Minimize Large Pores on Face with New Laser Skin Treatment

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS

Article by
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Many people are unhappy with large pores or enlarged pores on the face. Large pores often look worse or more noticeable with make up. Minimizing large pores has been a very difficult objective to achieve in the post. A new laser technique holds promise for improving our ability to minimize pore size on the face.

Treatment of large pores in the past has been primarily directed towards drying agents to reduce oil production in the skin. These treatments do help, but they are temporary measures and do not change the skin structure in a way to reduce pore size permanently.

What Causes Large Pores?

The pores on your face are small holes in the skin which are the openings of the oil glands onto the face. These glands, called the sebaceous glands, form a small sack beneath the skin which produces normal skin oils called sebum. There are two basic causes of large pores, which is enlargement of the opening of the oil gland onto the skin:

o Excess Skin Oil Production- People with oily skin have more oil producing cells in their sebaceous glands, the oil producing glands beneath the skin. As more sebum or skin oil is produced, the oil gland enlarges and becomes distended. As the gland and oil sack become enlarged the opening of the oil gland onto the skin, the pore, becomes stretched and appears on the skin as a large or enlarged pore.

Large pores in young facial skin are most common in the areas of the face where the greatest number of oil glands occurs-the nose, forehead and chin. This is often called the T zone, and if you check you will find these areas have more skin oils that the cheeks and eyelids.

o Aging of the Skin- As our face skin ages many very significant changes occur. The most striking aging change is loss of collagen. Collagen is a very important supporting structure in the skin. The oil glands and pores are surrounded and supported by collagen. When collagen is lost with aging, the oil glands and pores loose support and become lax and the pores become larger.

Interestingly, enlarged pores in aged facial skin also occur on the cheeks, an area which has fewer enlarged oil glands in younger people with oily skin. The pores are there in younger people but oil production is less and the pores are not large. However when the supporting collagen is lost with aging, the pores can show up in all face areas.

New Laser Treatment

The new laser treatment works by stimulating the growth of new collagen which surrounds and compresses the oil glands and actually squeezes or constricts the pore itself by compressing the opening of the pore onto the skin. This laser treatment is called combined laser therapy and is a two step process:

o Non-ablative 1540 or 1440 Laser Treatments-We use a 1540 or 1440 Fractional Erbium Laser to treat the facial skin. There is no down time-your face will have some added color immediately after the treatment for about a day or two. These lasers go deep into the skin and stimulate your skin to make new collagen to compress the pores.

You will need 3-4 treatments scheduled about 3-4 weeks apart. Treatments take about 30 minutes and are done by our medical aesthetician.

o 2940 Ablative Fractional Laser Resurfacing-At your last non-ablative treatment the doctor will do an additional treatment called a Fractional Ablative Laser Resurfacing. This treatment is an actual laser skin peel. However the new fractional laser is much gentler than the old fashioned CO2 laser resurfacing. Your skin will peel and your skin will be red for 5-7 days.

We do use a topical anesthetic for your comfort.

Our results with this new combined laser approach have been impressive. Older CO2 laser resurfacing actually made pores larger.


The new approach using fractional laser technology is much better at building new collagen to compress the pores. We have seen surprisingly good results in even older aged skin.

Other Supportive Measures

Traditional methods include skin oil reduction with Brevoxyl skin washes, microdermabrasion, and oil reducing medications such as Retin A, Differin, and Acccutane. These treatments must be discontinued during the combined laser therapy. However after your skin recovered, you will be re-evaluated for the need for these traditional supportive therapies.

This new combined fractional laser treatment is an exciting new therapy. The results, especially in aging skin are truly excellent. If you are troubled by enlarged pores on your face learn more about this exciting new treatment which may be what you are looking for.