Look beneath your skin and you will find a network of muscles, cells, vessels and glands. Examine the surface of your skin and you will see tiny holes called pores. Pores are passageways through the skin that allow the skin to breathe. The skin also serves as a blanket of protection for the body, keeping out bacteria. These are some of the reasons why pores should be kept clean and open.
Pores, also called follicles, are exits for perspiration produced by sweat glands. The body has 650 sweat glands. When sebaceous glands produce oil, the oil exits the skin via the pores. Substances can also enter the body through the pores. Pores can get clogged; improper or inadequate care of the pores can result in problems with the skin. Pores, which vary in size, are located all over the body and are not always easy to see.
Oily Skin Pores
Oily skin pores are more obvious than normal skin pores. They are usually larger than pores found on normal or dry skin, and they are usually covered with a thin film of oil. These pores are less noticeable if they are free of trapped oils and debris. Oily skin pores are often found on and around the nose.
You can’t always tell if a pore is open just by looking at it. These little reservoirs have ample space for storing skin creams, lotions and medicated salves. Suspect a pore is clogged if it appears to be rather large. Accumulation of matter within a pore will stretch the pore out. Using fingers wrapped in cotton, squeeze down around the pore to see if any white matter comes out. Open pores should not be clogged.
Check pores to see if each pore has a black plug inside it. If it does, the pore is not open but closed off from a combination of hardened oil and dead skin cells inside the pore. This plug is called a blackhead. Removal of the blackhead will open the pore once again.
Pores that fill with dead skin cells, oils and bacteria are anything but open and may fill up with pus. Look to see if the area surrounding the pus filled pore (pimple) is red and irritated. This is not an indication of an open pore, but may be a skin condition called acne. Lumps under the skin are also indicative of a once open pore that developed a pimple that became infected.