Difference Between Pores and Hair Follicles

Pores vs Hair Follicles

Since the words pores and hair follicles are often used interchangeably to define tiny openings in the skin that lately cause acne lesion, let us find out the difference between pores and hair follicles, if there is any.

What are Pores?

Pores are the tiny openings in the skin and they are found all over the body except palms and soles. Medical term for pore is hair follicle. Every pore is connected to the sebaceous gland where the production of sebum is taken place. There are two types of pores in the skin, namely, normal pores and acne-prone pores. Normal pores are lined with specialized cells called keratinocytes. In contrast to normal pores, acne-prone pores are lined with abnormally sticky dead keratinocytes.

What are Hair Follicles?

Difference Between Pores and Hair Follicles

Hair follicles are found below the surface of the skin. Each hair has its own follicle which is lined by keratinocytes. The keratinocytes have short lifetime. Once dead keratinocytes are shed off, they are replaced by new healthy keratinocytes. The specialized oil producing glands called sebaceous glands are attached to every hair follicle. These glands produce an oil called sebum. The sebum flows along the shaft of hair and comes outside through the opening of a follicle. As its flows away, it carries dead cells out of the hair follicle. Mainly genetic factors determine the size of the sebaceous gland . In addition, the amount of sebum produced by the sebaceous gland usually depends on the hormonal factors. For example, during the puberty (which is caused by certain hormonal activities) sebaceous glands produce more sebum than ever before. Because of that more dead cells come out the follicle with sebum and they stick together to form a plug that block the opening of the pore. These pores lately develop as pimples. Usually in women, the follicles located in face, back and chest are filled with very tiny, light hairs called vellus hairs, which are invisible to the naked eye. However, in men, these areas are filled with dark, thick hairs known as terminal hairs.

What is the difference between Pores and Hair Follicles?

• The medical term for pores is hair follicles.