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What Are Hard White Bumps on my Face? White Heads?

Could you tell me what this could be and how to get rid of them. Hard white bumps on my face, that look like they are white heads, but it is hard to get anything out of them. I am going through menapase, and this has been happening lately.Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers 10

Milia are round white bumps

Perhaps you are describing milia? Milia are small (1 or 2 mm), round white bumps that usually happen on the head and neck. These are common in infants and in adults. In adults, they are often a sign of chronic sun damage. Milia can spontaneously rupture, drain, and resolve on their own, but this make up to 2 years. Your doctor can also extract them or lightly burn them off. They are not easily removed without the proper tools.

Summit Dermatologic Surgeon

May be milia

Hello, it is hard to diagnose you with the information I have here, but what it sounds like is it might be Milia.  These are tiny cholesterol deposits that accumulate with age.  They look similar to a white heads, or pimple-like bumps.  There is no pore opening, so the only way to remove some milia bumps is through a lancet (needle) performed by a surgeon or a dermatologist. I hope this information helps.

What are These Bumps?

I agree with all the prior answers, but will add one thing.
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to a diagnosis and without seeing you in person, making a diagnosis is risky.

Check with your local dermatologist for the correct answer and treatment.

Michael A. Greenberg, MD
Elk Grove Village Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Milia - Treat with extraction

Milia are small cysts filled with dead skin cells/protein that clinically appear as white bumps.  They can develop in older individuals who have had extensive sun exposure.  Milia can be easily treated by a board-certified dermatologist with an extraction technique that empties the cyst contents.  - Dr. Keaney

Terrence Keaney, MD
Washington DC Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

MIlia, small cysts

It seems that these are small cysts or cavities, containing dead skin called keratin.

Milia can be removed by extraction by a dermatologist.

Please visit your physician for proper assessment & better management.

Milia White Bumps

The hard white bumps are milia.  It is oil that has accumulated under the skin.  They can be from a change in hormones and are difficult to remove yourself.  Having a licensed medical esthetician combine a facial with extractions is the best way to remove them and resolve the issue.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Milia Bumps Can Look Like Acne

Milia bumps, which appear on the skin as 1-2mm whitish bumps, can occur on the face at any time.  They are often self-limiting, which means that they resolve on their own without any treatment.  However, this can take months or even a year to occur.  Your dermatologist can remove them easily with a simple in-office procedure called milia extraction.  This procedure is fast and leaves no downtime; the worst side effect I have seen is a tiny temporary bruise at the site of the milia.  Sometimes patients think that milia bumps are acne bumps and try to pick at them.  These bumps are not easily extracted without the proper tools, so this manipulation at home can lead to inflammation and scarring.  

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Hard white bumps - likely milia

It they are hard as you are describing, most likely they are milia.  They can relatively easily extracted or destroyed using proper technique.  In addition, there are some topical treatment that can be offered to reduce recurrence of these benign lesions.

Chang Son, MD
Fort Lee Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Sebaceous Hyperplasia vs Milia

Sebaceous hyperplasia are small sebaceous glands (oil glands) which have coalesced together to form a raised pinhead size yellow papule.  These are typically seen in adults on the central face.  They can be treated very easily with electrodessication, which is a device that delivers a small electric current to them.  They will have a small scab for a week before resolving.  Milia (whiteheads) can have a similar appearance and can be treated either by extraction or electrodessication.  It is advisable to see a board certified dermatologist for evaluation and treatment.

Anthony Perri, MD
Houston Dermatologist

Small White Bumps Could Be Milia or One of Several Other Things; See a Dermatologist

White bumps can be one of several things — and I would suggest that you find a board-certified dermatologist who can best diagnose and recommend a treatment plan for you. If they are small white cysts, or what we call milia, they can be easily extracted in the office setting. If they are another skin condition, the dermatologist can best decide whether a medication, a laser or some other modality will be the best option.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.