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Skin Care and Diseases

Clogged pores

12/28/2005

Question:

If someone with Rosacea has clogged pores on the nose, and it`s due to too much production of oil or sebum from very deep down, would Vitamin A type products actually clear the pore? (I tried Accutane but it didn`t work that great). After several weeks, it just seems to soften the stuff in the pore but doesn`t actually clear it. And I don`t see how it could, not when there is a constant over production of oil. Your thoughts are much appreciated!

Answer:

Topical retinoids, such as Retin-A or Retin-A micro, are known blackhead fighters.  Prescribed to treat acne ranging from mild to moderately severe, topical retinoids are a derivative of vitamin A and considered a cornerstone in acne treatment. Retinoids work to unclog pores and prevent whiteheads and blackheads from forming. Retinoids loosen blackheads and speed up cell turnover so skin cells don't have a chance to clog pores. They also have the unique benefit of slowing down oil production so new blackheads are less likely to form. Unfortunately, retinoids take several weeks to see results, and your skin may become extremely dry and flaky in the process.

Most of the prescription medications such as Accutane take MANY weeks (6-8 weeks) to see results. Isotretinoin, or Accutane, is a potent oral retinoid that is reserved for treatment of very severe cystic acne and severe acne that has proven itself resistant to other medications.  If you stopped accutane before you completed an entire course, you might not have seen results because you did not use the medication long enough. Accutane in particular, significantly slows down excess sebum production. More information can be found on the American Academy of Dermatology website or on AcneNet.

If you have any more questions about your particular case, please consult with your physician or dermatologist. It is difficult to diagnose why your medications are not working without seeing you in person and evaluating your compliance with these medications.

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Response by:

Janine D Miller, MD Janine D Miller, MD
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University

Elma D Baron, MD Elma D Baron, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Skin Study Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University