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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 13

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.


Through Menopause your oil production can change. It sounds like they could be milia, which could be resolved with a really good facial with extractions.

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Whiteheads on the face

Thank for your question. Hard bumps beneath the skin are typically whiteheads. These are difficult to get rid of . The most common prescription used is Retin-a. You have to use this cream sparingly but for a long period of time, 2-3 months. I will also recommend washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil cleanser. It is also very important to use products that will not plug up your pores. If you look at the back of any skin care products, the good ones will tell you they are non comedogenic, which means that this will not plug up your pores.

Ben Behnam, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

White bumps on the face

Get yourself to a great board certified dermatologist who can help you. White bumps can be many things.  Milial cysts are common and easy to remove.  Whiteheads or closed comedones, are also common and easy to remove. 

Rebecca Baxt, MD
Paramus Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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 9 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 12 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.