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Gigantic Blackheads: Dilated Pore of Winer Explained!

On the (long) lists of icky skin afflictions, the dilated pore of Winer (also known as Winer’s Pore) definitely holds a top spot in the “Things You Never Want to See on Your Face” category.

But not if you’re our fab founder — Dr. Pimple Popper! The proper-sounding menace happens to be a favorite extraction of hers (don’t worry, lots of videos are to come!). But what is a dilated pore of Winer? Here, we extract the info you need to know about this eyesore.

What is a Dilated Pore of Winer?

For such a fancy name, the dilated pore of Winer (sometimes abbreviated as DPOW) is nothing more than a very big, raised, singular comedo.

A comedo is the singular form of the word comedone — we use that term to describe blackheads or whiteheads: closed comedo, or open comedo. In other words, a dilated pore of Winer is basically a gigantic blackhead. They can range in size from a few millimeters to more than a centimeter!

How does a Dilated Pore of Winer form?

Like with a regular blackhead, when dead skin cells accumulate on the skin’s surface, they can plug a hair follicle (pore) opening, causing gunk (keratin) to collect in the pore. As this keratin collects and the pore remains plugged, the pore will dilate in size due to its packed contents. When the pore is open to the air, as blackheads and dilated pores of Winer are, the contents will oxidize, or turn black. These nasty annoyances tend to occur on the face, neck, back, and chest.

Am I susceptible to a Dilated Pore of Winer?

If you’re middle-aged, you’re more likely to suffer from a DPOW. And the older you get, the more your chances increase.

Men, take note: You tend to experience Winer’s Pore more than women. While the reasons behind why you might start developing this condition remain unclear, dermatologists believe that cystic acne and sun exposure can up your chances of getting one.

Is the Dilated Pore of Winer bad for me?

Nope! These large eyesores are benign, though you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting them removed. They’re also not infectious, so no need to worry about spreading them; however, keeping your hands clean and not picking at the site will help ward off potential infection of the site.

How do I remove a Dilated Pore of Winer?

If you feel your DPOW is super-unsightly or has developed an infection, you can visit a dermatologist or a skin pro for a safe extraction or excision.

Quick derm lesson: An extraction involves temporarily emptying the contents of your skin with an extractor, but it does not remove the walls. An excision, on the other hand, will remove the whole pore, ideally permanently.

For larger dilated pore of Winer, your skin pro might inject a local anesthetic to allow for painless cutting of the skin. The physician will then do a surgical excision, cutting around the pore’s contents to create an opening to fully excise the Winer’s Pore. Then, using fingers to apply pressure and tweezers to grab the contents, she’ll remove the sack. Once the contents and wall are fully excised, she will stitch the opening closed. For a smaller Winer’s Pore, a comedone extractor and tweezers could do the trick.

Remember how we explained the difference between extractions and excisions?

Well, after extraction, a dilated pore of Winer will almost always fill right back up again. Ugh, we know. An excision, however, means that the dilated pore can grow back, but the chances are lower.

What’s the recovery time?

Your physician will direct you to apply an antibiotic ointment and change your bandage daily until your stitches are removed, which is typically five to 10 days post excision.

Depending on how large the Winer’s Pore is you should be able to do all of your normal activities while it heals. However, extremely large excisions may require more downtime, especially if they involved stitches.  (think: no sweaty activities, heavy lifting or long amounts of time in water); speak with your doctor to find out if this is necessary.

And there you have it, a dilated pore of Winer lesson!

Dr. Betty Yan, a dermatology resident at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU), helped contribute to the accuracy of this story.

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