Facial skin pores: A multiethnic study

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Abstract

Skin pores (SP), as they are called by laymen, are common and benign features mostly located on the face (nose, cheeks, etc) that generate many aesthetic concerns or complaints. Despite the prevalence of skin pores, related literature is scarce. With the aim of describing the prevalence of skin pores and anatomic features among ethnic groups, a dermatoscopic instrument, using polarized lighting, coupled to a digital camera recorded the major features of skin pores (size, density, coverage) on the cheeks of 2,585 women in different countries and continents. A detection threshold of 250 µm, correlated to clinical scorings by experts, was input into a specific software to further allow for automatic counting of the SP density (N/cm2) and determination of their respective sizes in mm2. Integrating both criteria also led to establishing the relative part of the skin surface (as a percentage) that is actually covered by SP on cheeks. The results showed that the values of respective sizes, densities, and skin coverage: 1) were recorded in all studied subjects; 2) varied greatly with ethnicity; 3) plateaued with age in most cases; and 4) globally refected self-assessment by subjects, in particular those who self-declare having “enlarged pores” like Brazilian women. Inversely, Chinese women were clearly distinct from other ethnicities in having very low density and sizes. Analyzing the present results suggests that facial skin pore’s morphology as perceived by human eye less result from functional criteria of associated appendages such as sebaceous glands. To what extent skin pores may be viewed as additional criteria of a photo-altered skin is an issue to be further addressed.

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Flament, F., Francois, G., Qiu, H., Ye, C., Hanaya, T., Batisse, D., … Bazin, R. (2015). Facial skin pores: A multiethnic study. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 8, 85–93. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S74401

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