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Bumps on face with sand-like crystals inside
I have several bumps on my face that I recently one opened up and found a very hard, sand-like grain inside that is yellowish-white in color.  They are pretty well attached and do not squeeze out, had to practically cut them out with a hypodermic needle tip.  They start out small and enlarge until there is a bump which is noticable.  What causes these and how do I avoid getting more of them?  Thanks for your help.
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Hi

This may be a form of acne probably nodular in type. They may also be white heads. You may need to have this assessed by a dermatologist. I do not advise that you pick on these by yourself as this may only cause skin infections and further irritation.

If this is acne, refrain from touching the face. You may only irritate the skin and facilitate spread of bacteria.

Have you  been experiencing these for quite some time now?

Any known triggers?
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Vanessa,

I forgot to mention that I am 50 years old, have not had acne for some 30 years.  These grains of "sand" are completely under the skin, with no redness or pustules on the surface.  They do not itch.  The only thing I see is the bump.  

I have had them for several years, but seem to bet getting a few more smaller ones.  I have an older sister that has many all over her face.  She had some removed but said it was too painful to have any more done.  They do not go away on her, either.  She has dry skin, I had oily skin as an adolescent but is not as oily now.

After I removed 3 of them I have had no problems, just a scab that has pretty much healed after a week.  I did cleanse the area well prior to and after.  There was quite a bit of bleeding following removal.  

No triggers that I can think of.  They do not just appear, like acne does. They have been there many years, I just decided to try to get one out because it had gotten so large and very noticable on my cheek.  My son thinks they could be some kind of calcium deposits that grow over time, since they have the consistency of sand - who knows ???  

Thanks
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Hi

Thank you for the update.

Do you have similar skin condition in other parts of the body like the elbows, ears or the toes?

I would suggest that you have blood tests done to determine uric acid levels. Serum calcium levels and other electrolytes may also be necessary. A urinalysis to determine urinary uric acid levels may also be of help.

At this point , microscopic evaluation of these "sandlike" discharge from the bumps may give a diagnosis.

Is there any history of kidney disease or gout in the family?
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Thanks Vanessa,

No other places, but may be on on my chest.

My father is known to have had kidney stones.  I may have passed a bladder stone several years ago, and had recent symptoms of a possible stone but no diagnostic tests to indicate anything except for trace red blood cells on urine dip and some kidney pain last year.  

I may have had some gouty arthritis a few years ago in my large toe, but cleared up with discontinuing daily intake of high-fat dairy (ice cream) and eating red cherries every day.  Nothing since or prior to that.  I do, however, was diagnosed with psoriasis on my scalp last year, with the problem being present for the past 2-3 years.  I may have psoriatic arthritis starting to appear in my lower extremities (mother had psoriasis, brother has it, and my son has it),  don't know if that would have anything to do with it ???  

Thank you your replies and suggestions.  I will take your advice and seed medical attention for the blood and urine tests, and a biopsy.  

Have a great night.
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Hi

This history you just posted appear to be contributory to what you have. As for the psoriatic lesions and arthritis, I can not say if the facial bumps are associated with this. Yes, do have this further assessed. I do not think this is an isolated skin condition. There seems to be a connection among all these disease conditions you have. The presence of a significant family history appears to be a factor also.

Drink plenty of water and exercise everyday to improve circulation.

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Sounds like a Milia. Its a fairly hard ball of oil the collects under the skin where there is no pore to squeeze it out through.  They are white but not usually as hard as sand. Usually occur under the thin skin under the eyes.  They come out easily if they are new. Just poke a hole and scoop it out with the needle. Older ones become attached and u have to dig them out by cutting behind them with the side of the needle tip. Hope this helps. ***@****
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I have this same problem, This is the first person I have found that is also dealing with this. they are like hard crystalized stones down under the skin, not like whiteheads. I kept a couple to show my family. It is just on my face mostly around the inner cheek area.  I am 62 and remember that I started getting them when I was pregnant with my second son who is now 33, they never went away.  I have (or had) Prolactinemia where my pituitary gland produced too much prolactin.  At the time of the pregnancy I didn't know I had this, and had trouble getting pregnant with my 3rd child.  Once we found this out I took Parlodel to cut down my prolactin level which helped me to get pregnant.  I did not take the drug while pregnant though.  My guess is the high level of prolactin caused the bumps?  I do have oily skin (not as oily as it used to be).  I have been having some removed because my daughter is getting married in August, but it has been a long process, I wish there was another way to remove them.  The doctor said they look like calcifications of some kind but didn't know what caused it.
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I have this too. I have been to many dermatologist and estheticians all of whom tried to treat them like milia, there not. They can not be cut and squeezed out. I finally found an esthetician who will dig them out. Once she picks the skin away and they are exposed, they are still attached. She was amazed at the crystalline nature. Although there is quite a bit of digging, I've not gotten significant scars.

I started getting these when I was older and have never been pregnant.

If anyone find out what this is, especial what causes it, please let me know.

***@****
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1104288 tn?1257950705
I have had the same thing, and I'm in my early 60's. They begin as red bumps, and they're very sore.  When I remove the crystals that are like salt  with some adherences, they feel as sore as glass splinters.  After I remove however many are in an area, they heal and as they are quite superficial, the scarring isn't too significant.  I had them primarily on my nose and around my mouth area, and along my marionette line to the jaw.  I've seen 2 dermatologists, and they both don't know what it is.  As I've had a few sessions of Restylane and Juvederm fillers, I thought it might be related but the doctor's said no.  They also told me, that I shouldn't remove them, that they will dissolve on their own.  I doubt this.  I'm in the medical skin care business and I teach aestheticians to do chemical peels, so I'm quite educated in dermatology.  This is definitely a unique condition,and I'm usually very against extractions with pimples and blackheads, but these are too painful to leave in.
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I'm looking this up because I cannot afford professional care for something superficial... thanks for your input. You are in the professional skin care business and are saying this is rather unique. I find myself scratching these bumps off. My 20 yo daughter, who is getting them also, and I believe they could be related to our water. We drink filtered tap water. So.. no one has a suggested product that might discourage the formation of these.salt crystals or grains of sand in the skin?
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I have crystals popping out my forehead.Have you looked into Morgellons disease?
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I am 59 and have suffered with a very similar problem. It has spread since the initial very sore red lump on the upper chin under my lip. This cleared after months and now is in three spots of the chin that are painful and hard to hide.
I describe it as `tiny shards of glass`. Using a mirror outside in the sun once to look at them I literally saw a prism-like spectrum of colors on a tiny piece of this whatever it is. The skin oozes clear fluid which hardens shiny forming deep vertical and horizontal lines, mostly at a slight angle, making the patches appear very wrinkled, but it happened within a couple of days,not years. The dermatologist wouldn't let me tell him anything, said `this should take care of the crusts` and gave me Bactroban.
This has made me miserable.
Anything sound familiar to anyone?
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I was very glad to see these posts. I am 62 and have had this condition for at least 20 years. I have never talked to anyone else who has the same condition. I have had these crystal filled bumps on all parts on my face but my chin has mostly been affected. I had a skin peel a few years ago because my doctor thought it might help the condition. It did not help. I have never had them professionally removed; I did not know that was even possible. I have noticed that eventually the crystals work themselves toward the outer layer of the skin and come out, but new ones quickly take their place. I really hope someone knows what causes this problem and what type of treatment would help.
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I have similar crystal forming on my hands, feet, and scalp. I am a microbiologist and have access to a microscope. My crystals are very shiny and look metallic. I first thought it as glitter. The shape of the crystals are always hexagonal with lines in them. I found a much larger crystal a few months ago that had 2 smaller nested crystals inside it. I researched glitter on the internet and found that it is usually made of aluminum. I tried to dissolve them in 6M HCl and6 M NaOH. Neither chemicals did anything to the crystal. Must not be made of aluminum. As mentioned earlier, it could be morgellons ( a non-disease affecting many people around the world ).
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535822 tn?1443980380
this is due to the spraying of alluminium the skies are full of chem trails look it up
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I have had this happen too. They are not attached as some of the other people describe, but rather are like tiny shards of golden glass. I have never fiured out what they are.
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Ladies,  
you are suffering form Multiple Miliary Osteoma Cutis as am I.  This is a very frustrating disorder and I have tried laser removal (never again), retina-a (doesn't make a big difference) and manual excision by a doctor (best results).  I'm desperate for a name of a doctor or esthetician that will remove as the plastic surgeon I saw said his practice is too busy for him to now do this type of procedure. Any success on removals or info would be appreciated.  I believe my case is auto immune related.  They seem to get multiple when I am run down.
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So fascinated to read all these comments, thought i was the only one suffering, the one i most relate to is 'ejny's comment, frustrated as going to party tomorrow, and they have caused small bumps under my eyes. can tell its crystals under each eye, yet cannot get them out.
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For most of you if you have what you're describing as crystals/stones biopsied the lab can confirm the osteoma cutis diagnosis.  The calcifications are classified as bone although they form in the dermis and are not near a bone.
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I have the same problem on my chin for months..it's driving me nuts. I havnt been out in weeks confidence shot and I get no sleep over this.. from it growing membrain like over chin with a thick gel like substance filled with little balls that when hit hair turn into a ball of black hairs to mile long feathery tape like substance that literally unravels off my chin and shoots off my chin for hours. This **** is transparent cotony hair like substance that at some times showers my arm or legs coming out at a crazy rate. All of it is stuck and stitched in by these crystaly tooth pic like things that if you break turn into more immediately.i have spent hours pulling them out and thenot something moves around my chin covering and layering more on over and over and never ending. The doctor would even let me finish my sentence and acted like I was making it up. He then prescribed me my 5th antibiotic and told me to put hydrogen peroxide on it twice a day.. I'm like wtf!my parents thunk I'm hallucinating the whole thing and I'm at my wits end. If anybody knows a remedy to this madness that has completely taken over my life please email me immediately.  It's quality of life at this point and I need help. My name is Alex I am 36..please help
***@****
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Hi,

I signed up on here just to post to this thread.  

I too have sharp, hexagonal, translucent crystals that break through my skin and quickly melt there after.  When these attacks occur, if I have any wound that is scabbed over, these crystal structures appear in great concentration and can be seen with the naked eye embedded into the scab (when the scab is removed).

Now, I only have this condition occur under 1 extremely specific circumstance:  When I am coming down off of IV Methamphetamine

I have verified that I am not hallucinating these symptoms by verifying visual symptoms with multiple sober individuals.  

These crystals then start to come out of my tear ducts, my skin, my saliva glands, they are in my snot, and even in my ears as verified by collection and preservation in ear wax.  They are sharp and some break the skin, others form a large red bump that looks like a pimple.  You can feel the solid structure beneath the skin and sometime the structure will cause red lines in the skin in the exact width of the structure.

I've told a few doctors and they scoff at me even when I very clearly tell all of my lay recording (while on drugs...)

I believe these crystals coming out of several membranes are  related to one of two things.

1) Uric/Urate Acid in extreme levels such that it is able to solidify and break the skin.

2) Possible adulterants in the Methamphetamine.  My research says that the most likely crystal causing cutting agents are:  Hi,

I signed up on here just to post to this thread.  

I too have sharp, hexagonal, translucent crystals that break through my skin and quickly melt there after.  When these attacks occur, if I have any wound that is scabbed over, these crystal structures appear in great concentration and can be seen with the naked eye embedded into the scab (when the scab is removed).

Now, I only have this condition occur under 1 extremely specific circumstance:  When I am coming down off of IV Methamphetamine

I have verified that I am not hallucinating these symptoms by verifying visual symptoms with multiple sober individuals.  

These crystals then start to come out of my tear ducts, my skin, my saliva glands, they are in my snot, and even in my ears as verified by collection and preservation in ear wax.  They are sharp and some break the skin, others form a large red bump that looks like a pimple.  You can feel the solid structure beneath the skin and sometime the structure will cause red lines in the skin in the exact width of the structure.

I've told a few doctors and they scoff at me even when I very clearly tell all of my lay recording (while on drugs...)

I believe these crystals coming out of several membranes are  related to one of two things.

1) Uric/Urate Acid in extreme levels such that it is able to solidify and break the skin.

2) Possible adulterants in the Methamphetamine.  My research says that the most likely crystal causing cutting (or production residue) agents are:  Xanthine, Toulene, or Naphthalene

I think that in a condition of moderate to severe dehydration that my kidney is compromised and by some method, an abundance of crystals emerge from my skin.

There are several forum postings around the internet where people claim to have crystals coming out their [put whatever here: nose, ears, eyes, urine, skin, nail beds, etc] and this is especially true when you include 'methamphetamine' into the search.  

There is not however even one medical journal about this.  At the very least, I would like to see a study on why methamphetamine users report such a specific, but to the Medical Professionals, false or hallucinated symptoms.

Thanks for any insight any one may have.
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535822 tn?1443980380
I have them on my scalp ..nasty and itchy...I am sure it is caused by what they are spraying ..look up
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I too have been struggling with the grainy sand under my skin since I had chemo and radiation for breast cancer in 2006.  All doctors I have seen say they are milia but they're not!!  I am 65  and have been given a couple of options. (1) use retin-a as it will slowly slough off the skin and hopefully the "sand" and (2) have a procedure called a skin pin that takes off top layer and over time and a couple of these procedures done shows to be very promising. Also helps with acne scars.  Also, not to leave out, I developed kidney stones around the same time, and they are made of calcium oxylate.  All of this shows to me to be some kind of mineral problem in my body.
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        I am 53 and have had one on my cheek near my nose and mouth. When I wash my face it feels like its cutting me. I have had a few milia that I removed myself with a needle. This one is bigger and the dermatologist said to me, its just a whitehead, go home and pop it. I didnt bother trying to argue that it was not that. So, I just went on for years, then decided to remove it myself, with a needle. I broke through the skin and it hurt and bled a lttle. It was srubborn. The next day I took a cotton ball with peroxide and rubbed it firmly and let it bubble a while. Then I took another cotton ball with a little rubbing alcohol and it came out. It had an irregular shape, like a tiny stone.
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I don't know what they are. I'm almost 45. I've had them since I started nursing my youngest son at birth... He's 21 now. It comes and goes over the years. I have it again and it's always on the left side of the left breast on the areola and that is it. They hurt severely ... I also have several chronic conditions that make me highly sensitive to the pain. I have to scrape them off after they work their way out of the skin... It's a major event and I admit I have been in tears from how much it hurts. My chronic conditions simplified I have 6 blown discs arthritis of the spine scholiosis sclerosis in the lower back 2 pinched nerves arachnoiditis fibro and the list goes on. Everything makes it harder to cope when trying to get rid of them... They have nothing else to do with the crystals but they affect how it affects me when it happens I can feel them growing now. Couldn't before. WHen my youngest son and my young daughter were nursing I was told not to use the left side when they were occurring as the crystals could affect the babies... I don't know what Millia is but I will be looking it up and would love to talk to others who deal with this as well.
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I can rule out your thoughts of it being caused by methanphetamines .... I have NEVER done drugs. I have never done anything illegal and I don't drink much or often. This has been happening for 10 years longer than I've been in pain clinic. I don't know where your thought process originated, but there has to be another common denominator for all of us that have this... I'm not sure what yet but we will figure it out...
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Could they be Fordyce spots? They can be grainy
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I should add that although they are often found in the genital region, they can also appear on the face - particularly around the eye
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I have a cure for whiteheads!  The cure is obvious when you come to understand their cause isn’t acne, and the substance that fills whiteheads isn’t sebum or dead skin cells trapped in sebaceous glands, and it’s not a hereditary condition.  It is a *FUNGAL* infection, and easily treated:  (A) Every night, apply Tolnaftate 1% cream (trade name, Tinactin), an antifungal cream that treats ringworm and athlete's foot, available in every drugstore without a prescription.  And/or, (B) Once or twice a day apply Castor Oil plus 2 drops each of these essential oils: Tea Tree, Neem, and Lavender. The oils are easily found in most health food stores, or online.  Of course, many essential oils have anti-fungal properties, but these three were suggested to me, and they worked. Do google searches on Castor Oil and the essential oils, and you’ll discover many uses for them after your bumps clear up. I hope you will benefit from my happy experience!  These two treatments rapidly cleared up more than 80% of my whiteheads - including big, conspicuous ones I’d had for 30 years. (I am in my 60s now.)  
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I'm 37 and have been dealing with a multitude of symptoms in addition to the crystals and sores. I found this site that I believe may be related. It's the best info on Morgellon's Disease I've found to date. It's the best answer I've found. There are many theories about it, but NO ONE here is crazy. The site is www.Morgellons.org It's the Charles Holman Foundation. Please let me know what you all think. I'm not giving up on this search. The antifungal cream does seem to help mine, but once I think they're healed, something flares them back up. I have figured out, in my case, sunlight, humidity, and dairy really **** them off. You'll read about B.spirochetes bacteria found on dairy cows. I wonder if it's related. I have degenerative spine disease, with spinal stenosis, EDS HM (Ehler-Danlos Syndrome type 3). It's a protein defect in the body's collagen. The fibers they found are made of melanin, collagen, and keratin. I had a punch biopsy which found a non-biological fiber of unrecognized origin. The End, no advice from Dermatologist after that. Docs tell me I'm crazy. Family has begun to come around and understand. Hang in there everyone, because none of us are alone.
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These are definitely not whiteheads and the only connection with people who use meth is toluene used in the meth process causes crystals in the skin and morgellons patients biopsies have shown toluene to be present, a benzene derivative with the theory that an oil-eating bacteria has invaded the body and is producing plasticines. most people with these symptoms are not drug users so something else is causing the crystals, seeds, hairs etc to form from the skin. it could be in the gmo foods we are ingesting or could be related  to these oil-eating bacteria used to clean up spills.
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