sally

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  1. I've had these stubborn deep hard bumps under my skin for years, almost 2 decades now. They looked like acne and were mildly pigmented so my skin never looked clear even when I had no active acne for years. No dermatologist has been able to tell me what they were till now. I've had laser and cautery for some of them, but it wasnt enough. When it was superficially done it did nothing to flatten the bumps, only created wounds on top of them. When the doctor went in deep (created an open, wet wound) a few days later, I was able to see a few hardened grains embedded in the wound. They were still impossible to squeeze out, I had to either use a needle to pry them out or a forcep to extract. They looked like grains of sand/ hardened rice, impossible to crush with fingers. Thereafter there would be ugly craters that took several months to heal (in terms of color and depth), but in the end it looked better than before extraction. Before extraction they looked like active acne, and were brown and discolored. After complete healing, there are small residual scars that are not discolored and so barely noticeable. I still have several of them on my left cheek. They hardly respond to AHAs, bhas, retinoids etc, which I have used for years. Anyway the formal diagnosis for them is OSTEOMA CUTIS. Finally i saw a very experienced dermatologist who told me what they were and when I went home to google, I saw he was right. Mystery solved after 17 years!! It is a rare (but I suspect not so rare) complication of acne, and is basically made up of bone. If if any of you suspect you have this, surgical extraction is probably the only route. The final result is good but recovery is very long for me because of the depth of these lesions. Anyone else who has experience with this, please share.