dr maha abouzeid
Instagram @dr.mahaabouzeid

Enlarged skin pores are a problem many face in the region, mainly due to the heat and humidity. However, this is a problem that can be easily resolved through a technique called extraction. Grazia spoke exclusively with Dr Maha Abouzeid of Kaya Skin Clinic, one of the region’s leading dermatologists, to understand the causes of large pores, the treatment required to control them, and post-treatment skincare tips.

What is the main reason behind enlarged pores?

Large pores are one of the most common concerns among clients visiting our clinics. While several causes contribute to large-looking open pores, most of these cannot be avoided, including high levels of oil (sebum) production. The excess oil, dead skin cells and dirt collect in the pores, causing the skin to swell, making the pores look larger than normal:

  1. Those with an oily skin type are most likely to have enlarged pores due to elasticity around pores and thick hair follicles.
  2. Large pores may be hereditary as one may have inherited thick or oily skin, which causes the pores to appear larger.
  3. A lack of collagen production in the skin may cause larger pores.

Do women in this region experience larger pores than women in cooler climates (like Europe etc.)? If yes, why?

Yes, indeed. Thanks to the humidity in this region, the ability of the skin to excrete sebum reduces, preventing sweat from easily escaping off our skin, thus trapping heat, moisture and other dirt particles in our skin. In addition to this, intense and strong UV light and pollution attack the skin’s barrier functions, triggering conditions like rosace, acne, open pores, and seborrheic dermatitis. The combination of sweating and clogged pores can make naturally oily skin even worse.

Why are extractions good for our skin?

Extractions are a mandatory step in every session to treat acne. It helps clean the pores blocked with oil or dirt and allows the skin to adequately absorb the acne medication post-treatment, maximizing the desired results. Clearing out the pores makes the skin smoother and well-toned.

Please can you explain how the extraction process works?

In comedone extraction, a comedone extractor is placed central to the comedones, i.e. skin-coloured, raised bumps on the skin. A firm but gentle downward pressure is then applied around the pore opening, and as a result, unwanted material is released. When done by trained and professional dermatologists, the treatment can effectively help you get rid of them instantly. If it is not done by an experienced professional, this could lead to scars and ingrowths that would need medical attention later.

Please can you explain more about the treatment & steps that you suggested for women who want to make their pores smaller?

I would recommend my customized treatment, known as the “Modified Vampire Resurfacing”. In this treatment, I combine different high-quality Kaya services to give my clients fantastic results based on their needs. The session requires around 2 hours. We start with the comedone extraction of the blackheads to clean them and allow them to shrink in size, followed by Microdermabrasion to exfoliate the dead skin and tighten the skin’s epidermal level. We then apply a special numbing cream for around 30 to 40 minutes, followed by Kaya’s enzymatic treatment, where a unique cocktail of enzymes mixed together is injected or infused into the skin. Finally, a hydrating collagen mask is applied for 20 minutes, which helps heal and improve the texture and the tone of the skin.

How long until we see results?

The results are noticeable after the second session.

What are the down-time and post-treatment maintenance required for this treatment?

One might experience some redness, skin tightening the next day, and some exfoliation (not peeling) from the 4th day, but there is no need to stay at home after the treatment. It’s recommended to get on with one’s daily activities. However, to avoid the sun, heat and irritation, we advise applying post-treatment creams prescribed after the treatment.

What are the top 3 skincare products that you recommend to women who suffer from oily skin?

Firstly, a proper cleanser for oily skin; secondly, a containing Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs); and lastly, Adapalene and Benzoyl Peroxide gel.

Is there a way to reduce the oiliness of our skin by simply changing our lifestyle? 

Yes! For oily skin, I would recommend reducing chocolate, chips, junk food, and oily food consumption. Secondly, reduce Nuts rich in oil like almonds, peanuts and cashews. Lastly, reducing coffee, smoking and alcohol will help reduce the oiliness of the skin.