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Bumps on face with sand-like crystals inside
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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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Avatar_dr_f_tn
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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Avatar_n_tn
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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Avatar_dr_f_tn
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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Avatar_n_tn
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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Avatar_dr_f_tn
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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