Pores are tiny openings in the skin, such as on the nose, that contain hair follicles and glands. Occasionally, substance buildup and other issues can cause clogged pores on the nose to occur.

All the skin on the body has pores. Pores allow the skin to release sweat and oil, helping the skin to stay cool and healthy.

However, pores can sometimes become clogged. When pores on the nose become clogged, they can look bigger and more noticeable.

This article details the causes and treatments of clogged noses pores.

a man inspects his face in the mirror for clogged pores on noseShare on Pinterest
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There are many reasons why a person may have clogged nose pores, including:

Substance buildup

Pores contain sweat glands and sebaceous glands.

Sebaceous glands secrete oil called sebum, which helps moisturize the skin and protect it from bacteria.

However, a buildup of dead skin cells and sebum can cause nose pores to become blocked.

A person who produces too much sebum may be more likely to develop clogged pores.

Stress, genetics, hormonal changes, and humidity can cause the overproduction of sebum.

Nose pores can also become clogged with substances such as makeup or sunscreen.

Reduced skin elasticity

As a person ages, the elasticity of their skin can decrease.

Research from 2016 suggests that a reduction in skin elasticity can lead to enlarged pores. Larger nose pores may become clogged more easily.

Sun damage can also reduce the elasticity of the skin. A person must always wear sunscreen when they go outside.

Ethnic background

Research from 2015 studied pore size in females of various ages and from five different countries: Brazil, China, France, India, and Japan.

The researchers discovered that ethnic background had a more significant effect on pore size than age did.

Information from the study suggested that females of Chinese descent have the smallest pores.

On the other hand, females of Indian or Brazilian descent have the largest pores. Having larger pores may mean that pores can become clogged more easily.

However, this study only sampled a small group of ethnic backgrounds and does not include information on males, so the findings are by no means conclusive.

If a person does not treat the clogged nose pores, they can develop into other skin blemishes, including:

Sometimes, blocked nose pores can develop into acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne affects up to 50 million people in the United States per year.

A person should avoid picking at any pimples or blemishes they have, as this can lead to infection or scarring.

Various treatments are available for a person who has clogged nose pores, including:

1. Daily cleansing

A person can use cleansers to remove dirt, oils, and makeup from the skin. According to the AAD, cleansing the face twice a day can help unclog pores. The AAD recommends using cleansers that are oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning they will not block the pores.

The AAD suggests using warm water to gently wash the face, followed by a gentle non-comedogenic cleanser. While cleansing, be careful not to scrub the face, as this can cause irritation.

Cleansers that contain salicylic acid can also help unblock nose pores. However, salicylic acid can dry out and irritate the skin. Dry skin can lead to a build up of dead skin on the nose, resulting in more blocked pores.

2. Exfoliation

Exfoliating the skin can help remove dirt and dead skin from the pores. A person can exfoliate in one of two different ways: mechanical and chemical exfoliation.

Mechanical exfoliation involves using a tool, such as a brush, sponge, or facial scrub, to exfoliate the face. Chemical exfoliation involves using chemicals to dissolve the dead skin on the face gently.

When choosing a method of exfoliation, a person should pick one that suits their skin type.

Using an exfoliant that is too harsh can damage a person’s skin. Exfoliating too often or too hard can also irritate the skin.

If a person does not know what skin type they have, they can speak with a dermatologist.

After exfoliating, apply a moisturizer to the face to prevent the skin from drying out.

3. Retinol-containing products

Products containing retinol may help a person with mature skin, oily skin, or mild acne. Retinol comes in gel, cream, or liquid forms.

For best results, the AAD recommends that a person use a retinol-containing product before bed.

Retinol can cause skin irritation for some people. The AAD suggests a person washes their face and waits 30 minutes before applying retinol to combat irritation.

4. Apply sunscreen daily

Sun damage can cause a person’s skin to lose firmness, which can enlarge the pores. The AAD recommends that a person use a sunscreen suitable for their skin with at least 30 SPF to prevent sun damage.

The AAD also notes that a person should wear sunscreen daily, even when it is raining. The sun’s rays can damage skin every time a person goes out.

Other ways a person can avoid sun damage include:

  • sitting in the shade
  • wearing a hat
  • avoiding the hot midday sun

5. Professional treatments

There are various treatments a dermatologist can offer to treat clogged nose pores, including:

Microbotox: Microbotox involves the dermatologist injecting small, diluted amounts of Botox into a person’s skin. Research from 2020 found that one dose of microbotox reduced pore size in the people sampled. Microbotox can also reduce skin oiliness and improve skin texture.

Microdermabrasion: In microdermabrasion, a dermatologist uses a mildly abrasive tool to remove the top layer of a person’s skin. Microdermabrasion can help to clear clogged pores and reduce acne.

Acne extraction: The dermatologist uses special tools to clean out a person’s pores and remove any blemishes, such as blackheads. Only a qualified dermatologist or aesthetician should perform this technique.

Laser treatment: A dermatologist can use different forms of laser to treat a person’s clogged pores. The lasers can help remove excess oil and dead skin from the pores.

Hyaluronic acid injections: Research from 2017 suggests that hyaluronic acid injections can help reduce pore size and improve skin texture and radiance.

The AAD recommends the following tips for a person who wants to prevent clogged nose pores:

  • wash the face twice a day and after working out or sweating
  • use fingertips to apply cleanser
  • use gentle products on the skin and avoid scrubbing
  • do not squeeze or pick at spots
  • avoid touching the nose and face
  • avoid the sun and tanning beds
  • remove makeup before going to bed
  • use non-comedogenic products
  • apply sunscreen before going outside
  • avoid smoking cigarettes
  • get a good night’s sleep

A person may also find that certain foods cause them to develop clogged pores.

A person should note foods that cause them to have blocked pores and try to avoid them.

Clogged nose pores can occur due to various reasons.

Skin elasticity, ethnic background, and certain skin products may all contribute to clogged nose pores.

There are many treatments a person can use to unclog their nose pores.

Cleansing and exfoliation can help to remove the buildup of makeup and dirt on the nose.

A person can also speak to a dermatologist regarding treatments to unblock their nose pores.

A person can help to prevent blocked nose pores in several ways. The AAD recommends various tips to keep the nose pores clear.