Small bumps under the skin can be caused by a variety of factors, including skin conditions, infections, and allergies. While most small bumps are harmless, some may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Types of Small Bumps Under the Skin
Here are some of the most common types of small bumps under the skin:
Milialar are small, white cysts that are caused by keratin, a protein that makes up skin, hair, and nails, getting trapped under the skin. They are most common on the face but can also appear on other parts of the body. Milia are harmless and usually go away on their own within a few weeks or months.
Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that causes small, rough bumps to form on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. The bumps are caused by a buildup of keratin in the hair follicles. Keratosis pilaris is harmless and usually improves with age.
Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads to form on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Acne is caused by a combination of factors, including excess oil production, bacteria, and dead skin cells blocking the pores.
Warts are small, raised growths on the skin that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the hands and feet. Warts are usually harmless and go away on their own within a few weeks or months.
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that causes small, raised bumps to form on the skin. The bumps are caused by the Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV). MCV is most common in children but can also infect adults. Molluscum contagiosum is usually harmless and goes away on its own within a few months or years.
Skin tags are small, soft growths that hang off the skin with a thin stalk. They are most common on the neck, armpits, and groin. Skin tags are harmless and can be easily removed by a dermatologist.
Lipomas are fatty growths that develop under the skin. They are most common on the neck, shoulders, back, and buttocks. Lipomas are harmless and usually do not require treatment.
Cysts are sacs that contain fluid, air, or other substances. They can form anywhere on the body but are most common on the face, neck, and back. Cysts can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, infection, and blocked ducts.
When to See a Doctor
If you have small bumps under the skin, it is important to see a doctor if:
- The bumps are painful or itchy.
- The bumps are red or inflamed.
- The bumps are growing or changing in appearance.
- The bumps are located on your face or genitals.
- You have a lot of bumps, or they are covering a large area of your skin.
- You have other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, or weight loss.
Treatment for Small Bumps Under the Skin
Treatment for small bumps under the skin will vary depending on the cause of the bumps. 3 common treatments include:
1) Over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter medications, such as hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion, can help to relieve itching and inflammation.
2) Prescription medications
Prescription medications, such as antibiotics and retinoids, may be used to treat certain types of skin conditions, such as acne and keratosis pilaris.
Surgery may be necessary to remove some types of bumps, such as lipomas and cysts.
There are a number of things you can do to help prevent small bumps from forming under your skin:
- Wash your skin regularly with mild soap and water.
- Avoid using harsh soaps and cleansers, as they can irritate your skin.
- Exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dead skin cells.
- Use a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing that can trap sweat and oil.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
If you have any questions or concerns about small bumps under the skin, please talk to your doctor or dermatologist.
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