cathy Hille,
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cathy Hille,
Esthetician | Views: 64995

Friendname: cahille
Business Name: Beautiful Radiant Skin
Website: www.beautiful-radiant-skin.blogspot.com
Location: 689 West Foothill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711
United States
Telephone: 951-212-1368
Languages Spoken: English

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Ask An Expert > cathy Hille Message Board > Retin-A CAUSED my pores to enlarge
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Denver, CO
Retin-A CAUSED my pores to enlarge
Hi, there. I'm at my wits end, so I'm hoping you can help steer me in the right direction. Can Retin-A CAUSE sudden dilation of pores?? I realize that sounds contrary to what Retin-A is purported to do, but here's my story...

My entire life I've had mostly dryish skin, with nearly invisible pores. In recent years I've begun developing cystic pimples on my cheeks (approx 4-5 pimples per month), but still continued to be dry and pore-less in appearance. Finally, seven weeks ago I got tired of being the 30-year-old with painful monthly cysts on her face, so I was prescribed Retin-A cream (0.05%) by a dermatologist. As of today, I really like what it's done for my pimples and fine lines I was beginning to notice. However, despite positive results in one area, something terrible has happened in another. On about the third day of Retin-A, my pores suddenly opened wide and haven't closed since. They are HUGE, and they're EVERYWHERE! Every time I look in the mirror I am shocked to see this hideous transformation. I truly did not even realize I had pores any place except my nose, until now. The wide open pores are solid across my cheek bones, in the hollows of my cheeks, on the "apples" of my cheeks and all across my forehead. And it also appears that any spot where I ever had a pimple in my life is now an even bigger pore. What has happened?? Have you ever heard of this happening with a new regimen of Retin-A? Could this sudden dilation be permanent?

When I initially saw the pores, I immediately thought my already dryish skin was shocked by the Retin-A and overcompensating for its drying effect, so I responded by adding a boatload of moisturizers. From approximately days 4 through days 8 of being on the Retin-A, I would layer on two different moisturizers in the AM, reapply 1-2 times during the day, then reapply about an hour after applying the Retin-A a night. Turns out that routine was a bit moisture-aggressive because for the first time in my life I became super-oily (and it didn?t help the pore size either). So, around day 9 or 10, I stopped the aggressive moisturizing approach, and now apply a good moisturizer in the AM and PM; I'll touch up very lightly mid-day ONLY if absolutely necessary (but for the most part I've learned to live with just an AM and PM moisturizer, and also learned to tolerate mild tightness/dryness throughout the day). That immediately got rid of the temporary oiliness I experienced, but did nothing for my pore size. I've also introduced a daily vitamin-C serum in the AM, as well as an alcohol-free witch hazel toner in the PM (both of these were suggested to me to re-close my pores to their old size). I use Retin-A 4-5 nights a week. I'm cleansing with either Cetaphil or Boots No. 7 Soft & Soothed for normal/dry skin. I'm moisturizing w/ CeraVe facial lotion and/or a pure oil (so far I've tried jojoba, sweet almond, avocado, and rice bran). But nothing is helping return my pores to their original size!!

So, to be clear, I do not have oily skin that usually accompanies enlarged pores. I have dry skin, and always had very small, invisible pores...that is, until I started Retin-A, when my pores suddenly opened up all across my face.

Anyway, any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Claremont, CA
United States
View My Professional Profile
  April 27, 2010 11:01 AM

Try a very simple, yet very effective treatment of steam and mud masque. The steam will clear out whatever is in the large pore....there is something there, keeping it enlarged. Once released you apply a mud masque to draw out the rest and close down the pore. If this does not work, let me know and we'll try the next step. This usually works.

Cathy Hille

  July 10, 2010 3:17 AM

I feel for you as I also have been affected by Retin A. Last year my Doc prescribed Tretinion gel for mild adult acne,what a huge mistake that was.I`m 41 and without sounding vain I looked quite young and pretty for my age. Even though I had breakouts my skin was totally scar free with no pores.
I started using the gel June 2009,after the first 3 months my skin looked clear and my skin tone even,I was thrilled.
Then on the 4th month I was horrified to find huge pores and ice pick scars on my whole face.I also got told to persevere with it as my skin was going through the "purging stage".
By the 6th month my huge pores were worse and i`d developed deep expression lines on my forehead. Since then I`ve tried every lotion and potion but nothing has improved my damaged skin.I had a pixel laser treatment to improve my skin about 5 weeks ago but it has made my skin even worse,crepey and more holes where the pixel dots where.
So my advice to you would be please stop using the Retin A as it has an adverse reaction to a large portion of society check out Realself.com.
I pray your skin gets better,all the best.

Pores caused by retin a  November 2, 2010 5:00 PM


I just experienced a similar experience with retin a. My face was not bad to begin with maybe a few sun spots and blemishes and an occasional pimple. I used it for a about a month only at night. My face does seem even in skin tone and looks pretty from a distance but it seems like now my face is also covered with open pores sum are crater like on the sides of my cheeks not major but they are there especially when I sm. It also seems thin and oily. I am devastated and have become antisocial and I guess you can say depressed because of this. All my friends & family tell me it's in my head but I know what I see was not there before I began using retin a. What can I do any suggestions?

Plastic surgeon
Miami, FL
United States
View My Professional Profile
  November 3, 2010 4:35 AM

Try a derma roller maybe it will decrease the pore size.

Large Pores and Scarring on Retin-A  August 19, 2014 7:30 PM

Just wondering if your skin ever healed or got better? I started tretinoin for large pores and was on it for 3 weeks before being put on Epiduo. Same thing happened ... pores began to enlarge all over my face, pores that were never even visible appeared on my nose. Also, my pores stopped healing/closing after blackheads would come out. The worst effect has been the scarring, it's almost like ever pore on my face is turning into an indented scar or ice pick hole. Not sure whether this is the effect of the topicals removing the top layer of the skin or what is going on but it is depressing the hell out of me. Also the oik production of my skin is ridiculous, can wipe it off like an oil slick. What the hell is going on and will it heal/reverse itself with time?

Attached Media


Damaged pores and scars

  October 6, 2014 4:43 PM

Hi there. I have the same problem. And it's been a month. I'm just wondering if it ever resolved. I am a mess. Just need some hope this will get better...

  March 27, 2017 3:31 PM

I just wanted to say that I've experienced something very similar after being on Tretinoin for a couple of weeks. Extremely enlarged pores on both my cheekbones and forehead. Mostly noticeable after getting out of the shower. Now that I've been off it they've started to shrink again, but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.

Please help me!! Please! Tretinon caused enlarged pores  June 2, 2017 10:21 PM

Everything all of you have went through, with tretinon causing extremely enlarged pores, has happened to me also. In addition to that, it has also caused eye problems (pain, blurriness). I used tretinon (generic version: adaplene) for not even two weeks. It has been 11 months since I've used it, I've been gentle with my skin ever since (all natural products), yet there is no change. Words can't express the pain I feel every single day. Depression is an understatement. I know this post is old, but please, if any of you or anyone has healed from these enlarged pores symptoms please let me know your routine. Thank you

  June 18, 2017 7:37 PM

Hi has ur pores shrink ?

  June 19, 2017 9:53 AM

To Vani09- No my pores have not shrunk. They are still just as opened as they were 11 months ago. I don't know what to do anymore

Acretin Results  June 29, 2017 1:00 PM

I had hyperpigmentation and large opened pores; I was using acretin alone and it made my skin worse but then a doctor prescribed a mixture of three creams to be used at night time hydrocorisone 17-butyrate, hydroquinone USP (Skin bleaching ), Tretinoin 0.05(Acretin) and dexpanthenol as a mosturiser in the day time. I have undergone three chemical peels and dermarolling together. The size of shrunk pores is drastically improved and the pigmentation is cleared. I have seen improvement when I started using the mixture of creams. I use the body shop tea tree oil cleanser and toner;I keep the use of the toner to the minimum. In my opinion Acretin is the key to improve the skin, You will notice darker and pores looking enlarged in the beginning but after 6months You will get the proper results.

Pores  June 29, 2017 7:33 PM

How long after u stopped retin a ur pores went back to normal ?



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