ZocdocAnswersCan the dots underneath eyes be whiteheads?

Question

Can the dots underneath eyes be whiteheads?

If I have a lot of small dots under my eyes, are those whiteheads? They are small and white and if I break one a little pus comes out, but I thought you could only get whiteheads on greasy parts of your face like your forehead and nose. These are on dry fragile skin.

Answer

You are right that the bumps under your eyes are probably not typical whiteheads such as you find on the forehead and nose. The most common cause of bumps below the eyes are milia. These are essentially like whiteheads - collections of skin oils and debris - but they are closed off permanently and form small cysts. Therefore they can be quite difficult to get rid of. Chemical peels, lancing individual cysts, and laser treatments are methods your dermatologist may use. You should avoid squeezing them as this will just cause irritation and infection. Syringomas are another type of whitish bump found below the eye. Unlike milia, syringomas are small benign tumors of the sweat glands of the skin. Although they are different in formation, their treatment is similar to treatment for milia. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist might be indicated.

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.