Clogged pores on your face are not only annoying but unattractive. Whether it is a blackhead or a cyst, it makes sense for men not to want to deal with this sort of skin irritation.
Today, we will be providing you with a complete guide for identifying clogged pores on your face and understanding what causes them, how to treat them, and how to avoid them continuing to develop.
What Is A Clogged Pore?
A pore is a small opening on your skin that is connected to your hair follicle. Pores function as escapes for sweat and oil, allowing these substances to reach the epidermis.
Pores that emit sweat are connected to glands called sudoriferous glands. Sweat is discharged from these glands and travels to the skin’s surface. The purpose of these pores is to maintain your body temperature, specifically when you are overheating.
Sweat pores are usually not visible to the blind eye, despite being located all over your body, because of how tiny they are.
There are also pores that specifically discharge oil.
These pores are connected to sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum. The intention is for sebum to reach the skin’s surface, act as a natural lubricant, and keep it looking and feeling healthy.
Similar to sweat pores, oil pores cover almost the entirety of your skin. Differently, however, these pores are visible, and it is noticeable when they are clogged.
While both of these pores have important functions, they do not always function correctly, resulting in a clogged pore. These pores, when left untreated, then develop into acne.
Understanding Where Acne Comes In
Acne is a skin condition that can occur anywhere that there are sebaceous glands, making sweat pores incapable of developing pimples. When sebum combines with dirt or dead skin cells and together clog the hair follicles, acne bacteria feed on the blockage, causing skin irritation.
There are different types of acne that can develop from a clogged pore, such as:
- If you develop a clogged pore when your hair follicle wall bulges, but the pore remains closed on the surface, you may have a whitehead, which is a clogged pore when the hair follicle wall bulges.
- If you develop a clogged pore that remains open to the surface, with the buildup adopting a black hue, you may have a blackhead.
- If your clogged pore becomes a small, sensitive bump that is less than 5mm in size and appears pink or red, you may have a papule.
- If your clogged pore looks similar to a papule but has a red ring around the bump and contains a core of white or yellow pus, you may have a pustule.
- If your clogged, swollen pore becomes further irritated and expands in size, making it deeper beneath the skin, you may have a nodule.
- If you develop a large red, swollen bump located deep beneath the skin that is deep beneath the skin, filled with pus, and tender to the touch, you may have an abscess.
There are several triggers for clogged pores and acne that typically lead to excess sebum production. One of the most common is hormonal changes.
For example, when males begin puberty, their bodies will begin to increase their production of a hormone called androgen, a hormone that contributes to growth in men. Increases in androgen prompt the enlargement of sebaceous glands, increasing the rate of sebum production and the possibility for pore blockages.
Cortisol is produced by your adrenal glands and, in addition to acting as an alarm system for your body, keeps redness and swelling down and regulates your blood pressure. These hormones can bind to receptors in the sebaceous glands, increasing your body’s sebum production and the likelihood of clogged pores.
What Isn’t A Clogged Pore
Before we begin to discuss the treatment options for the clogged pores on your face, it is important that we distinguish between what is a clogged pore and what isn’t since they will require different types of attention.
Here are two skin conditions most commonly confused for clogged pores and acne:
Hair follicles are tunnel-shaped structures that are located on the epidermis through which hair grows up and out of the skin. The sebum that also travels through your hair follicles will lubricate your hair and skin.
Shortly after shaving and removing the hair from your face and body, your hair will grow back through your hair follicles. On occasion, these hairs will grow back into the skin rather than out of it, resulting in red, itchy, swollen bumps on your skin.
Though this skin irritation does very closely resemble acne, they are not the same.
If you are struggling with ingrown hairs rather than clogged pores, the solution may be to adjust your shaving routine. Here are some simple tips for doing so:
- Exfoliate before shaving. Applying a chemical exfoliant containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid can help to dissolve the dead skin cells built up on your skin’s surface. Doing so can reduce the chances of your growing hair re-entering your skin.
- Use an electric razor instead of a manual one. While manual razors may provide you with a closer shave, this could promote the growth of ingrown hairs.
- Shave with the grain. The best way to guarantee a more comfortable shave is to shave in one direction.The easiest way to identify which way is see which direction your hair falls.
- Make sure your razor is sharp. A dull razor will force you to shave over the same area twice to fully remove your hair. This can cause irritation and ingrown hairs. Rinse your blade between every stroke, and replace your razor every five to seven uses.
- Use warm — not hot — water to prep your skin. Warm water will prompt your hair follicles to open up, allowing for easier removal of hair. The water will not be hot enough, however, to rid your skin of necessary, natural oils.
- After shaving, remember to moisturize. Applying a moisturizer or face cream following a shave will prevent your skin from drying out and reduce the chances of irritation.
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes the appearance of swollen, pus-filled bumps and red blood vessels to become visible on your skin. Rosacea flare-ups can last from weeks to months and may stem from heredity or an overactive immune system.
Common triggers include changes to one's environment, exercise regimen, and diet.
Unprotected exposure to the sun can cause oxidative stress, damage your skin cells, and trigger a rosacea flare-up when it comes to the environment. Additionally, the harsh winds accompanying the wintertime can exacerbate existing rosacea symptoms.
As for exercise, working out is essential and should be part of every man’s life. However, extreme exercising will increase your body temperature, blood flow, heart rate, and production of sweat. All of this may lead to heat rash and can aggravate your rosacea.
Issues with one’s diet triggering rosacea usually pertain to spicy food and alcohol. Spicy foods contain an ingredient called capsaicin that makes your food taste spicy but can trigger an outbreak of rosacea.
Similarly, alcohol consumption may cause your blood vessels to enlarge and produce more blood flow, triggering facial redness and rosacea flare-ups. Though extremely similar in appearance to acne, two of the simplest ways to decipher between the two is by analyzing the swelling and redness on your face.
Swollen bumps on the face are shared between rosacea, acne, and sometimes even ingrown hair. However, with rosacea, swelling can extend beyond the bumps on your face. It is common for men with rosacea to experience an increase in nose size on account of swelling and thickening of skin.
Redness with rosacea will also extend beyond the boundaries of facial bumps. Flushing, or facial blushing, when persistent blushing is visible in the center of one’s face, is a common symptom of rosacea.
On lighter skin tones flushing usually appears pink, and on darker skin tones flushing may result in a darker area of discoloration.
Treating Clogged Pores
The best way to treat your clogged pores and to prevent them from returning is to reset your skin. By clearing your skin and starting anew, you can implement a healthy routine that keeps your skin looking and feeling fresh.
How To Unclog Pores
There are several different available methods for unclogging blocked pores and improving your skin's health and appearance. Many of the available treatments involve extraction and exfoliation.
We recommend using MadeMan’s The Re(Set) Collection to get you started. The(Set) Collection consists of a cleanser that doubles as a shaving gel and moisturizer. Both products are water-based and contain all-natural ingredients.
The Resetter is a cleanser that offers you a deep but gentle, non-irritating cleanse. Unlike competing cleansers that are filled with harsh chemicals that leave your skin dry and damaged, The Resetter helps eliminate impurities from your pores, thus directly combating clogged pores, leaving your skin feeling smooth and refreshed.
Additionally, The Resetter can also function as your shaving gel, saving you not only time but also the trouble of dealing with razor burn and ingrown hairs.
The Refresher is a restoring and repairing moisturizer. This makes it ideal for soothing and sustaining your freshly unclogged skin. The product is extremely fast-absorbing and penetrates your skin with an antioxidant nutrient blend that includes chicory roots, castor seed oil, and Indian ginseng extract. These ingredients promote a natural repair process that will help to heal your tender skin.
It is important to use both your cleanser and moisturizer every morning and every night if you intend to repair your skin back to health. Build-up gathers on your skin throughout the day, and even while you sleep, that can lead to clogged pores on your face if not removed.
After washing your face, it is essential that you moisturize to reduce the chance of developing skin irritation.
In conclusion, you do not need to live a life ridden with clogged pores. Though natural in many ways, you can avoid developing them any further.
The most important thing is that you constantly keep your skin clean and nourished using a cleanser and moisturizer containing quality ingredients like vitamins, minerals, and natural oils. Doing so will clean out your pores, as well as keep them protected from external irritants, leaving your skin looking fresh with MadeMan.
Facial Pores: Definition, Causes, and Treatment Options | PubMed
Acne vulgaris: pathogenesis, treatment, and needs assessment | PubMed
The hair follicle as a dynamic miniorgan | PubMed