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Skin Care and Diseases

Clearing pores if too much sebum produced

09/07/2006

Question:

One thing I just can`t understand. I have continuous over- production of sebum/clogged pores on the face, especially the nose. I`ve tried Retin-A but all it seems to do is soften the sebum in the plug, but doesn`t actually clear the pore. How can it ever really drain and clear the pore if there is constantly a ton of sebum being secreted? Is it a futile effort? Thanks!

Answer:

I really have no recommended treatment for oil production cessation.  This is hormonally controlled and is most remarkably under the control of your body's androgens.  There are some people that treat some patients with severe acne with androgen-blocking drugs, of which there are several.  That cannot be done without a thorough androgen review.  The use of retinoids, such as Retin A, do allow the comedones to come out of the pores.  As you age, sebum production will decline.  If there is a question of hormonal dysfunction, you might wish to see your board certified dermatologist for a complete review.

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Response by:

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