When you have hard bumps on your face it can seriously dent both your confidence and self esteem. Although usually these small bumps are considered harmless and can actually be caused by a number of relatively harmless factors, they can, at times, be a sign of a more serious underly medical condition therefore it’s always best to have them checked out. In fact, if you ever notice anything out of the ordinary about your body, you should visit your GP to have it checked out, just to be on the safe side.
Although embarrassing, hard bumps on face are generally not a cause for concern and can be caused by a number of things. Let’s take a closer look…
What causes hard bumps on face?
Angioedema is an allergic reaction to certain medications and foods (as well as other things) that can cause welts on the face that look very much like hard bumps. Typically affecting the deeper layers of the skin, these bumps are caused by fluid building up and generally occur in areas such as the feet and hands, lips, eyes and even the genitals.
Patients who suffer with angioedema will generally experience hives, a red, irritated and inflamed rash on the skin and is considered to be relatively common with up to 20% of the population experiencing it at some point.
Treatment for angioedema is sometimes not necessary and the hard bumps on face will go away by themselves but sometimes, medical intervention is required and this will come in the form of oral steroid tablets or antihistamines.
Acne is another cause for the hard bumps on face and if the patient is a teen, is likely to be the case. It has been reported for up to eighty percent of all teens can suffer with acne at some point and sometimes this problem will continue right through into adulthood.
If acne is the problem behind your hard bumps, it is normally because the pores of your skin (or nodules) have become filled with grimes, dust, bacterial and oil, causing a buildup and in time, an infection. This causes the pus you often get with spots and acne, as well as both inflammation and irritation of the skin.
Usually affecting the face, neck, chest, back and arms, acne can actually happen everywhere on the body where oil production can be found and will often cause hard bumps, especially on the face, before the nodules form a head which most patients will go ahead and squeeze or pop. This is bad practice and will actually result in the back bacteria and grime being spread around the face, spreading the skin condition further.
Sebaceous cysts are also referred to as epidermoid cysts and is a term used to describe hard bumps on face that have been caused by a buildup of fat and keratin under the skin. Normally you will find them on the face and the upper body like the chest and shoulders but they can occur anywhere on the body and can be a side effect of acne and also a result of skin injuries that are considered minor.
Although the cysts can be tender to touch, red and inflamed, generally the cysts are not painful and they are harmless and NOT linked to cancer. If you pop them, pus will ooze out and this can smell bad.
Another reason why you might get hard bumps on face is if you have ingrown hairs and this can definitely apply to the areas of your body on which you do perform hair removal treatments. What happens here is that the follicle that the hair grows from beneath the skin becomes blocked and the hair continues to grow in that follicle. Over time, the hard bump will ge bigger and bigger as it fills with the hair as well as pus if it gets infected and at this stage you are likely to see redness and experience soreness also. Technically the hair is a foreign body in the skin so it will send white blood cells to attack it and that’s what causes the pus.
Not just caused by shaving, ingrown hairs can also be caused by friction either by skin (chafing) or with clothing.
If you have hard bumps on face that are neither sore or red, there is a good chance that you have milia, something that can be passed on from generation to generation but for the most part, nobody really knows what causes them.
Looking much like whiteheads, these are white pus-filled cysts that are harmless and usually not painful.
Although it is rare that hard bumps on face will be cancer, skin cancer can materialize in this form and basal cell carcinoma tends to be the biggest culprit as far as this symptom is concerned.
Although not painful and usually evolving and growing slowly, both age and exposure to the sun can increase the risks of developing skin cancer and the only way to diagnose it is with the use of a biopsy.
How to treat hard bumps on face
The treatment of your hard lumps on face will very much depend on the root cause behind it. Sebaceous cysts, for example, can often be treated at home with hot compresses and should it become infected, with steroid treatments either oral or topical. You can have the cysts removed but this will require numbing cream and the cyst being cut open before the pus inside is drained and this will only be done in the worst of cases.
For other problems such as acne, minor spot outbreaks, etc. using warm water and a gentle cleanser twice per day will do the trick, ridding the skin of dirt and grime and washing the bad bacteria away. You should never scrub the face as this could cause further damage and injury, and always pat dry rather than rub with a towel.
If you have inflammation and swelling, a cold compress can help and this can even help to reduce redness and irritation too, often providing almost immediate relief from soreness or itching.
Acne treatments can help with the harsher cases, especially those containing ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid as these have proven to be especially helpful in at-home acne treatments.
If you are experiencing these hard bumps on face because of ingrown hairs, exfoliating or using a rough sponge can help to remove the top layer of skin and encourage the new growth to poke through it, freeing the follicle. You could also try using a scrub with a coarse material such as sugar. This will also help remove the top layer of dead or unhealthy skin cells, allow regrowth and also that hair to break free.
Milia can be solved by lightly breaking away the top layer of the pus filled bump and draining it out although if left to their own devices, won’t cause any problems other than aesthetic ones.