Skip to main content

BlissMark may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

6 common bumps on faces (and how to get rid of them)

Oh, the joy of running your finger along your jaw and feeling a little bump. Or moving your face at all and feeling that painful tug by your nose or eyebrow. Your face is in a constant state of shedding dead skin cells, collecting dirt and pollutants, and being touched by your hands. It’s no wonder that at any moment a blemish could appear.

But what are all of these different little bumps? Are they all variations of pimples? Actually, not all of those little guys are the same. They can’t all be treated the same, either. Whether that lump on your face is acne or not, we have your face covered. Let’s check out some of those culprits and how to get rid of bumps on your face when they pop up.

A man looking at his face in a mirror.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Black and whiteheads

Let’s start with a pretty common combo. Everyone develops blackheads and whiteheads from time to time. Usually around your nose, you can also find them on your chin and along the rest of your T-zone.

They are the result of your pores getting clogged up. Dirt, oil, and dead skin cells are hanging around to create a gross little party in your pores. We know you love to squeeze them — but stop. You are only going to spread that gunk around your face more and cause worse problems.

Instead, grab some retinol and salicylic acid. Whether it’s a toner, spot treatment, or facewash, you should look for products with salicylic acid in the ingredients. CeraVe’s Renewing Face Cleanser with Salicylic Acid is a great universal one for any skin type.

Cystic acne

The more painful form of a pimple, this nodule is a bit harder to take care of than the average zit. The bump or clog originates deeper into your skin and popping isn’t an option. Out-of-whack hormones are a culprit here. The slowed-down turnover of fresh cells blocks the pore deeper down, causing this bump that you can’t touch.

You need to reset your pH balance. Benzoyl peroxide will help and if you can find a product with tea tree oil, even better. The tea tree oil will help reduce the inflammation that causes the larger bump. A spot treatment like AcneeFree Severe Acne Spot Treatment Terminator 10 contains10% benzoyl peroxide to treat that cyst along with ginger and chamomile to calm and soothe the inflamed follicle.

A woman looking at the bumps along her chin.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ingrown hair

This one likes to play tricks on you. After you shave you can get these pimple-like bumps. They itch like crazy and look so poppable. But don’t. You’ll only make it more irritated and agitate that hair shaft under your skin.

Hydrocortisone to help calm the itchiness and get the redness under control. Exfoliating the area gently will help unclog the hair shaft as well. Aveeno Maximum Strength Hydrocortisone Cream has vitamin E, aloe, and oat complex will help calm the irritated area.

Sebaceous hyperplasia

These fun little guys will just start to appear. You might notice them creep up along your forehead. They look like the start of a pimple, but won’t form a whitehead or blackhead. It’s just an abundance of oil on your face that forms a bump. They aren’t harmful but require the attention of a dermatologist who will need to freeze them off or laser them off for you.


These tiny white bumps are caused when skin flakes get stuck under the skin. They are most common in infants but can occur at any age.  If you leave them alone they will more than likely go away once the area becomes unclogged. But if you want to speed up the process, get a product containing retinoid. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion does a great job of taking care of that unevenness. It will help with those popup spots but won’t leave your skin red and angry.

A woman applying a cream to her face.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Chicken skin

Properly known as keratosis pilaris, it’s those clusters of little bumps that look like raw chicken skin. This genetic condition is a buildup of keratin — which is the protein that strengthens your hair, nails, and skin. The hair follicle gets blocked by this buildup and you are left with a field of little bumps

Products with salicylic and glycolic acid will help smooth that out over time. First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma BHA Treatment Gel with 2% Salicylic Acid can help even out your skin’s texture. As an added bonus, it contains aloe, so even if you have more sensitive skin, you can use it. It’s also a clean beauty product and the packaging is recyclable.

So the next time you glance in the mirror or run your hand over your forehead and something is a little different, don’t panic. All bumps on the face are not acne. There’s a whole wide world of lumps and bumps that can appear on your face other than a pimple. We have covered some of the most common spots you can find on your face and how to make them move it along, but if treatment does not work be sure to consult your health care provider.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Editors' Recommendations

Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
6 best natural ingredients for skin you should try
Organic ingredients on a circular tray.

You care about your skin. You buy the newest and latest skincare products. You drink your water every day. You try to get enough sleep. You do whatever you can to get your skin to glow as radiantly as it can. But are we trying too hard? Are there ingredients around your house that are more natural, and actually better for your skin?

Your skin is literally keeping you together. The least you can do is treat it right. If checking the label and ingredient list on product after product is getting tiring, then let’s go over 6 of the best natural ingredients for skin that you could find in your home right now.

Read more
Sugaring vs Waxing: Which is the best way to get rid of unwanted hair
Waxing tools with some floral decor.

Shaving. Waxing. Plucking. Laser hair removal. Sugaring. There are so many ways to remove unwanted hair. How you decide to pick which one is for you depends on what hurts the least balanced with what works the best. Two of the more popular picks for removing hair right now are sugaring and waxing.

The texture of your hair, your pain tolerance, and how your skin reacts, will guide you as to which choice is best. Both will give you smooth skin for weeks without having to shave. So, does it matter which one you pick? Let’s break down the sugaring vs waxing debate and see which one you should go with.

Read more
How to reduce puffy eyes quickly
A woman holding tea bags up to her eyes.

Your friends kept you out hours later than you wanted. You had to work really late. You had to get up way before everyone else to get your workout in. You ate that whole bag of salty chips. Whatever the reason, you looked into the mirror and saw puffy eyes and bags big enough to fit your whole wardrobe.

Puffy eyes aren’t wanted you want to see. But do you have to live with it until they go down? Is there a way to get your eyes to calm down quickly so you don’t have to wear sunglasses all day? Yes! We can help with all of that. Let’s learn about how you get puffiness under the eyes and how to treat it.

Read more