Best Treatment for Large, Clogged Pores on my Nose?

Nothing OTC works, and even Retin-A has done nothing for me. Is microderm abrasion the best option? Is there any help?

Doctor Answers 6

Large pores and treatments

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This video covers all the questions regarding pore size, however to unclog the pores I would do the following -

1. Use high strength AHA mixed with the highest strength Retin A - use 3- 7 times a week. 

2. That should do the job. If not, continue with above and soak the area with a warm cloth, then extract. 

3. If that does not do the job, see a dermatologist for extractions. Then consider a procedure outlined below to permanently reduce the size of your pores. I choose a particular laser  or energy device based upon the size of the pore, skin type of the patient, and expectations.

I find that the most reliable method is with INFINI RF, micron needling using energy. This beats all my Fraxel lasers and chemical peel techniques. Very little downtime, and it is ideal for small to medium size pores.

Chemical peels such as TCA (70-100%) placed focally in the pores is an excellent treatment for large pores.

Pore size reduction treatments should be tailored according to the patient IMO.

Dr Davin Lim
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia.

Treating Large, Clogged Pores on the Nose

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The best way to treat large, clogged pores on the nose is by using prescription-strength tretinoin cream (Retin-A). This medication takes many months to work and comes in three different strengths. Depending upon your skin sensitivity, you can increase the strength of tretinoin cream as your skin becomes accustomed to it. If this is still not effective, you could try Tazarac Cream (also a prescription) which is also in the "retinoid" family like tretinoin cream but can be more effective. Chemical peeling is also a reasonable option if things are stubborn. Mixed peels containing salicylic acid work best for oily, acne-prone skin. We have recently had a good deal of success using the new Obagi Blue Peel Radiance. Microdermabrasion may help but I believe a chemical peel would penetrate deeper into the pores to give you better results.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Large pores on the nose

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I agree that prescription retinoids (Retin-A and Tazorac) should be used as a first line treatment for large pores on the nose.  In addition, extraction facials may also help and these can usually be done in a dermatologist's office by a licensed esthetician.  I also have had success with the Smoothbeam laser to reduce the size of the pores making them less prominent with reduced secretions.  This can also reduce an overly "oily" complexion in as little as 1 or 2 treatments.  Good luck.

Jason R. Lupton, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon

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Comedo Extraction

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In addition to using a topical retinoid to decrease pore size and prevent "clogging" many patients benefit from comedo extraction.  Typically, comedo extraction is offered in the office of a board certified dermatologist and involves pressure being applied with a blunt metal instrument that has an opening which allows the contents of the pore to be removed.

Anthony Perri, MD
Houston Dermatologist

Best treatment for large clogged pores on nose.

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There are several suggestions I would make.  First a retinoid is very helpful as well as a beta-hydroxyacid such as salicylic acid or lipohydroxy acid since they are able to penetrate into the sebaceous gland.  Once we losen everything up we get excellent results with the Isolaz - a laser which employs suction and vacuuming of the material out of the gland followed by blue light which kills any bacteria present in the pore.

Jeannette Graf, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist

Best treatments for large pores

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Retinoids are the only topical treatment that in time can help resolve comedones (blackheads) and slightly decrease the size of the pores by helping to remove the material that is dilating them.

Pore size is genetic and cannot be changed by topical medications or creams. 

Another method for shinking pores is fractional laser skin resurfacing, but the blackheads need to be under control before that treatment is undertaken.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.