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Keratin-Filled Bumps Under Skin

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#1 hamsacker

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:59 PM

For the past year or so I've had these tiny, white bumps lying under my skin. These bumps can easily be popped, which results in a white, paste-like substance to come out; and as gross as this is the paste has a distinct "cheesy" smell and consistency, which likely means it's keratin rather than sebum. Most of these are in the middle of my cheeks, though they are also all over my face, neck, back, upper arms, and chest. After being squeezed out, they come back within a matter of days and may disappear or reappear (seemingly) randomly. I'd like to add that I don't think these are milia, as they are easily poppable without a needle and are less prominent. My best guess is that these are caused by a food intolerance, but then again this is just a guess and I don't know much about this in the first place. Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

I should probably also add that I have a fairly good diet and exercise regularly. I do not wear any makeup or apply any products or medications to my face.

#2 Murph89

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:06 PM

For the past year or so I've had these tiny, white bumps lying under my skin. These bumps can easily be popped, which results in a white, paste-like substance to come out; and as gross as this is the paste has a distinct "cheesy" smell and consistency, which likely means it's keratin rather than sebum. Most of these are in the middle of my cheeks, though they are also all over my face, neck, back, upper arms, and chest. After being squeezed out, they come back within a matter of days and may disappear or reappear (seemingly) randomly. I'd like to add that I don't think these are milia, as they are easily poppable without a needle and are less prominent. My best guess is that these are caused by a food intolerance, but then again this is just a guess and I don't know much about this in the first place. Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

I should probably also add that I have a fairly good diet and exercise regularly. I do not wear any makeup or apply any products or medications to my face.


MMM CHEEEEESEEEEEE.

Start exfoliating. Nothing crazy harsh, but you need to exfoliate. Whether its a chemical exfoliation like salicylic acid, or a mask , or a natural exfoliant like sugar or oatmeal, it need to be done. What you have are an accumulation of sloughed cells that cannot escape through the top layer of skin, and get trapped underneath and become firm. I used to get them on my chin, but when I started exfoliating twice a week, I no longer get them.

Edited by Murph89, 24 September 2012 - 10:08 PM.


#3 Green Gables

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:31 PM

Azelaic acid (Finacea or Skinoren, retinoids (Retin A), and lactic acid (AmLactin) applied regularly reduce keratin production.

Salicylic acid, sulfur, and certain enzymes (papaya and pineapple come to mind) soften existing keratin.

As far as internal causes, there hasn't been nearly as much research on keratin overproduction as sebum overproduction, but we do at least know that when testosterone and other androgens are high, more keratin is produced.

Edited by Green Gables, 24 September 2012 - 10:52 PM.


#4 hamsacker

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:17 PM

I knew I was forgetting something...

I exfoliate every other day with sea salt, and I honestly don't think I see much of a difference. I've tried using epsom salts and baking soda with the same or similar results. Now that I think of it though, I don't use anything to wash my face considering my dad only buys bar soap; I imagine this could be contributing to the problem at the very least. I think I'll try ordering some of the things suggested along with some kind of facial cleanser off the internet. Thanks for the suggestions everyone, anymore would still be appreciated.

#5 Clearwaters

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:39 AM

Keratin, is that stuff that can sometimes build up in body piercing holes?

#6 wicky

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:48 PM

any improvement?

#7 armadillo

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:19 AM

Only thing that helps with these is regular exfoliation and glycolic acid for me. But I think salicylic acid would work too, as it goes deeper into the pore rather than just dissolving the surface like glycolic.

#8 4RomCan

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:06 AM

I have tons of these all over my cheeks, chin and they even spread to my neck. I know they're diet related cause they started when I went on a high-fat diet and I recently found out that dairy makes them so much worse. I wouldn't be surpirsed if cutting out dairy would work for you too, esp since you say they smell like cheese.