Salinas

The Story Of Clogged Pores

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I have some time to kill, so I wanted to share what I learned about clogged pores, a problem many of us suffer from. And the root cause of clogged pores is excessive sebum production, nothing else.

Forget about the theories about food, vitamins, dirty skin etc. I think there are only two main reasons why some people experience excessive sebum production: hormonal (age) and excessive skin cleaning, or both.

In my case I can only blame myself: I had flawless skin until I started to scrub my skin, and as this not surprisingly increased the oil production of my skin, so I started to use even more harsh products and the end result was (after some years) every single pore of my skin was clogged.

The thing to understand is that clogged pores means the problem is (deep) inside your skin: your skin and skin pores structure has changed, and is now clogged with sebum. sebum that over time, and depending on all the drying products you used, has hardened, making it even more difficult to unclog them. Think of you clogged skin as a swiss cheese, full of holes, and these holes are now all clogged with sebum. It is EXTREMELY difficult to go back to a flawless skin again. Even if your skin is not oily anymore (like in my case when I stopped with the excessive skincare), the damage is done, your pores are clogged. If you have a very oily skin, during puberty, causing clogged pores, I don't think there is much you can do at all (apart from maybe accutane).

Now to the solutions: obviously we all want a quick fix for clogged pores (I did) but I am sorry to say, but there is no quick fix. As said, your skin structure deep under the surface has changed, that sebum is sticky, it's almost impossible to return to flawless skin. Or it can take years, like in my case (and I am still not there).

Forget about all topical treatments like creams, cleansers, scrubs, peelings, etc. EXCEPT retenoids (later more). I have tried them all, but as these topical treatments work on the surface of your skin, they don't do anything to solve the problem of the clogged, changed structure under/inside your skin. A best they do give you the illusion you are purging your skin, but that's just at the surface. More likely, these topical treatments, dry out your skin, with your skin reacting with producing more oil, continuing the problem.

This is important to understand: when a pore is clogged, you only see the tip of the iceberg (plug or blackhead), often the largest part of the clogged pore goes deep into your skin and is stuck. Sometimes you don't see anything at all, just a bump. When you use a topical treatment hoping to ''clean'' the pores, all it does at best is get rid of the top part of the blackhead (or what's sticking out), not the root. So your skin reacts with filling up the top part again within days, as the pore is still clogged inside your skin, nothing has changed.

What makes things even more frustrating is that even when you get out the root of the backhead, and the pore is fully empty, your skin is left with like an empty hole, and fills this up as soon as possible with sebum as protection, before your skin has had the chance to let the pore grow back to normal size. I guess sebum production goes faster then making new skin cells. The only good news is that often the new blackhead is smaller but depending on how large the ''hole'' under your skin was, it can take many times emptying the pore before it is normal size and unclogged again.

One remark about pimples or infected acne: I have not really experienced this, just clogged pores. I guess a lot of people use products like BP to kill the bacteria that feed on the clogged pores to prevent the pimples. Although this is fully understandable, I think it's important to realize this doesn't solve the problem of the clogged pores.

Now about what does work for clogged pores: retenoids (aka Retin A, Differin, tretionoin etc).

Retenoids are the only topical medication that actually works on the skin from the inside: it slowly pushes out the sebum plug that got stuck inside the pore, at the same time giving the pore the chance the grow back to normal size.

The problem with retenoids are that first they work very slowly. Conventional wisdom says at least 3-6 months. Based upon my own experience at least a year (if not longer). And my skin is still not fully clear. If you continue to have oily skin, you might have to continue to use retenoids to help prevent new clogged pores as well.

The second issue is that when the retenoid starts working, and your plugs start moving and are slowly pushed to the surface, this actually is an opportunity for bacteria to get into the clogged pore and you get pimples you normally would't have, just clogged pores. This happened to me.

I have used tretinoin cream, Retin A gel, and Differin, and i think Differin works best (more pushing power). I think why some people like Retin A gel is because the gel contains alcohol, killing bacteria on your skin. But it also dries out your skin, and the plugs clogging your skin, potentially making it more difficult to get them to the surface.

Finally some words about skin picking. I know opinions vary, and I do not recommend this to anyone (for risk of permanent skin damage) but I did squeeze my pores a lot to get rid of the clogged pores. And I mean a lot, with many times of damaged skin.

I simply did not have the patience on letting the retenoids do their work.

What I did learn because of the squeezing though is how deep pores can be clogged, and that you really need to get out the deepest root part of the plug, before the pore can shrink back to normal size. Under the hardened plugs, I often did have this white liquid sebum, that I also needed to squeeze out. It's like my whole skin was a reservoir full of sebum. Word of warning: retenoids make your skin more ''soft'', easier to rupture. Damage to skin is done very easily to skin when you use a retenoid. But because the skin structure becomes more loose, it also makes it easier to squeeze out the full plug, not just the tip of the iceberg.

Summarizing: the problem of clogged pores is inside your skin, not on the surface, therefore don't believe the marketing blabla and forget about all topicals except retenoids as they work from the inside. It's best to avoid all other topicals anyway in my opinion, just use some water to clean your skin. Even for oily skin, just splashing some water on it, will wash away the oil.

But remember that the oil is there to protect your skin (if you think about it, it's crazy we first wash off the oil, and than put up a cream again containing oil to protect the skin).

I would definitely avoid peelings and scrubs, they harm your skin by getting rid of the protective top layers, and won't solve clogged pores anyway (in my case they caused them).

Only use products with anti bacterial properties if you are suffering from infected pimples.

Squeeze at own risk, but personally I think it's at times the only solution to get rid of a clogged pore, as they can be very stubborn (in particular when the plug has hardened).

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Yes I agree. I used tretinoin cream at max strength for about 5 months but that was a loooong time ago. Now I my whole face is clogged and I think the scale of the problem is too big. I am starting accutane. Dobson think this will fix the problem?

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Interesting but also extremely depressing haha!

Mine is defintiley from overcleaning started using a new face wash which had many different acids in it and now a month down the line im full of clogged pores.

I believe its possible to get flawless skin again with time and a positive attitude! Good things come to those who wait.

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I have clogged pores too, but do they go on their own naturally? Because whenever I pick them they become pimples and is bugging me for 5years.

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You should try a gentle wash in shower like dove deep moisturizer body wash, really good. I did same thing when I was a kid, had couple pimples and went crazy with face washes. xD

I think accutane can give me a fresh start with my skin hopefully I will be able to keep it away. :)



I have clogged pores too, but do they go on their own naturally? Because whenever I pick them they become pimples and is bugging me for 5years.

You talking about blackheads? :(

They suck maybe chemical peel could help you?

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Nope they are more like whiteheads or milia. They are sort of like small white pimples only without the liquid thing xD and they can be really stubborn to get rid off at times. :(

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You should try a gentle wash in shower like dove deep moisturizer body wash, really good. I did same thing when I was a kid, had couple pimples and went crazy with face washes. xD

I think accutane can give me a fresh start with my skin hopefully I will be able to keep it away. smile.png

I have clogged pores too, but do they go on their own naturally? Because whenever I pick them they become pimples and is bugging me for 5years.

You talking about blackheads? sad.png

They suck maybe chemical peel could help you?

if you use accutane for clogged pores and and whiteheads,i think you should think about it, because accutane may not work on closed comedones or something like that but may not.i can give you example from mine,i'm in 5 month accutane treatment,first 3 month 40 mg,4. month 50 mg and now i'm in 5 month 1 day and i didn't see any result,recovering,changing on my skin,they're exactlye same as before.Maybe after 5 month maybe in 6. month,i'm just hoping..

post-369299-0-35289300-1389914379.jpg

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You should try a gentle wash in shower like dove deep moisturizer body wash, really good. I did same thing when I was a kid, had couple pimples and went crazy with face washes. xD

I think accutane can give me a fresh start with my skin hopefully I will be able to keep it away. smile.png

I have clogged pores too, but do they go on their own naturally? Because whenever I pick them they become pimples and is bugging me for 5years.

You talking about blackheads? sad.png

They suck maybe chemical peel could help you?

if you use accutane for clogged pores and and whiteheads,i think you should think about it, because accutane may not work on closed comedones or something like that but may not.i can give you example from mine,i'm in 5 month accutane treatment,first 3 month 40 mg,4. month 50 mg and now i'm in 5 month 1 day and i didn't see any result,recovering,changing on my skin,they're exactlye same as before.Maybe after 5 month maybe in 6. month,i'm just hoping..

Yeah my first treatment of accutane I took when I was younger (15 or so) didn't get rid of blackheads and things like that. Also left my eyes ruined lol, but whatever gets rid of acne I guess. But I really feel like at 18 now my acne calmed down a lot so I think it could really help, I change my mind often though.

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My skin is pretty clogged right now and BP has stopped working for me. I feel its honestly making the clogging worse and I'm sooo upset.

I am so afraid to try a rerinoid because of the initial purging and I have heard stories of people who just purged and purged and did not clear.

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Limited dairy/gluten - everything in moderation - lots of healthy fats, and veggies. Too much fruit breaks me out unfortunately.

-------------------------------------------------------
Prescription:

Isotrex - Active ingredient of Accutane, Isotretinoin (0.05%) Week 2

-------------------------------------------------------
Medik8 Beta Cleanse - (morning)
Benzoyl Peroxide (10%)
Acne.org Moisturiser mixed with a little Sweet Almond oil
Micellular water face cleanse Garnier - (night)
Eucerin Toner - sometimes if skin is very dry
Isotrex


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I have been using Dans regimen( previously used differin for 3-4 months- didnt help with clogged pores nor Did it clear My acne)

and god currently Its looking Pretty good

Seems that this is the only thing that helps with clogged pores. Each day after Washing My face and whiping it clean with paper i see that many plugs come off and small dirt comes out of My pores. There is still much less but the difference is Amazing!!

Previously i had Huge pores all over My face and moderate acne( very bad acne all over My face- not clear yet but almost :-))

Seriously now My pores seem so much smaller !! Im amazed!!! ( btw i stopped using foundation as all of them clogg me- hope One day i can start again but not sure when )

Hope this helps someone!

Definetly try Acne.org regimen!

:-))))

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The problem with retinoids is HAIR LOSS. Google it. I lost 40% of my hair after using Retin A micro for four months.

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Still clogged and oily- skin is dried out from BP. Started differin 1 week ago, hopinh for the best.. also got my first hydrofacial and in 3 weeks going again

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Hi there? Try going for a facial? Perhaps once a month is good. Im suffering from acne/clogged pores/black heads/pimples too T.T sighs i just wanna have good skin but it seems impossible. Im using epiduo right now... Seems like its working? Idk when my period comes my skin just goes crazy and pores get clogged again... Try silkpeel microdermabrasion too! May work for u:)

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Retinoids....wow it drove me crazy reading it as "retenoids" that while time"....yes, they do help with clogged pores & will soften the plugs so they will come out sooner. Start slowly, low % of tretinoin (brand name retin-a) along with an antibiotic like clindamycin because they can still constain bacteria even without inflammation. Peels can soften & loosen these plugs over time also, but over time is the key words here, multiple peels using a decent strength AHA or BHA must be done. Personally & in practice as an aesthetician Retinoids are the best & most productive option. Patients can easily make a problem worse though be using a % too high for their tolerance or by using it too often, maybe they need 2 stay every other night. Do not use retinoids during the day! Sun exposure or already newly exfoliated skin is hard enough, you need a 30spf or higher while treating...but if u combine the sun exposure & wearing retinoids during the day, the irritation can override the results & made things worse, even turn non-inflammatory closed comedones into papules & pustules, not fun & possible scars come with this. Try starting at a .01% tretinoin, use it @ least 6-8 wks, then if u can handle it try .02-.03 (retin-a is only formulated at certain strengths & they're aren't alot of options, but generic tretinoin is the same thing & can be more versitile, also companies like Curology.com make more formulations) ok, so try that then 8 wks later go to .05 & up to .1% if you need it, if ur skin is clear @ .02%, then stay there & don't mess with it. Now, about 50% of patients using tretinoin will experience purging @ the 2wk-6wk mark ...personally i thought i got away clean, but@ 6weeks I purged. Do not stop using it, it will clear & you'll be clearer & on ur way to clear skin because of it. Because retinoids can take a while to show results, people don't stick with them, but with anything u have to stick with it to show results. You didn't screw your skin up overnight, you are not going to fix it that way either. If you have a good derm or esthetician to see, then closed comedones can benefit from extractions & Retin-a, the retinoid softens the plug & by extracting it, it comes out easier than without the retinoid & now it cannot purge into an inflammatory lesion while your skin tries to clear it by itself. But, extracting your own skin is hard & it is easy for you to damage yourself. Trained estheticians can follow the porese direction, have the right tools & can prevent inflammation & redness better. Ok, so where do u get tretinoin? Your derm is 1 option, but I know appts can be expensive & a Retin-A prescription is too, so if that isn't an option....A) try Curology, used to be pocketDerm, u are assigned ur own esthetician/dr/arpn & they will generate a prescription for u based on your son issues (any of them, cysts, pustules, clogged pores, even anti-aging, maybe u have more than 1) that will be $20 a month & is far cheaper than a Dr appt, check out the website.  B) Try Walgreens or Cvs minute clinics, some (not all) will take a look @ ur skin & being that tretinoin is a relatively safe med if u are not pregnant they will write scripts for it, but since they are not trained specifically in skin care do your own research too! & start@ a low % even if they are willing to write a higher 1, they may write it for retin-a which can be expensive, but you can request generic tretinoin @ the pharmacy . C) Finally, buy it online, through amazon or another similar site. I do not suggest this, but I know what desperate skin care is too. Sometimes u get the real products & sometimes u don't. It really could have anything in it, u don't know...but I do know people who have done this & received real retin-a for ton lower than in pharmacy. Ok, so I believe I have given u the info I can here w/ out writing a book& I really hope it helps someone out there solve their skin issues!!

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Well, the information you have provided against big clogged pores is quite informative but I think it would be quite more appreciable if you add something more to your information like what to do if anyone suffer from this skin issue because people who are looking for this problem must also look for the solution to this problem. Well, I think it is quite important to let them know how to get rid of big clogged pores if anyone ever faces this situation. 

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What about enlarged pores from retinoid use? 

People say that pores enlarge or become more visible because of clogs and oil but I don't see my clogs, it's just like dark pin pricks, not black heads or closed comedones.
I couldn't squeeze anything out of them if I tried. And my skin is so mushy (yet rough looking and dicolored) and fragile...it's like perforated jello. I also worry about going accutane again because I never had this type of skin quality issues the first time, just isolated cysts. And if they (the pores) really are more visible because of some deep clog I can't see..then it will harden and stay there. And I can't use any type of exfoliant and definitely not retinoids because that's what got me here in the first place. 
And actually, my damage really did happen overnight yet ironically has lasted almost 5 months now. I really don't know what to do. Because I don't have any "absolutes" about why my skin looks the way it does now.
I literally just want to die, I'm tired .

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