Large pores are one of the biggest complaints we hear around our office. It seems like no matter how many creams, serums, masks, toners, or pore strips we apply, nothing changes. Sure a good primer can cover them up, but when the makeup comes off, they’re still there staring back at us in the mirror. So when we see research being done on better solutions to minimize their appearance, we pay attention.
A recently published study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology suggests there may soon be a new way to treat large pores. Dr. Wei Qian of Capital Medical University in Beijing, along with his research team, injected 42 patients with intradermal low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (LMW-HA) to see if it would minimize them.
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Each patient received injections of LMW-HA into their face two to five times with one or one-and-a-half months between each treatment. As follow-ups were analyzed, the researchers noticed a significant difference in the appearance of the large pores, and the participants’ satisfaction rate was 92.8 percent overall. “This injection technique is significantly effective at improving skin radiance and reducing skin pigmentation,” the authors write. “The technique was simple, safe and effective, and could easily be extended to clinical practice.”
We spoke to West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD, and New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD, to get their thoughts on the study and find out when we could be seeing this treatment in the U.S.
“Most of the approved hyaluronic acid (HA) products are high molecular weight and have been further cross-linked for stability when being used for cosmetic purposes,” explains Dr. Beer. “Many physicians will also reconstitute existing HA products before they inject them in order to get them to a consistency that is appropriate for the region and indication that is being dealt with. For instance, I will sometimes blend some of my HA injections with lidocaine or saline to customize them for people with thin skin. The low molecular weight HA molecules tend to be ones that are used in topical creams and supplements, rather than injectables. Without being cross-linked, they tend not to last very long.”
To Dr. Beer’s point, if you use a cream with hyaluronic acid in it, you will get a temporary moisture boost—some claim to last several hours—but with high molecular weight hyaluronic acid fillers and injectables (typically used the plump up hollows and folds in the skin), the results last several months.
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Dr. Peredo says that although it is unclear in the study as to which “injection” was used, a filler we have in the U.S. called Juvéderm Volbella is made with LMW-HA and could potentially be used for something like this, off-label. “My colleagues in Europe are using similar filler techniques to improve skin texture and pore size, but I’m not sure if, or when, we will see this in the U.S. It’s still controversial,” she adds.
Dr. Beer says, “I think this study is interesting and would like to see more data on the use of high molecular weight products that get reconstituted to accomplish this goal. Hyaluronic acid has a lot of promise and I think it will continue to be popular for indications we have not even considered.”