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White subdermal bumps on face

By March 28, 2011 - 7:51am
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I am a 52 yrs. old post menopausal woman. I have numerous subdermal flesh colored bumps on my face. They started appearing several years ago. I am not able to extract anything. They seem more pronounced at different times including in the evening. I have been to numerous dermatologists and estheticians. I have been told they might be milia or sebacious hyperplasia. Some dermatologists will only say they are benign but can't really identify what they are. I have had dermabrasion and CO2 lazer to no avail. What are they? How can they be treated? Can they be frozen off?

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EmpowHER Guest

I have these bumps also and I am 56. I have them on my legs, which I am told is from inside tanning and has given me extrememly dry skin and these bumps. I also have them on my arms, just like old lady bumpy skin, they are not the same that you get on the back of your arms, they are larger and flatter. It's almost like skin brushing would help, and exfoliating. I am going to try that and see if it works.

July 30, 2013 - 1:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Finally gave in and saw my gyno today to address the bumps on my cheeks. I am on HRT and when I first started this last year my skin returned to normal. However, the bumps returned months ago and seem worse. Of course, my doctor has never heard of this before and doubts it is hormonal. So, doing lab work to see what is the cause.
I do have the other hormonal issues of crawling feeling on my face and head( also improved with HRT) and sometimes my face feels hot and the bumps get worse--but still he thinks not hormone related? I have my doubts but I will do the "due diligence" and see what comes up. I will let you know.

March 17, 2016 - 6:54am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Multiple military osteoma cutis is what you're suffering from. Good luck and please post if you find any relief or safe removal technique

August 23, 2016 - 8:50pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks Anon - please let us know if it works.

Also, in terms of dry skin (I have terribly dry skin) I have been using Eucerin for 6 months now and my skin is baby soft. I use it from the chest down, even my underarms and it has made a huge difference!


July 30, 2013 - 1:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

I believe i I know exactly what your bumps are based on your age, sex & description. I too suffer from these bumps. They are osteoma cutis or also called miliary osteoma cutis. They are actually tiny pieces of bone under the skin, yes bone! I had a biospsy on one & the derm told me he was certain they would not be osteomas. Lo & behold he extracted a tiny piece of bone. The actual pieces are almost round inshape & very small but they cause the surronding tissue to swell which gives the skin a very uneven appearence. So distressing. This is almost always only on the face of women in premenopouse or during. Hope that helps. I have had extractions with not the greatest results as they are hard to remove. Going to have an erbium laser treatment combined with manual extraction when the skin layers are removed & they are exposed next month.

September 4, 2011 - 5:40pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Your post is dated 09/04/2011, so I'm wondering whether or not the laser treatment and manual extractions produced desired results? Please let me know. I have multiple milliary osteoma cutis that is worsening. Several years ago I sought help in my area but couldn't find a doctor who would treat me where I wasn't a guinea pig. Any information you provide would be very helpful and very welcome. Thank you, LM

February 5, 2017 - 1:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi LM,
So sorry for your diagnosis. Unfortunately I've had results from removal of the bumps that I think worsen the situation. This is such a distressing disorder as it's on our faces. Any progress you make would be much appreciated if shared. What I've found is the lasers aggravate the area and cause additional inflammation which is in essence what causes the bumps to begin with.

February 9, 2017 - 1:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Linda,
I was wondering if you ever found anything to help with the bumps?? I have the same thing. Been to two dermatologists. One said it was aging skin (did nothing). Another tried acid on them. That did nothing. It is so frustrating. Let me know if you had any results with your treatments. thanks

April 27, 2011 - 7:10pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi LDCheney

Thanks for your post!

We are not able to diagnose what may be happening - only suggest.

Could these bumps be warts, perhaps? In that case, freezing them off may be possible.

It could also be something called Seborrheic Keratosis or Barnacles. You read more about these here:http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/seborrheic-keratosis

It could also be some unknown skin issue due to aging. I've looked up a ton of possibilities and am not coming up with any other options, unfortunately.

What have your doctors told you regarding this mystery diagnosis? Are they planning to test you some more?


March 28, 2011 - 1:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Susan, Any of the dermatologists I have seen were only interested in determine if they were malignant. When they proved to be benign the doctors bowed out and suggested I see an esthetician. The estheticians were stumped and referred me back to the dermatologists! And that has how it has been for several years with no one having an answer. Thanks, Linda

March 28, 2011 - 5:14pm
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