ZocdocAnswersWhat are these painful bumps on my face and chest?

Question

What are these painful bumps on my face and chest?

They have a hard core. How can it be treated? I have had these painful bumps on my face and chest for a long time. I know its not acne or blackheads because I have thoes too. They cannot be popped. I usually have to dig and pull out the hard cores in order for them to heal. I was treated for a skin infection and prescribed antibiotics but it did not help. My face is covered in scars and need help.

Answer

I suggest that you go to see a dermatologist about this issue, as they will be best qualified to help you figure out how to solve this problem. In the meantime, while you are waiting to see the dermatologist, you should avoid picking at these areas or squeezing them to remove the hard core. This might lead to more rapid resolution of the bumps, but it also causes very significant inflammation in the skin and will worsen the scarring quite a bit. I think the most likely possibility is that this is cystic acne. I know that you already have other bumps and blackheads consistent with simple acne, as you mention in your question. Cystic acne occurs when the 'simple' areas of acne become sufficiently inflamed that hard, painful nodules develop. It is also possible that you have an ongoing follliculitis, or deep skin infection, which was not properly treated with with last course of antibiotics that you took. Your dermatologist will help you figure out what to do. For example, if this is cystic acne, you will probably need to use several topical medications simultaneously, and your doctor will also probably consider starting an oral acne medication. If this is a skin infection, then another course of antibiotics might be needed. Please be sure to talk to your dermatologist soon!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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