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Skin Care and Diseases

Topicals

07/27/2006

Question:

Is there any topical that unclogs facial pores without exfoliation or noticeable peeling of the skin?

Answer:

Your question is interesting.  The only topical materials that change keratinization of the skin follicles and pores are the retinoids.  Unfortunately topically retinoids all are slightly irritating.  While there may be mild exfoliation, the principle of their use is the normalization of shedding of skin cells from the follicles.  You probably need to start using Micro Retin-A 0.04% on a daily basis for four to six hours a day.  I think you will see over a period of four to six weeks some improvement in draining of the follicles and degreasing them for blackheads.  This may have to go on for a number of months, even years.

In any event, you need to talk with your board certified dermatologist who can very carefully evaluate your skin, see why you are forming comedones on your face, and then institute appropriate therapy.

There are a number of over-the-counter preparations that are used as exfoliants and that is about all they do.  They usually are quite irritating, and their success rate is quite variable.

Good luck!

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati