands, so they can’t be opened and closed. But they can get clogged with oil and bacteria, enhancing their size and making them more noticeable,” he explains. The oilier your skin, the more oil these glands produce, and the bigger pores appear. Large pores are most commonly seen on the T-zone—the nose, forehead and chin—where the face has the greatest concentration of oil glands.

Large pores can also be the result of aging, Dr. Fox notes. “Collagen, a protein that is the main component of connective tissue, supports the oil glands and pores of the face. As you age, your collagen production naturally breaks down, and there’s less collagen to support pores and glands and the pores slump and enlarge.” Age-related pore enlargement can occur in both the T-zone and on the cheeks, he adds.

Excessive sun also causes collagen breakdown leading to enlarged pores. Strong rubbing is also thought to contribute to oversized pores through collagen defination.

While it’s true that lasers are mostly thought of as wrinkle-reducers, two lasers do an excellent job of reducing pore size and promoting collagen production:

  • Pixel Laser. Pixel laser produces a beam of concentrated light that is absorbed by water molecules in the superficial layers of the skin forcing them to gently peel off giving way to silky smooth skin. The heat produced by the laser light tightens the skin by removing wrinkles, smoothing out scars and reducing the size of large pores. Pixel laser resurfacing also stimulates skin’s natural collagen remodeling resulting in skin textural improvement during the months following the treatment.
  • Fraxel Laser. This procedure is usually with no down time. Your skin might be red or puffy for a day or two afterwards, however. This laser can be painful because it penetrates into the skin, prompting the formation of fresh, healthy skin cells. The Fraxel laser causes tiny injuries deep in the skin, treating a small area at a time, which is referred to as the microthermal treatment zone (MTZ). This is as opposed to traditional Erbium lasers, which injure larger areas and require several days of healing, during which time you can’t cover the damage and need to stay at home. Only about 20% of the skin is targeted at each visit with the Fraxel laser, and we recommend three to five treatments spaced a month apart, and then occasional maintance treatments if needed.

The Fraxel laser does a great job of shrinking pore size, as well as smoothing out wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes, rehabilitating sun-damaged skin, lightening up and removing age spots and sun sports melasma, and reducing the appearance of acne and surgical scars. We apply an anesthetic cream just as we do with the IPL laser to reduce your discomfort; some clinicians also offer light sedation. The treatment takes one to two hours to perform depending on how large an area is treated. Skin improvements typically start to emerge within 24 hours of the treatment and the skin continues to look better and better over the course of two to three months. Results can be dramatic!

And Other Treatments

  • Microdermabrasion. This is a nonpenetrating treatment that feels like a cat licking your face with its little sandpaper-like tongue. Tiny crystals gently scrub away (exfoliate) the top layer of skin and then a vacuum tool sucks up the dead cells. Microdermabrasion does a great job of declogging pores so they appear smaller in size—plus it leaves your face dewy, smooth and soft. Monthly or bi-monthly treatments can keep pores clear.
  • Chemical peels. Glycolic, alpha, salicylic and other types of peels work like microdermabrasion to remove the outer layer of skin, clean out pores, and reveal fresh skin. The peels don’t hurt, and like microdermabrasion can be repeated frequently.
  • Fillers: These injectables are “volumizers.” For example, Sculptra spurs collagen production and plumps out your skin so pores look smaller—while also reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The effects aren’t immediate; they appear over time as your body replenishes its collagen supply. Results can last for up to two years!

All of these treatments, including laser therapies, can be performed in various combinations with one another to enhance your results. Ask your dermatologist or cosmetic laser surgeon for the best options for your skin.

About Dr. Fox: Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., earned his medical degree from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He completed an internship at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, followed by a three-year dermatology residency at the New York University School of Medicine. A Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Fox is a leading authority in the field of dermatology, with an expertise in skin cancer, acne, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures and is the author of many dermatologic publications. He is the founder and director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. of New York and New Jersey and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and is a spokesman for both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. He is the director of a fellowship program in Laser & Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Fox is also the founder and President of The New Age Research Foundation, a national, non-profit [501 (C) (3)] health organization committed to improving the quality of life of those with skin conditions through research and education.


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