‘Skin pore’ is a term used by lay people and in the field of cosmetology. It remains misleading when it is not clearly defined. Indeed, lay people use it with at least 3 different meanings. Basically, invisible pores represent the openings of the sweat gland apparatus. By contrast, the visible pores represent enlarged empty funnel-shaped or cylindrical horny impacted openings of pilosebaceous follicles. This review describes some of the current objective methods used to describe skin pores.

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Lacarrubba F, Dall’Oglio F, Nasca MR, Micali G: Videodermatoscopy enhances diagnostic capability in some forms of hair loss. Am J Clin Dermatol, in press.
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Mills OH, Kligman AM: The follicular biopsy. Dermatologica 1983;167:57–63.
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Piérard-Franchimont C, Piérard GE: Assessment of aging and actinic damages by cyanoacrylate skin surface strippings. Am J Dermatopathol 1987;9:500–509.
Piérard GE, Piérard-Franchimont C, Goffin V: Digital image analysis of microcomedones. Dermatology 1995;190:99–103.
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Piérard GE, Piérard-Franchimont C, Kligman A: Kinetics of sebum excretion evaluated by the Sebutape-Chromameter technique. Skin Pharmacol 1993;6:38–44.
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