Bumpy Skin on Forehead

There's no other way to describe it -- the skin on my forehead is bumpy! They don't appear to be scars, and when I squeeze them this white stuff (as in a whitehead) sometimes comes out, but they never come to a head, and they don't look like regular acne (are not inflamed). The rest of my face also has an uneven skin tone, and some acne scars, but only my forehead has these bumps. What is this? Should I get a facial or does this require something more? A peel? IPL?

Doctor Answers 2

Bumps on forehead

You should see a dermatologist as it is impossible to accurately diagnose your condition without being seen in person. Most bumps that have white content that can be squeezed out are related to the hair follicle and pores. If a tiny capsule is holding the content in place and there is no open communication with the skin surface, than these milia can be treated by a facialist or dermatologist, but don't squeeze them as damage might be done to the underlying tissues and scarring can develop, if there is too much pressure and the content leaks out underneath the epidermis in the dermis rather than coming out of the surface. There are other conditions though that can be similar, such as steatocystoma multiplex which is a benign condition. See a board certified dermatologist. Sometimes a prescription cream and or physical expression can help greatly.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Dermatology Consult

The best action would be to see a dermatologist for a diagnosis and to determine the best course of treatment. It is difficult to diagnose your condition based on the photograph you provided.

From your description, however, it sounds like you have milia. These are plugged up pores with trapped keratin. The best treatment would be a combination of a Retinoid at night and a benzoyl peroxide product in the morning. You would also benefit from a salicylic acid wash such as Neutragena Oil Free Acne Wash or SalAc acne cleanser.

At the same time your milia can be extracted. I personally do not charge extra for this procedure, but certainly dermatologists re entitled to do so.

An IPL would be of little, if any, value. However, a beta peel such as with salicylic acid will help.

Beta hydroxy peels are more helpful than alpha hydroxy peels since the sal acid can penetrate into the follicle and eat up keratin. Salicylic acid is fat soluble which means it can penetrate into the oily terrain of the follicle. The alpha hydroxy acid will only sit on top of the skin since it is water soluble.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 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.