Facial Pores: Definition, Causes, and Treatment Options

Dermatol Surg. 2016 Mar;42(3):277-85. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000657.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diet
  • Elasticity
  • Facial Dermatoses / etiology*
  • Facial Dermatoses / physiopathology
  • Facial Dermatoses / therapy*
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / metabolism
  • Hair Follicle / pathology*
  • Hair Removal
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Organ Size
  • Sebum / metabolism
  • Skin Care / adverse effects
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones