A number of individuals wrestle with what seems to be an endless onslaught of grease on their chin, nose and cheeks, which never fails to deliver a sheen that is deeply unflattering. This can last from the onset of puberty to the mid-30s and even beyond. However, it has been written that the excess moisture would pay off at a certain age with dewy-skinned suppleness, while individuals who had the fortune of having a face that was pimple-free and matted would end up being reminiscent of cheap linen because of premature wrinkles. What are left however, are visibly enlarged pores.
While enlarged pores are not a new epidemic, with the advent of effective laser treatments and injections to treat sun splotches and lines, the luxury of literally focusing on the smaller stuff exists.
Why do pores enlarge with age?
Pores get bigger as individuals age for two primary reasons. Firstly, the turnover of skin cells slows, which ultimately results in clogs that stretch out what were once tiny openings. Secondly, hormonal changes that accompany aging send a signal to the skin to produce less elastin and collagen, weakening the pore walls so that rather than remaining tight, they start to gape.
A study conducted in the United Kingdom indicates that topically administered estrogen helped to reduce the size of pores; however, as is well-known by anyone who takes birth control pills or has been through hormone replacement therapy, using estrogen has it complications. Understandably, doctors from the United States have largely steered clear of administering hormones, relying instead on high-tech gadgetry like lights and lasers to get the job done.
Regenlite, a laser that is designed to treat acne, has been identified as an effective means of reducing pore size. This treatment works by encouraging the body to produce Transforming Growth Factor-beta, which is a substance that plumps pores and amps up the output of collagen.
A fractionated laser called Fraxel and a kind of ultrasound named Ulthera have also shown to be effective in treating enlarged pores. Both of these stimulate fibroblasts, which are the cells that produce elastin and collagen. Ulthera usually produces results in one treatment session, and is entirely non-invasive. Fraxel, initially designed for those with sun-damaged skin, is a bit more invasive, but is widely regarded to produce long lasting results over the course of three or four treatments.
Retin-A, a type of retinoid is an FDA-approved drug that stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. It also serves to exfoliate the skin and make it smoother, an advantage that many other treatments for enlarged pores lack.
Laviv is a new procedure designed to harvest healthy fibroblasts from an area with minimal skin damage, and inject them into the skin where pores are enlarged. This aims to regenerate collagen from the healthier skin to promote tightening of pores in damaged areas. Laviv has shown to be effective in shrinking the pores and reducing fine lines that appear as one ages.