Open pores: Dermatologist guide for treatment, skincare & home remedies

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 03/10/18

"Doctor, what are open pores? What is the treatment for open pores?"

Open pores are the dilated opening of oil glands concentrated mainly on T-zone and surrounding cheeks. They occur because of unchecked oil secretions at the younger age and get worse when your skin gets lax in old age. In this article, I have covered 3 important aspects of the open pores treatment:

  • Skin care regime
  • Home remedies 
  • Aesthetic procedures

Read further to understand what can be done by you to close open pores and when should you visit a dermatologist!


Open pores look like small pits, giving your skin a dimpled appearance similar to an orange peel and they impart an irregular, dull and aged look to your face. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for open pores. No matter how much ice you put, open pores on face dilate once the temporary shrinkage of skin recovers. Therefore, patience is the key. Follow the skincare regime given below for at least 3 months before judging the response. All the best!

You can also try our DERMATOBOX for the oil control skincare regime that will help in preventing and reducing your open pores. Dermatobox is India's first dermatologist picked skin care regime box in just INR 1500. CLICK HERE for further information.



Step 1 Face wash:

Open pores occur because of unchecked oil secretions. You can either:

I know your face might look greasy few hours after washing your face, but, however tempting it might be, never wash your face more than three times a day because this can lead to oil rebound. Instead, use a toner. Similarly, always pat dry your face instead of rubbing it vigorously with a towel because even friction can cause oil rebound.


Step 2 Toner:

After washing your face, wipe off the extra oils and dirt that clog your pores from your face with the help of toner. You can either:

Step 3 Sunscreen:

Sunscreens might clog your pores, thus you can skip this step if you stay indoors. However, if you go outdoors, use sunscreen with a least SPF of 30. It is critical to choose a lightweight sunscreen in the fluid, lotion or gel form to avoid development of new pores. For brand recommendation, check this list of sunscreens for oily skin.


Step 4 Makeup:

If you do love to put make-up then you can try the foundation or BB cream with salicylic acid, for example, Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream. Prefer thin or liquid foundation (that spreads easily) to cream or stick ones. Don’t try to hide your open pores with daily make-up rather restrict the same to important occasions and finally do not forget to remove your makeup before sleeping.



Step 1 Face wash:

Do you slip into bed without washing your face? You are missing the opportunity of removing the dust and dirt accumulated over the day that can clog your pores further. So, never forget to wash your face at night! Use the same face wash as in the morning.


Step 2 Toner:

After washing your face, wipe off the extra oils and dirt that clog your pores from your face with the help of toner. You can either make this homemade toner by mixing rose water and apple cider vinegar or buy one of these toners.


Step 3 Night cream:

Open pores occur because of unchecked oil secretions at a young age, therefore, you should use salicylic acid in lotion or serum base. Regular use of salicylic acid can help in reducing not only oil secretion but also open pores and white/blackheads. I have listed below few brands of salicylic acid based lotions:

As the skin gets lax in the third decade, shift to retinoids that can help in reducing wrinkles, in addition to oil control. Vichy Liftactiv Retinol HA is a good choice.




On weekend, you can boost up your oil control regime by doing two-step facial that involves scrubbing away the debris clogging your pores followed by an oil control face mask.


Step 1 Scrub:

Exfoliation is one step that can help you immensely by removing dead cells clogging your pores. You can scrub your face once or twice a week with either:


Step 2 Face pack:

Face pack are one such skincare product that allows ingredients to act on your skin over a long period of time. And when it comes to open pores, they are absolutely essential to tighten pores and absorbing extra oils. Normaderm Triple Action 3 In 1 Cleanser is a salicylic acid based 3-in-1 product that can be used both as scrub and face pack once or twice in a week. however, do not use it daily.




There are multiple options available with the dermatologists today to minimise open pores. However, studies regarding the effectiveness and response rate are still lacking. The treatment options to minimise open pores include:

Salicylic Acid: 

Beta-hydroxy acid like salicylic can seep into the opening of sebaceous ducts and remove the keratin plug; thus help in reducing your open pores. Currently, many OTC face wash and toners with salicylic acid are available in the market as discussed earlier in this article.  You can also consider fortnightly salicylic acid peels from the dermatologist, which is an excellent way to control oil secretions and decrease open pores.


Topical and oral retinoids help in reducing oil secretions and open pores. They are available both OTC and by prescription; later might be more effective.


There are a couple of lasers which might be effective in reducing open pores. These lasers induce collagen remodelling and have been used effectively in reducing bigger pits and craters on the skin caused by acne scars; however, its efficacy in open pores is still to be explored.


It is a simple but effective method to reduce large open pores; however, it has a downtime of 7-10 days. The procedure comprises of application of tri-chloro-acetic acid on the wall of open pores with a toothpick leading to the formation of the black scab on each of treated pores which fall off in 7-10 days. Results are good with 30-50% reduction in the size of pores, and repeated sessions can be done if required.


These might help in reducing open pores by collagen remodelling but are less effective than LASERS.


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