Red pores are most commonly caused by acne but may be a result of several other skin conditions and injuries as well. A mild allergic reaction can lead to reddening of the skin, and this may be most pronounced around pores. Irritation from shaving or other sorts of contact can cause a similar reaction. Certain skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea can also cause pores to take on a reddish appearance, although these conditions typically cause more widespread symptoms.
A high percentage of red pores are caused by acne. Bacteria and other irritants can become lodged in pores along with the natural oils produced by the body. This process can lead to irritation, inflammation, and mild infections. The body naturally responds to infection by directing the immune system to attack any pathogens present, and a certain amount of swelling and redness is typically associated with this immune response.
Good hygiene can reduce the frequency with which acne causes red pores. This condition cannot be entirely prevented, however. As a general rule, it is best to avoid using makeup to cover pores that are red from acne as this can cause further blockage of the pores and prevent the body from healing properly and rapidly. A variety of medical treatments are available for severe cases of acne.
Allergies are a product of the immune system, and allergic reactions can cause pores to become red and inflamed. A true allergic reaction occurs when the body mounts an immune response to a perceived threat that does not actually pose a danger. Pollen is one common allergen, which does not harm the body but can trigger an immune response. The presence of allergens in the pores can lead to redness and swelling.
Simple skin irritation can also cause red pores. In some cases, this may be the result of shaving or other sorts of physical contact that cause the pores to become red and irritated. In other cases, chemical irritants may cause pores to become red. Chemical sensitivity varies widely from person to person, and many different chemicals can cause irritation. A trial process may be needed to determine which chemical is acting as an irritant.
Some common skin ailments, such as eczema and rosacea, can also cause red pores. These conditions typically have other significant symptoms, however, and often cause bumps, reddening, and lesions to appear over larger areas of the skin. These conditions should be discussed with a dermatologist.