So we already worry about acne, blackheads, and pores, but unfortunately there’s a lot that can go wrong with your face. The urge to pick or burst whatever it is is always very strong, but almost always worth resisting. You never know when you could cause some serious damage. Here are some examples of bumps on your skin you should keep your hands off – at all costs. Unless you’re a professional, don’t put any fingers on there.
Comedones usually refer to blackheads or whiteheads (sound familiar now?); they’re small bumps which are acne papules. Blackheads are open comedones, while whiteheads are closed comedones. When dead cells get trapped in hair follicles, combined with oils that gather at your pores, comedones can form. Use a spot treatment, topical treatment, or some over-the-counter medication to combat this. Wear sunscreen regularly and avoid picking at the acne, because this can lead to scarring and the bacteria can spread around.
2) Ingrown hairs
When hair curls and grows into your skin rather than outwards because hair follicles get clogged with dead skin, it can cause an ingrown hair. Usually they’re not too serious, but they can itch at the skin and cause red bumps or sores. If it doesn’t go away on its own and it’s starting to seriously bug you, exfoliate regularly, or see a doctor for some advice and medication. If you squeeze them, it only makes things worse and increases the redness.
Little hard white bumps on your face are called milia; they’re under-the-skin bumps and contain keratin. Not exfoliating regularly and removing the dead cells can result in milia. If you don’t remove your makeup well enough, or wear sunscreen regularly, or you tend to use very heavy creams and moisturisers, they can also lead to milia being formed. Picking at them can be detrimental, and just cause more irritation and redness, or spread around the bacteria further. Exfoliate well and be rigorous with makeup removal. If they don’t go away, speak to your dermatologist.
4) Cystic acne
Cystic pimples are under the skin, and they’re quite painful to touch. Hormone issues and bacteria from acne lead to an excess of oil, which spreads underneath the skin surface to cause cystic acne. Usually touching it can’t help because it’s deep below the skin surface, and can just lead to a bloody mess. You may have to call your dermatologist to help you out with this one, because cystic acne often doesn’t go away with normal medication.
5) Keratosis pilaris
This is caused by a buildup of keratin, which blocks the openings of hair follicles. Keratosis pilaris can be genetic, and picking at the bumps can cause redness and scarring. Use a chemical exfoliant to even out your skin and hopefully help with the irritation and bumps. It should show results over time.
Lipomas result from an accumulation of fat cells under the skin, and although they’re not harmless generally, they can become a little painful if they get bigger. They’re usually genetic, and the cure is often to pop them, but you shouldn’t do it yourself. Get a professional to do it. If you try to do it yourself, it can lead to redness and scar the area, and let bacteria into your skin.
7) Cold sores
Small blisters usually formed in the area around the lips, cold sores can be difficult and painful. They can look like pimples, but don’t pop them; that can result in more cold sores and the fluid released isn’t healthy to spread around to the rest of your face. Apply pharmacy medication, cold compresses, or some natural home remedies to get rid of them.
8) Cherry angiomas
Bright red bumps which can show up on your face, these are cherry angiomas and they might be genetic, although the cause hasn’t been pinpointed. They’re not dangerous and are made up of blood vessels. They’re full of blood so don’t pop them, or you’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do. You should go to a dermatologist, and the removal will then be efficient and you won’t have a scar or a bump or any unnecessary bleeding.
It can be very tempting to touch these bumps, especially if you’re low on time and don’t want to run outside with an unsightly bump on your face. But everyone gets them pretty regularly, and it’s really nothing to be ashamed about. Short-term solutions of popping a bump might not even work, and could lead to more irritating long-term problems, so hands off!