7 Types Of Face Bumps & What They Mean, According To A Dermatologist

Having survived puberty, there are probably a few types of face bumps you have familiarized yourself with: Namely whiteheads, pimples, and blackheads. But, what about the rest? At some point in your life you may end up with different kinds of face bumps that you simply don't recognize. However, there's no reason to worry prematurely and as they say, knowledge is power. So, it's best to arm yourself with all of the facts, before you buy yourself a one way ticket for the worry train.

Of course, if you've never experienced an array of different types of facial bumps, it can be a little unnerving when something pops up on your face and you're not quite sure what it is. Although it may feel amazing not to care about how your skin looks, the sad truth is, in the Western world, many people judge others at face value. Hopefully this will change in the future, once humans stop being adversely affected by the media and society. But, for now, sporting some face bumps might make you feel slightly deflated, particularly if you've got an interview or you're meeting someone for the first time. If you have zero idea of what facial bumps you're flaunting and no knowledge on how to help them heal, this could leave you feeling a little lost.

So, I reached out to Dr. Hadley King, dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa, to help clear up some different types of face bumps.

1. Inflammatory Acne

Appearance: Pink or red pimples

Dr. King explains, “These result primarily due to hormones and genetic factors.” However, just because they’re genetic, doesn’t mean you can’t do something about them. Dr. King says, "See your dermatologist if you do not get sufficient improvement from over-the-counter options such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. A great option is the new Aczone 7.5 percent gel to use once daily.”

2. Comedones

Appearance: Whiteheads and blackheads

Dr. King tells me these are non-inflammatory acne lesions that also result from hormones and genetic factors. However, she warns that using comedogenic products on your skin – such as cocoa butter and algae extract – can make these worse. Dr. King recommends sufferers, “Try over-the-counter salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products and if those don't do enough then see your dermatologist.”

3. Milia

Appearance: Tiny, smooth white bumps

Dr. King informs me that milia are tiny cysts under the skin that are most commonly found around the eyes and on the forehead, however, they can crop up anywhere on the face. Dr. King says, “These may eventually resolve on their own but for faster resolution a dermatologist or facialist can puncture them and clean out the contents.” Sounds gross but if you want to banish these bumps, that’s a much quicker method than playing the waiting game!

4. Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Appearance: Whitish to yellowish bumps

Dr. King tells me that sebaceous hyperplasia result from enlarged oil glands, they are genetic, and tend to occur in the facial skin of people who have a long history of oily skin. “We don't have any perfect treatments for these but if they bother you see your dermatologist, who may use electrodessication to temporarily shrink these spots.” Says Dr. King.

5. Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

Appearance: Skin colored to darker brown small bumps

According to Dr. King, these are more common in darker skin types. She explains, “They are genetic and are not at all dangerous but if they cosmetically bother you your dermatologist can cut or burn them off.” It’s good to know you’ve got options if you decide you want to get rid of them.

6. Nevi

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Appearance: Skin colored or brown bumps

Don't worry, nevi aren't anything bizarre. Despite the unusual name, “Nevi” is another term for moles. Dr. King says, “Many people have skin colored or brown bumps on the face that are moles. These should always be checked by a dermatologist to make sure that they are not atypical.” However, if your nevus is benign but it’s appearance bothers you, Dr. King tells me, “…they can be cut off, but this will leave a scar.”

7. Actinic Keratoses, Basal Cell Carcinoma & Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Appearance: Flakey or non-healing bumps or patches

Keep a watchful eye on any flakey or non-healing bumps or patches; Dr. King explains these are the most common forms of skin cancer and pre-cancer found on the face. Dr. King says, “Please see your dermatologist if there are any new bumps on your face that are not resolving.”

So there you have it, a bunch of facial bumps you may encounter and what to do about them, so you can quit obsessively Googling and put your phone down. But, if you’re ever in any doubt, go see your dermatologist for a professional opinion.

Images: Sylvain Reygaerts (2), Ryan Moreno (1), Llywelyn Nys (1), Alia Wilhelm (1), Abigail Keenan (1), Kyle Broad (1) /Unsplash