How do I smooth my bumpy face?
November 28, 2007 2:19 AM   Subscribe

My face has bumpiness all over it. I'm not sure how it got there, but I *assume* it's because I always picked apart my zits in jr high. How *exactly* did the bumpiness form? Is there a medical term for this condition? What are the options for removing this stuff (making my face smooth)? ...Explain science behind these options? Are there measures I can take every day to help? Does diet have anything to do with it?
posted by oneous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The bumpiness is scar tissue. You can try microdermal abrasion to see if that smooths out your skin. If it doesn't work, you can see a plastic surgeon for laser treatments.
posted by HotPatatta at 2:21 AM on November 28, 2007

It is scar tissue. I would recommend Retin-A for a while to see if that helps, then a series of peels or microdermabrasion. Be sure to stop using Retin-A before any of the other treatments or your face will fall off.

For an over the counter approach, try any of the wrinkle creams that contain retinoids or say they help with texture. You won't get dramatic results, but it will help. I have also heard that mederma can help some. There is also a medical treatement that is called "planing" where they very delicately plane your skin down, but I haven't tried it.
posted by stormygrey at 5:53 AM on November 28, 2007

It is definitely a scarring issue and nothing to do with diet. I would talk to a dermatologist. Depending on the severity of the bumps skip the Retin-A and go strait to the microdermabrasion. I was on several different strengths of Retin-A and nothing really made a difference.

microdermabrasion is a chemical peel that when applied will peel the first layer of your skin off. Sounds gross but I think it feels wonderful because afterwards your skin feels new.

Like you I have some pretty bad scarring from Acne as a teen. I think microdermabrasion has made a difference in my complexion.
posted by remthewanderer at 7:21 AM on November 28, 2007

Are they red bumps or the same color as the rest of your skin? Same color=scar tissue and Retin-A worthy, but red bumps=rosacea and Retin-A will likely just aggravate it. Do you blush easily? Is it a pattern of red bumps across both cheeks? If so, it's probably rosacea--get thee to a dermatologist for a prescription.
posted by laconic titan at 7:22 AM on November 28, 2007

What do you mean by "bumps"? Are they depressions in your skin, or are they raised bumps on otherwise smooth skin? If they're depressions, then yes, they're scars. If they're small, colorless bumps, then they might be milia, and a dermatologist can take care of them for you, though they might very well come back.
posted by Evangeline at 8:14 AM on November 28, 2007

Look in your area for a dermatologist who includes "cosmetic dermatology." The dermatologist can diagnose the condition and write prescriptions, and his/her assistants will do peels and microdermabrasian. If you have insurance, it will cover the doctor part, but not the rest. BUT, if you have a health care savings account (your own pre-tax dollars), you can submit the rest as "scar treatment," "acne treatment and prevention," etc.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:11 AM on November 28, 2007

yep, scar tissue. i have similar issues, but i also have lots of "ice pick" scars.

go to a dermatologist as they will be able to assess your face and tell you if retin-a and dermabrasion will solve the problem or if you will need more agressive treatment.

i'm doubtful that the OTC remedies will be much help for this type of scarring.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:08 AM on November 28, 2007

dermabrasion. by a doctor. and you'll look 10 years younger. in a good way. good luck possum.
posted by taff at 2:09 PM on November 28, 2007

There are some pits/bumps that will never go away but if you just leave your skin alone for a few years and stop messing with it/using harsh skincare and meds/blasting it with high tech derm treatments it'll recover and smooth out quite a bit. Constantly irritating the scar tissue makes it worse. Once it's recovered as much as it will then you can have a look at some options, such as oxygen facials and bioskinjetting to provide short to long term improvement (no such thing as permanent since your skin is constantly ageing). Things like dermabrasion work well when you use it once in a while, but the problem is a lot of people do it regularly which makes the skin look crap. (I look at people's faces close up with a magnifier day in day out so I know.)
posted by gatchaman at 3:25 PM on December 1, 2007

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