Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
skeeterz16

closed comedones? papuals? help!

Recommended Posts

I have been using BP for a month now with great results. No more whiteheads and less blackheads! BUT...

I still have these little bumps ... I'm not sure what they are called. They are flesh colored. If squeezed this white stuff comes out in a coil-like shape. NOT the same as pus-filled whiteheads. I'd really like some insight as to how to eliminate them. They are the only skin problem I have left on my face. I have been avoiding makeup and use coverup only occasionally. I want my acne to go away completely before I use even oil free makeup, but these little bumps are damn ugly!

Can anyone give me some guidance?

Link to post
Share on other sites

ok i know exactly what you're talking about. and i have the exact same problem. while BP has cleared my face up (no more red, inflammed zits).. but i still have these what you describe.. they're not really red but they're mostly skin colored and you can see them better if you look at them in the light. it's like there's crap trapped under the skin and it's forming a little hill. sometimes you can squeeze them and not pus but a more solid like material will come up (looks like dried up oil and skin cells). i think these are closed blackheads or something. i'd like to know what they are too.. i have them mostly on the sides of my forehead (even with my eyes) and some on my cheeks. i'm wondering if maybe i use something with BHA/salicylic acid in the morning and my normal BP cleanser at night might help get rid of these? who knows??

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is also my biggest problem. I have a few pimples...maybe like two or three, but my skin doesnt look good b/c of those little bumps. What helped get rid of them for a while was Retin-A Micro. HOWEVER...although it was really good at getting rid of the bumps, I think the way it worked was that a lot of those little bumps turned into pimples. So i was breaking out A LOT and it was leaving red scars all over my face. I stopped taking the RetinA and my scars got better, but all the little bumps came back :) So..I dont know. Retin A make work differently for you. When the little bumps were only on my forehead, Retin A worked great and got rid of almost all of them w/minimal breakouts. Just didnt work like that on the rest of my face. But its something you may want to consider.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hey, so I'm glad I'm not the only one! I've been doing a little research and I'll post what I've seen so far. I think these things are actually called a closed comedo or "whitehead." The pus filled form of acne is called a pustule or papual. Here's what it says about closed comedones: "A closed comedo is commonly called a whitehead; its appearance is that of a skin-colored or slightly inflamed "bump" in the skin. The whitehead differs in color from the blackhead because the opening of the plugged sebaceous follicle to the skin’s surface is closed or very narrow, in contrast to the distended follicular opening of the blackhead." I got this info from http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/acne.html.

It also talks about something called "microcomedones." Basically, they are underdeveloped closed comedones: "Squeezing or picking whiteheads (closed comedones) or microcomedones is potentially even more harmful. The microcomedo (a "sandpaper comedo"â€â€almost too small to be seen but may be felt as roughness on the skin), and the whitehead (closed comedo) are more likely than blackheads to become sites of inflamed lesions. Depending on the site and extent of inflammation, the microcomedo and closed comedo may eventually evolve into a pustule or a papule. Any attempt to manipulate these acne lesions by squeezing or picking can aggravate the inflammatory process.

In any case, squeezing a microcomedo or closed comedo will not extrude its contents. The microcomedo is an undeveloped comedo, so there is really nothing to squeeze. The closed comedo (whitehead) differs from the fully developed open comedo (blackhead) in that (1) the follicular opening is so small as to be invisible, so little or no comedo contents can be extruded through it by pressure of squeezing, and (2) the contents of the whitehead are not as compact as the contents of blackhead, so unlike the paste-like contents of a blackhead it cannot be extruded by pressure.

The difference between an "open" and "closed" comedo is apparent in their description. The solid contents of an open comedo (blackhead) is continuously being extruded from the sebaceous follicle to the surface of the skin. In contrast, the contents of a closed comedo (whitehead) is completely retained within the sebaceous follicle. The contents of a closed comedo includes inflammatory chemicals and bacterial by-products that can produce an inflamed acne lesion. Acne investigators have called closed comedones "time bombs" waiting to explode into inflamed lesions [strauss JS, Kligman AM. The pathologic dynamics of acne vulgaris. Arch Dermatol 1968; 82:779-782.]."

I don't know, it sounds like it might be what we're talking about. Share your thoughts and visit the site. I can't tell anything from the pictures they post, since you can only see these little bastards in strong light.

Anyway, it doesn't say how to get rid of them. I'll keep looking! Don't loose hope!

Link to post
Share on other sites

ok, it's obvious from that excerpt that what i'm experiencing are those closed microcomedones. cause if i try to squeeze them 90% of the time nothing comes out, and they're very tiny bumps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what I've read on a website:

Blackheads" is a common layman's term which refers to plugs of hardened waxes that have clogged the pores and that are visible to the eyes. They are often associated with acne, and appear black at the tips due either to oxidation or to environmental dirt overlaying them.

When it is squeezed out, only the tip of the head is black, but the rest is light beige in colour. However, many of these hardened plugs of waxes may not appear to be black at all at the tips, and yet they can pose similar threats to the skin like their "black" counterparts.

Medically, it is known as comedo, comedos, or comedones. It is not a skin disease by itself, although it often leads to Rosacea and Acne Vulgaris if not promptly treated. Almost everyone, male and female, has comedones, but in varying degrees. It can be largely prevented or removed but cannot be completely stopped. Oily skins (especially Seborrhoic conditions) are more prone to having comedones than dry skins, but dry skins are not spared of the comedones problem.

The main constituents that form comedones are: hardened sebaceous secretion, surface dead cells, salt (from sweat), waste, bacteria, dirt. For those using makeup and/or skin care products, the constituents may include fats (animal or vegetable), waxes, and colored pigments (iron oxides), except non-comedogenic formulations.

Formation Process of Comedones

There are about 3,000,000 cells, 100 sweat pores and 30 sebaceous glands AND hair pores per square centimeter of skin. The sweat pores excrete sweat, water, waste, and salt through the sweat ducts while also regulating body temperature.

The hair pores secrete sebaceous secretions through the gland (oil) ducts to lubricate the hairs and at the same time emulsify themselves with sweat water to form a protective barrier known as Sebum Film. This creamy film helps bond the surface dead cells together, otherwise the surface cells will appear loose and give a mouldy appearance like in cases of very dry and dehydrated skins.

When oil, sweat, water, and surface dead cells are well balanced and well mixed, together they form a layer of natural translucent foundation cream that gives skin a healthy tone and supple look.

However, this ideal condition won't last long as water from the sweat will soon evaporate, leaving the remaining solid constituents behind which quickly harden into plugs of wax and block the outward flow of sebum to the surface, through the follicles and sebaceous ducts.

The retained sebum accumulates and increases in amount, and the external area hardens further and becomes overlaid with stale cells to form comedones. If the condition is not properly treated, the sebaceous ducts and hair follicles will become enlarged, and the skin becomes more coarse, with open pores being evident. This is an ongoing natural process on every person's skin and cannot be stopped unless a person dies.

Moreover, in today's polluted industrial environment and hectic lifestyle, our skin is flexed and stretched, and as such, an ideal condition is almost impossible.

And the difference between blackheads (comedones) & whiteheads (milia seeds):

Everyday, every moment, our skin has to self-lubricate and self-moisturized, as well as self-regulate the body temperature. This is achieved by the natural secretion of sebum(oil) through the hair pores and excretion of sweat(which also contains salt) through the sweat pores. Some of these substances will remain and harden themselves in the sebaceous(oil) ducts and sweat ducts daily as they become stale. As water content from sweat evaporates the solid remains are salt crystals which will clog the sweat pores. Some sweat will naturally mix with the secreted oil to form the natural acid mantle(the natural protective layer the skin needs). This acid mantle helps to bond together the shedded dead cells from the outermost layer of the epidermis, to form the skin's natural foundation( comprising oil, sweat water and the powderish dead cells). The salt content in the sweat will cause hardening of the sebum too. Environmental dirt and bacteria will add daily to this staled natural debris. If you do not have a real good and effective cleanser that removes these staled debris daily, the debris will accumulate daily and clog the pores. When hair pores are clogged for too long, you will end up having to manually squeeze them(now already formed into blackheads, and will eventually develop into pimples/acnes if not properly managed and timely removed), which is painful and will cause scarring. When sweat pores are clogged, the salt substance in the sweat ducts hardenned and crystalized into whiteheads(or medically known as milia seeds), which cannot be squeezed out easily, unless pricked with a needle(sterylized).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read the posts under "small bumps." I think we're talking about the same thing. I haven't read anything else that is helpful, I just wanted to say that salicylic acid is not necessarily the answer. I break out when I use even a low concentration of salicylic acid and have an almost unused bottle of neutrogena "multivitimin" to prove it!

Anyway, I've been watching my face lately. I do think that using a product with BP has improved the comedones, or may be preventing new ones from forming. I don't think that squeezing them is going to be helpful ... I've learned through experience that this just spreads bacteria around. I've only been using BP for a month or so, so I'm going to give it another month and see what happens.

Anyone tried honey on these buggers? I'm willing to add that to my regimen as an experiment, but as I said, I'm giving the BP another month.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:-k I guess I can join the club too. I've had these little bumps for months and the majority of them are clustered on my temples and sides of my face with a few scattered on my forehead. I always thought they were a result of me using Retin A Micro because before I started using that, I was using differin along with Triaz face wash and didn't have them. But the more I think about it, it must have been the Triaz that was keeping them away and had nothing to do with RAM. The Triaz was too drying for the winter and I stopped using it and started using Neutrogena Deep Pore Cleanser which contains salisylic acid. The bumps appeared. I'm now using Brevoxyl (BP base) along with Azelex and the bumps seem to be going away. Not sure if it's stopping the salisylic acid and the Neutrogena detergent base cleanser or starting the Brevoxyl, but it seems to be working. They are drying up and I can easily wash them off. More importantly, they used to spring up in what seemed like a few hours and this morning I had no new ones. Will keep you guys posted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

personally, even though these things are annoying, i'd much rather have them than the usual red, inflammed acne. at least these aren't even noticable until you get pretty close. from a distance of about a foot my face looks clear. it's only when you get close that you may notice. hey, we're not all perfect.

Link to post
Share on other sites

=D> Well, it's been 5 days since I stopped using the Neutrogena Deep Clean and I am pleased to report that I have no new small pink bumps and the ones I do have are showing signs of drying up and going away. Each day a few more have a little bead of hardened dry sebum that comes off when I wash. I'm not sure if it's coicidence or the fact that I started using the Brevoxyl when I stopped the Deep Clean, but whatever it is, I'm happy with it. Will update in a few days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes as far as i can tell, the flesh colored bumps are in fact whiteheads. I used to have a lot of them all in one area, on my cheeks. For some reason, they always pop up in the same area. In anycase, i couldn't really see them unless i was looking under a light or really close up. But i could feel them. I realized that those whiteheads eventually turn into pimples, which tooootally sucks. I mean i wouldn't mind them that much if they didnt mean eventual big zits!! Anyways, i started using retin a micro which helped get rid of them for a while, but eventually new ones pop up anyways and of course then turn into pimples within a couple of days. IF anyone knows how to get rid of these ticking timebombs before they explode, pleaaaaase tell me how!!! They are my major probs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miya

I was having the same problem as you. I had tons of these and quite a few would eventually turn into small zits within a few days. I quit using Neutrogena Deep Clean that apparently had some ingredients that were causing this cause within a few days of quitting, they stopped turning into pimples and started drying up. I still have a few, but they are slowly going away and best of all...no new ones are showing up to take their place. :D/

I am using two different face washes, one a.m. and one p.m. and both have BP. I am also using Azelex.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got the exact problem, all the closed comedones are on my forehead, and nowhere else. When i used to goto the sauna i never had any of these and my skin used to feel really clean aswell. I was just wondering if going to the sauna or something similar will help?...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the whiteheads on my sides of face and neck a year ago, also had regular pimples. Then I tried last summer Dan's Regimen with BP - and it took care of the whiteheads but then I got red marks where they were. From what I have been reading the last year on posts, this is the most common aftereffect of the the BP. My skin got worse with the stress of an awful job (lasted a week) and worse and worse. Went to various derms over the years. Nothing helped until I went to a naturopath at Bastyr Clinic in Seattle. I had an awful mass breakout, it was the worst, and then one side of face cleared up, then the other. This happened in Nov-Dec. 2002, it was horrible. Big cystic acne. It was like everything came out and then cleared.

Now I rarely have breakout, no whiteheads, but I do get a cystic pimple starting or whatever. I put Niacinimide Cream immediately on it and it brings it to a head and then gone in a day or two. Drinking lots of water daily and not using any harsh chemicals or any chemicals on my face (I am fair and oily skinned, very fair) has helped. I do not use a washrag, as I was too harsh with them and they harbor bacteria. My routine is on the regimen results way back under Newcastlegirl, if anybody interested. I also take Vitamin A in cod liver oil and Herpanacine, zinc plex,, good multi-vite (Carlsons), Taps liver cleanse herbs, and grapefruit seed extract. Found info all on this site and esp. the LINKS part on grapefruit seed and niacinimide.

Hope your skin gets better, it is a constant and vigilant battle.

Karen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's not the Neutrogena that was causing them, cause I had a bunch of new ones pop up yesterday and I haven't used the cleanser for quite a while. I'm totally baffled now cause I have no idea why a whole crew of them all appeared yesterday out of no where. I'm on OTC but this is my first month and I started my period yesterday. :-k Hormones????

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been successful in preventing new whiteheads/closed comedones but haven't found a way to treat existing ones. I got this info from one of the acne links on this board (the official government publication). Resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur help break down blackheads and whiteheads

i think we might need to

1) Take supplements --- Vitamin A and Vitamin B-complex to control oil production

2) Use a topical to prevent new comedones. I use Differin because it's a lot gentler than Retin-A. I also splash one part vinegar to 4 parts water on my face as a final rinse after each wash.

3) Use a topical to spot-treat existing whiteheads. I have no idea which product is good, but I will look for one that contains resorcinol, salicylic acid, and/or sulfur.

This is just my opinion. Hope it helps

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone tried glycolic acid for closed comedones? Here's what an article from Prevention magazine says about glycolic acid and clogged pores:

"To loosen and remove the plugs of oil and skin cells that are clogging your pores, you need glycolic acid. It works by activating certain skin enzymes that desolve the plugs beneath the skin's sruface, which opens up the pores to allow the mixture to escape. Some popular brands include Gly Derm, Cellex C, Total Skin Care, and Pysicians Elite. Make sure the product you choose contains between 8-10% concentration and does not contain any other active ingredients."

The article advocates a regimen of using salicylic acid first, followed by glycolic acid and finishing with cold BP (apparently the cold opens up pores). I don't think I could follow this regimen because I am very sensative to salicylic acid, but I am considering adding glycolic acid to my BP regimen to open up and remove these nasty bumps.

Anyone have first hand experience with glycolic acid or know where to get it over the counter? I haven't seen it anywhere.

Thanks for previous feedback. We can figure something out if we work together!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so I just found some websites that have some products that were described in the prevention article. Turns out this stuff expensive and some of it is doctor prescribed. I have seen between $16-$50 and one of the sites came with this disclaimer: *Acne sufferers please note

It takes approximately 3 weeks for a clogged pore in your skin to actually become a pimple/whitehead... and make its way up to your face. When you start using these glycolic acid products you need to remember to give your skin time to rid itself of the clogged pores that have already formed under your skin. This may take up to 3 weeks. After the clogged pores have made their way out you will see a remarkable difference in the clarity of your skin! The glycolic acid will help to keep your pores clear so the process doesn't keep repeating itself.

Confused...what to make of all these claims?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I found something to help closed comedones.

I've had a bunch of them right above my chin for the LONGEST time, probably about 6 months. They just never go away. Sometimes they would get irritated, and come to the surface and then you could pop them lke a normal zit, but several of them never came to the surface and just stayed there.

I read several posts on here saying that people had a lot of success using chilled Benzoyl Peroxide, or that they iced their faces before applying it. Apparently, chilling the face (contrary to what I thought) opens the pores of acne lesions by reducing the swelling. Since closed comedones are stuck beneath closed pores, I decided to try doing this.

And it seems to have worked! I use a 10% BP wash, and have always used it in the shower with warm water. I decided to wash my face seperately at the sink with COLD WATER. I rinsed with cold water first for about 2 minutes until my face felt very slightly numb from the cold. I then applied the BP wash (I did not chill my BP wash, just left it at room temperature) and let it sit for about 30 seconds. I then rinsed, and applied my topical Erythromycin solution. (I've been using this combination of BP and Erythromycin with pretty good success for about 4 years, just never with cold water.)

Literally one day after doing this these things started coming to the surface!!! I couldn't believe it. I'm really psyched about this, since I've been living with these things for so long, and finally found a way to get rid of them.

I hope some of you out there find this helpful. I never though washing with cold water could make such a difference, but it has. Good luck to all of you!

Link to post
Share on other sites

skeeterz, you are right about the glycolic acid. It does help get rid of these bumps, and it does take around 3 weeks. My daughter has been using GA with SA and BP, coincidentally like the Prevention article said. At first her forehead looked bad because all the bumps came to the surface. Now about 3 weeks later her skin looks a lot better, minus the bumps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

closed comedones....

For me....these are my nightmare. If left unchecked for a few days they usually come out and are LARGE whitehead nodes and are sometimes MULTIPLE WARHEADS NODES and usually leave scarring. Sometimes LARGE scars.

The best defense/offense against them is to NOT touch or squeeze them. For the LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY - DO NOT FORCE THEM OUT AND POP THEM. If you are fine and it doesn't leave a scar, well great, but for most people, these will leave PERMANENT SCARS. These THINGS are MY WORST ENEMY.

To fight them use glycolic acid and/or a steam bath. If it's very big SEE YOUR DERMATOLOGIST or SKIN CARE specialist ASAP and they may be able to extract them or freeze them before they become scarring warheads.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×