How can you get smaller pores? Unfortunately, that's a tall order. The size of your pores, which are tiny openings connecting the sebaceous glands and hair follicles to the skin's surface, depends largely on genetics. It tends to increase due to collagen loss caused by another factor you can't control: age [source: Saint Louis]. Pimples, sun damage and trauma to the skin can also permanently widen pores [source: Whitmore].
Few treatments actually reduce the size of your pores, and there is no solution that eliminates them entirely. Isotretinoin, a prescription-only oral retinoid for treating severe acne, can make pores smaller, but the effect doesn't always last after people stop taking it. (The medication has also been linked to numerous side effects, including serious birth defects.) Certain in-office laser treatments can also permanently shrink pores by condensing collagen while simultaneously increasing collagen production [source: Huffington Post].
But if you've been stocking up on miracle potions that promise to diminish or eradicate your pores, ask for your money back. And while you're at it, consider returning that ultra-high-definition camcorder too. Experts have noticed a surge in concern about pore size -- an obsession dubbed "porexia" -- in the HDTV era [source: Saint Louis].
But while you can't change your pores' dimensions without taking extreme measures, there are things you can do to make them appear smaller and less noticeable. With a little effort, you can also minimize how much they stretch over time. Keep reading to find out more.