The skin is complex and can be confusing - finding random bumps on not just your face, but the rest of your body is normal. The good news is that most of these bumps are totally harmless and can be easily treated. In general, unless a bump is bleeding, turning darker or changing in a concerning manner, it probably doesn’t need medical attention. Some bumps like acne and skin tags can be managed at home or with a skin expert.
If a bump changes in colour or shape, bleeds or increases in size rapidly, it is important to see a doctor to have it checked out professionally so that you can put your mind at ease. Those are signs that the bump could be associated with an underlying health issue (more on this in a bit), so it’s crucial to get it looked at.
Today, we discuss 12 types of blemishes you may find on your face (or body!).
Comedones are skin-coloured, small bumps (papules) frequently found on the forehead, nose and chin. Open comedones - also called blackheads, are exposed to the open air and have oxidised; therefore turning black. Closed comdones - also called whiteheads, are closed and the hair follicle is completely blocked; therefore appearing white.
How to treat and prevent comedones
Comedones, both open and close, are not harmful. However, they can look unsightly, especially if they are congested in one single area - a thorough extraction to remove oil clogging the pores will effectively remove these comedones.
Having a good skin care routine - the right cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser, is also important to eliminate dead skin cells, balance sebum production and clear up comedones. It is also important to avoid using pore strips - while the comedones appear satisfying on the strips, it can damage your complexion and cause larger pores. They also strip the skin of its natural oils and are usually only successful in removing the tops of blackheads, keeping your pores clogged and the problem intact.
The Skin Detox Radiance Treatment is the perfect treatment if your skin feels good with slight pimples and blackheads. A treatment that uses Papaya Complex, Horseradish Extract and natural clays to deep-cleanse and purify the skin, you immediately see brighter, smoother skin. The treatment also consists of an extraction, which thoroughly removes pimples, blackheads and other blemishes on the skin.
2. Inflamed pimples
Inflamed acne occurs when blackheads or whiteheads get infected with bacteria. This causes it to become red, swollen and painful - they may also contain yellow pus and appear lumpy. It is important to avoid squeezing inflamed acne - even if they are filled with pus and appear unsightly because this can lead to even more redness and inflammation.
How to treat and prevent inflamed pimples
Treating inflamed acne takes time and patience - just like any infection, proper care is needed to prevent repeat inflammation, scarring and the spread of bacteria. You may spread the bacteria under the skin if you try to squeeze the inflamed pimple yourself - leading to more inflamed acne or a cluster of pus surrounding the area.To treat it properly, you should consult a beauty therapist who can extract the inflamed acne correctly and prescribe proper after care. We recommend using products that contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help clear up your skin quickly and effectively.
A good acne treatment is a must if you are suffering from acne, inflammation and oily skin. It deep-cleanses the skin by penetrating negative and positive ions into the skin and clears up the pores by bringing excess sebum up to the skin’s surface. The treatment then ends off with oxygenating the skin so that sebum production is regulated and the skin is brighter thanks to the oxygen.
Milia are closed comedones (whiteheads) that have developed into an obvious, tight bump that doesn’t go away. These keratin-filled cysts usually appear under the eyes and chin and have no specific cause; however, they are more prevent in people with skin conditions like rosacea or excessive sun damage.
Another common cause we see is through using the wrong make-up or skin care products that clog the pores. Some foundation or concealer smooth the skin through filling the pores with product, or other skin care products moisturise the skin without balancing sebum production - leading to excessive oil clogging the pores. This can lead to stubborn milia on the skin.
How to treat and prevent milia
While milia is not harmful, they cause your skin to appear bumpy. Milia are basically dead skin cells stuck under your skin and cannot be removed by extraction. Specific treatments are present to ‘burn’ milia off and help your skin recover.
At L’Essenza, we use Lamprobe to remove minor skin blemishes like Milia and Skin Tags safely and quickly. Using radio, high frequency technology, it is non-invasive and precise with instantaneous results. Our customers have seen their skin smoothen and improved with the use of Lamprobe and our experienced therapists to effectively remove milia.
4. Keratosis pilaris
Also called ‘Chicken Skin’, these tiny, goosebump-like bumps typically appear on the upper arms and thighs. While some people experience keratosis pilaris on the face, it is less common and can occur at any age. Caused by small plugs of dead skin cells that block the hair follicle, they pose no health risk and do not require treatment. However, it may appear unsightly, especially if they are sightly red and cover a huge portion of the body.
These tiny, goosebump-like markings typically occur on the thighs and upper arms, Dr. Schlessinger says, but they can also appear on your face. They can also sometimes be hereditary, and although they can show up at any age, they are usually more prevalent in children.
“Keratosis pilaris bumps can be confused with ‘goosebumps’ or even pimples but are actually caused by small plugs of dead skin cells that block the hair follicle,” Dr. Schlessinger explains. “They pose no health risk and don’t require treatment necessarily, but regularly exfoliating your skin can help improve keratosis pilaris bumps.”
How to treat and prevent keratosis pilaris
While doctors have not found an obvious cause of keratosis pilaris, frequent exfoliation and moisturising has been found to improve skin suffering from this condition. Using a glycolic-containing body wash can help to improve this condition and help you achieve smoother skin.
Perhaps the most common on this list, moles are perfectly normal and most of the time, completely harmless as well. They often appear as brown, red or flesh coloured spots or bumps on the face and other body parts. Moles form when melanocytes, the skin cells that create melanin, clump together or gow in clusters rather than being spread out. While the exact cause of moles haven’t been found, it is thought to increase through increased sun exposure.
Moles can be flat or raised and, if harmless, are typically round-shaped. It is normal for them to lighten or darken as you age and moles that don’t pose any risk for cancer doesn’t need to be treated or removed.
How to treat and prevent moles
Common moles generally don’t require treatment. However, moles can be removed for cosmetic purposes or if it is suspected to be skin cancer. If the mole changes in size or starts bleeding and become irritated, call a doctor immediately to rule out melanoma.
6. Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN)
While these bumps may look similar to moles, dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) are a superficial buildup of epidermal cells and pose no health risk. More common in people with darker skin tones, DPN is completely benign and harmless - although one person can have more than one on their face.
How to treat and prevent DPN
Always check in with a doctor to confirm suspicions of a DPN. While there is not much you can do to prevent DPNs from forming or becoming more noticeable, it is always important to put on sunblock and practice proper sun protection to reduce and prevent the growth of DPNs.
Try products with salicylic acid or glycolic acids to help reduce the size of DPNs. These chemicals are gentle exfoliants that may help reduce the dark colouration or size. You can also have these spots gently removed by a dermatologist with a laser or cautery. However, one caveat is that people with dark skin can develop hyperpigmentation from using lasers, so always seek professional advice about which treatment is best for you.
7. Skin tags
Skin tags are soft to the touch and typically appear on the neck, upper chest, eyelids, groin area and underarms. Experts believe skin tags form when skin rubs together - while they are typically benign, they can appear unsightly, especially if they are larger in size.
How to treat and prevent skin tags
Unless they grow rapidly, change colour or become infected, skin tags are totally harmless. Always seek medical attention if the skin tag exhibits concerning symptoms as they can be skin cancer or other medical conditions.
Skin tags can also be removed for cosmetic purposes by cauterising them with heat. This method effectively removes the skin tag from the root for lasting results without leaving scars or marks.
Similar to Milia, we use Lamprobe to remove Skin Tags safely and quickly. Using radio, high frequency technology, it is non-invasive and precise with instantaneous results. Our customers have seen their skin smoothen and improved with the use of Lamprobe and our experienced therapists to effectively remove skin tags.
8. Allergic reaction
Have you ever experienced bumpy welts on the skin after exfoliating the skin, or hair removal procedures like waxing and IPL? This could be hives (or urticaria) - characterised by reddened, itchy bumps or welts that appear suddenly upon exposure to an allergen, it often disappears after a while.
For me, hives appear after triggering procedures like extraction or waxing. However, they disappear on their own after 15 to 30 minutes. This is because my skin is slightly sensitive and react quickly. If the hives you experience are mild like mine, try applying a cool compress and moisturise for skin.
Another type of common allergic reaction or skin sensitivity that appears on the skin is known as irritant contact dermatitis. It’s visibly different than hives in the sense that it presents more as an overall redness rather than specific welts. It’s also the result of direct skin contact with things like poison ivy, jewelry, or ingredients in skin-care or makeup products.
How to treat and prevent allergic reactions
The first step is to always identify the source of allergy - if you were applying a product, stop using the product and sees if the allergy persists after a few days. Try not to scratch the area so that the damaged skin can heal - scratching it with dirty fingernails is one sure way to worsen the condition.
9. Bumps due to eczema
Eczema, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition. Characterised by patches of scaly, dry and red skin, it is often uncomfortably itchy and tight. While this condition can occur at any age, it is most common in children under the age of 5. If left untreated, it can leave marks and scars from scratching.
While there are various types of eczema, the condition generally occurs when the top layer of your skin can’t retain moisture and protect you from irritants, allergens, and environmental elements. And as we just explained, the condition goes beyond dry skin and can cause some serious discomfort in people who are affected.
How to treat and prevent eczema
Many factors can trigger eczema - dry skin, genetics, poor hygiene habits and the weather. Always moisturise the skin with a hydrating and nourishing body lotion to reduce skin dryness and avoid taking extremely hot showers. We have found that our customers see an improvement in their eczema when they follow this simple steps.
Our customers who have eczema also see an improvement in their condition with our Dead Sea Detox Body Treatment. This treatment uses sea salt and red algae mud derived directly from the Dead Sea - making it extremely rich in minerals and trace elements.
It effectively detoxifies the body, reduce water retention, smoothen the skin and imbue it with rich minerals and trace elements for healthier, brighter skin. The Dead Sea Detox Treatment is a godsend for the body when experienced in tandem. Your skin will be thoroughly exfoliated and cleansed - feeling cleaner, smoother and hydrated. Blood circulation improves and water retention is eliminated - feeling lighter and rejuvenated. You look refreshed and your skin is brighter, radiant and regains its natural glow.
Customers with eczema see an improvement in their skin dryness and discomfort and reduced marks on the skin.
10. Bumps due to rosacea
Rosacea is a type of sensitive skin characterised by redness in the cheeks, nose, chin and lower forehead, as well as acne-like bumps in some people. This is different from skin reactivity - skin redness and discomfort caused by using the wrong products.
How to treat and prevent rosacea
While no cause of rosacea has been found, it is possible to decrease the inflammation that causes the redness and bumps. Using the right products that are hydrating, calming and nourishing will definitely help to elevate symptoms. It is also important to use sunblock and prevent sun exposure as UV radiation can make rosacea worse.
But everyone has their own set of triggers, which may include things like alcohol, exercise, and specific skin-care or makeup ingredients. So it’s important to manage your exposure to those triggers as much as possible.
One treatment we highly recommend is our Soin Dermatologique Rougeurs Treatment - this treatment was created by dermatologists to reduce the discomfort and redness caused by rosacea, sensitive and dry skin.
It is effective in stimulating micro-circulation and strengthening the capillary walls - visibly reducing redness and irritation. It also reduces symptoms of Psoriasis and Atopic Dermatitis with rich, hydrating lipid-containing products. These active ingredients stabilise the skin’s hydro-lipid barrier; helping to protect the skin from moisture and lipid loss.
The skin is soothed and formation of new redness is prevented. Your skin no longer feels itchy, flaky and uncomfortable.
11. Bumps due to ingrown hairs
Ingrown hair is common - especially if you engage in hair removal procedures. This includes shaving, waxing, plucking, IPL and even lasers. Normally, when hair regrows, it grows up and above the skin. But if it starts to curl instead, it may get trapped and form a small, raised, reddened bump that may or may not be filled with pus. It happens more to people with thick, curly hair - but people with thinner hair can also suffer from ingrown hair.
How to treat and prevent bumps related to ingrown hair
While the best way to avoid ingrown hairs is to reduce hair removal, this is not possible. We all want smooth, hairless skin ;) Some ways to limit ingrown hairs is to always wash the skin with a mild soap and rub a lubricating shaving cream gel on the skin before shaving.
Always use a new razor and fresh blades to scrap the hair completely - dull blades don’t make clean, precise cuts and can increase your risk for ingrown hair.
A lipoma is a growth of fatty tissue that can occur almost anywhere on the body (including the face), but most commonly on the chest, back, shoulders, neck, and armpits. Though they tend to grow slowly, often over a period of months or years, you will notice them as a rubbery bulge under the skin that’s typically less than 2 inches across and feels as though it can move. Sometimes larger lipomas do occur, with some reaching almost 8 inches across, although this is rare.
The good news is that lipomas are nearly always benign. There is, however, a very rare form of cancer known as liposarcoma that occurs within fatty tissue and may look like a deep lipoma. So if you notice something like a lipoma that’s painful or growing quickly, it should be checked out by a dermatologist who can determine if it needs to be biopsied.
How to treat and prevent lipomas
Though there’s no known cause of lipomas, some people have genetic conditions that predispose them to forming dozens of lipomas. In most cases, lipomas do not need to be treated, however, a patient may opt to have the lipoma surgically removed if it’s causing any discomfort.
Many types of face bumps aren’t concerning or can be easily managed at home. However, avoid picking at bumps or trying to remove them yourself as this could lead to infections or scarring. Ultimately, if you have any questions about a bump on your face, you should check in with a dermatologist to make sure you know what it is and to have them remove it properly and safely if needed.