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Facial Pores: Definition, Causes, and Treatment Options

Lee, Sang Ju MD, PhD; Seok, Joon MD; Jeong, Se Yeong MD; Park, Kui Young MD, PhD; Li, Kapsok MD, PhD; Seo, Seong Jun MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000657
Review Article

BACKGROUND Enlarged skin pores refer to conditions that present with visible topographic changes of skin surfaces. Although not a medical concern, enlarged pores are a cosmetic concern for a large number of individuals. Moreover, clear definition and possible causes of enlarged pores have not been elucidated.

OBJECTIVE To review the possible causes and treatment options for skin pores.

METHODS This article is based on a review of the medical literature and the authors' clinical experience in investigating and treating skin pores.

RESULTS There are 3 major clinical causes of enlarged facial pores, namely high sebum excretion, decreased elasticity around pores, and increased hair follicle volume. In addition, chronic recurrent acne, sex hormones, and skin care regimen can affect pore size. Given the different possible causes for enlarged pores, therapeutic modalities must be individualized for each patient.

CONCLUSION Potential factors that contribute to enlarged skin pores include excessive sebum, decreased elasticity around pores, and increased hair follicle volume. Because various factors cause enlarged facial pores, it might be useful to identify the underlying causes to be able to select the appropriate treatment.

*Yonsei Star Skin & Laser Clinic, Seoul, South Korea;

Departments of Dermatology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea;

GoodDay Skin & Laser Clinic, Seoul, South Korea

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Kui Young Park, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, Chung-Ang University Hospital 224-1 Heukseok-dong, Dongjak-ku, Seoul 156-755, South Korea, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

S. J. Lee and J. Seok are co-first authors.

© 2016 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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