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small holes on face

Why Do You Have Small Holes On You Face And How To Treat Those

When I was in my teen years, my biggest skin concern was acne. It so happened that my oily skin was a perfect breeding ground for these little whitehead bastards. Fast forward to my early 20s, my acne finally started to clear out, but I started to notice a different problem altogether – small holes on my face started to get more and more prominent.

I was gutted… here I was finally free of acne, only to find hundreds of these tiny holes all over my cheeks, forehead, and chin. What happened, what are they and why did they even appear?

why do you have small holes on your face

Well, there are two main types of small holes on the skin of your face: fine skin pores that are attached to the oil glands, and holes as a result of scaring from acne, more severe of the two as they occur when the deeper layers of the skin become damaged.

Two Different Types Of Holes On Your Face

As I mentioned in the intro, we can roughly categorize holes on the skin of the face into two main groups:

Fine Skin Pores

Least severe of the two, skin pores are small openings in the skin through which the skin releases oil and sweat. They are connected to your hair follicle which contains a gland called sebaceous gland. When this gland secrets oil, it rises to the top and “settles” inside the pore.

In most cases, these pores are relatively small and hard to notice, but there are those individuals (myself included) who have enlarged skin pores. So, what can we do about it, can we make these “holes” in our skin smaller?

Unfortunately, we can’t since we can’t affect the natural processes which lead to its enlargement. These are:

  • Excessive oil production – this is why people with oily skin tend to have more of these tiny holes all over their faces.
  • Decreased elasticity – decreased skin elasticity comes with age, making these holes larger and more prominent
  • Clogged pores – when oil collects in our pores (combined with dirt and grime), it may block the pore, stretch it and make it bigger than it used to be

If you started to spot these small holes on your face (cheeks, around the nose and chin), you were probably affected by one (if not all) of the factors listed above.

One thing worth noting here is that having enlarged pores is not a health concern; it will not damage your skin in any way; it’s just an aesthetic problem.

So, can you make them appear smaller? This you can do, and we’ll discuss some of the ways you can do just that in some of the following paragraphs.

Holes On Skin As A Result Of Acne Scarring

First of all, we can’t clearly separate these two, they are not mutually exclusive… in fact, they usually go hand in hand since oily skin is more prone to acne so your pores may become enlarged due to sebum overproduction and acne scars can aggravate these even further.

As for the acne caused holes on the face, we can separate them further into two different categories:

  • Icepicks – I talked about these scars in this article on rosehip oil; these scars are sharp and deep and extend further into the skin
  • Pitted scars – these cars are also severe and penetrate deep into the skin, but their edges tend to be more rounded (which is why we sometimes call them rolling scars)

The main problem with these scars is that they extend to the deeper layers of the skin and will not go away on their own; they require persistent treatment to minimize their appearance.

Now, would you characterize these scars as tiny holes on your face (the original topic of this article)? Probably not, but I felt it was essential to make the distinction here.

Can We Get Rid Of These Small Holes On Our Face?

If you want the short answer, I’ll give it to you straight away – no. Why?

Well, because we are “built that way.” These tiny holes are actually an essential piece of “kit” our body uses to keep our skin moisturized and healthy. These holes are small openings through which our sebaceous glands secrete oil, oil which helps our body retain moisture, fight off bacterial and fungal infections. So, riding your skin of these tiny holes is not something you would ever want to do.

Minimizing them… that’s a whole different story. Though it’s a long and hard process, you can actually make your pores appear less prominent.

Treating Small Holes On Your Face

When talking about treatment, you have three potential routes you can follow – professional, at home, and natural.

Professional Treatment

If your scarring is more severe and deeper, you might consider any of the following procedures:

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is a slightly aggressive procedure where the outer layers of your skin get removed to allow the skin to regenerate. Right after the treatment, your skin might become red and irritated, but as the irritation calms down, you will start to notice small improvements.


Microdermabrasion has, in a sense, the same effect as chemical peel (it strips the outermost layers of the skin) but it’s executed in a slightly different manner. Here, a dermatologist uses abrasive ingredients, such as tiny crystals, to scrub away the skin.

Home Remedies

Home remedies will usually be enough to clear your pores and reduce the appearance of these tiny holes on your face. Here is my regime:

  1. 1
    Wash your face – washing your face is often overlooked but lukewarm water will help get you going and clear some of the grime off your face
  2. 2
    Exfoliate – I found that exfoliating my skin once a week had the most significant positive impact on the appearance of my skin. I’ve used both gel and granular based, it all comes down to personal preference, but one thing is for sure, a good exfoliator is a must-have!
  3. 3
    Moisturize – you should always moisturize your skin right after you’ve exfoliated it. And on those days when you don’t exfoliate, make sure you moisturize after washing your face since properly hydrated skin will allow the sebum to penetrate the skin deeper, rather than “sitting around” in the pores on the surface of the skin
  4. 4
    Apply a face mask – this is an optional step, but I like to do it from time to time, nonetheless. The face mask is an excellent way of removing excess oil, dead skin cells, and grime off your skin but make sure you don’t apply it on the same day you’ve exfoliated. Combining exfoliation with a face mask might irritate your skin and undo your hard work

How Do You Prevent Holes On Your Face?

You can never prevent or completely get rid of these holes and pores on your skin, but you can take some preventative measures to minimize their appearance. Some of these are:

  • Keep your skin clean – keeping your skin cleansing routine in check is the best way to safeguard your skin and keep the dirt and oil buildup at bay
  • Use sunscreen – though sun gives us life, it can also have a devastating effect on our skin so make sure it’s protected whenever you are outside
  • Moisturize your skin – hydrated skin is healthy skin, so make sure you apply moisturizer at least once a day
  • Use noncomedogenic products – I already talked about this topic in more detail in an article on rosehip comedogenic rating, so I’ll keep it short. Comedogenic rating is basically a scale showing how likely is a particular product going to clog your pores. The scale ranges from 0 to 5, 0 being a noncomedogenic product (one that will not clog your pores)

Igor Marcikic

I've struggled with acne and oily skin for the better part of my life. Along the way, I've picked up some valuable information, tips, and tricks, which helped me manage my "situation." This website is a way of giving back and trying to help others like me! Enjoy your stay, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

  • This is a great article. Another great way to reduce deep scarring would be derma-rolling with 1mm needles. It’s a bit uncomfortable and sometimes you can bleed a little, but the punctured skin galvanizes skin cells to regenerate and builds collagen, which can help with deep scars. I’ve seen people with incredible results over a long period of time.

    • Hi Dotty,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I’ve heard great things about derma-rollers but I still haven’t had the chance to use one. It’s on my “to do list” for sure and, as soon as I give it a go, I plan on writing about it here on my blog.

      Have you used it yourself?


  • I have a small, tiny hole at the top of my nose where it’s bony. My glasses touch the spot. It hurts to the touch. Doesn’t heal.

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