Updated January 18, 2021Everyone knows when it comes to acne, the struggle is real—but did you know there are countless other lumps and common bumps that can form on your face that have nothing to do with acne? And they’re more common than you think.Really, the bad news is, most people will probably develop some kind of non-acne bumps like rosacea and skin tags at some point during their lives. These bumps can be due to aging or genetics, environmental factors, or even just dry skin. A lot of times they may not be a big enough deal for you to bother too much about them, but sometimes, they can be a real pain. Issues like eczema, cold sores, and rosacea can even take a toll on self-esteem. The good news is most of these skin problems are highly treatable with at-home or dermatological remedies.In our post, we take a closer look at the five most common small bumps that can form on your face and discuss tips and tricks for getting rid of them. Let’s dive in!Rosacea BumpsWhat They Look LikeRosacea usually appears as redness primarily across the cheeks and nose, though the forehead and chin may also be affected. Visible blood vessels in your face may also be present, along with puss-filled red bumps.Rosacea tends to flare up and subside in phases lasting weeks or months. It’s most common in middle-aged, fair-skinned women. Besides skin redness and bumps, other symptoms include dry or red eyes and an enlarged nose due to thickened skin around the nasal area.Causes of RosaceaNo one really knows what causes rosacea, but it’s thought genetics combined with environmental factors could be to blame. Rosacea has nothing to do with how clean you keep your skin. Rather, other factors contribute to flareups. These include:Hot drinksStressVasodilators, including blood pressure medicinesBright sunlightSpicy foodCold windExercisePossible SolutionsThere’s no cure for rosacea. But there are a few things you can do to manage the symptoms.Trigger AvoidanceIf you have mild to moderate rosacea, finding the best treatment for it could be as simple as figuring out what triggers it and avoiding the trigger. If you notice your facial redness increases after doing things like drinking a hot drink or spending the day out in the sun, either avoid doing the activity or take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of redness (i.e. wearing sunscreen on your face and a hat for an afternoon outside).Gentle SkincareOne of the best things you can do at home for rosacea is treat your skin gently. Don’t touch your face unless necessary. Moisturize frequently with a non-comedogenic lotion for sensitive skin. Avoid harsh soaps and exclusively use non-soap cleansers if possible.Laser TreatmentLaser and light therapies can reduce the redness of enlarged blood vessels. Your dermatologist can help you decide what treatments are best for you.Topical DrugsThere are a couple of topical medications that can treat mild to moderate rosacea, such as brimonidine and oxymetazoline, which help reduce redness by constricting blood vessels in the affected area. The effects of these medications are temporary, so you have to use them on a regular basis to continue to see results.Oral MedicationsCertain oral antibiotics and acne treatments can help reduce the effects of severe rosacea. These include doxycycline and isotretinoin. These are prescription-only medications, so you’ll need to speak to your dermatologist about starting them. As with all prescription medications, don’t make changes to your drug regimen without seeking professional medical advice from your doctor.Eczema BumpsWhat They Look LikeEczema (atopic dermatitis) is a very common skin condition that makes your skin red and itchy in patches all over the body, including the face. It tends to flare up periodically, and it can cause small red bumps. These tiny bumps may crust over or leak when scratched.Causes of EczemaEczema is caused by genetic factors that impact your skin’s ability to retain moisture. These genetic variants make your skin more vulnerable to irritants and environmental hazards. They can also cause other problems. For instance, children who have asthma will often also have eczema, and eczema can sometimes even precede asthma development.Possible SolutionsMoisturize RegularlyUse a thicker cream or ointment to help fortify the skin’s surface and prevent dryness. Just make sure any face moisturizer you use is labeled non-comedogenic to prevent clogged pores and acne.HydrocortisoneOTC cortisone ointments can help ease the itch and rash of eczema. Just avoid the overuse of topical steroids, even though it can be tempting if you have stubborn eczema. If your eczema doesn’t respond to the OTC stuff, speak with your dermatologist about a prescription ointment.CorticosteroidsOral steroids can help you if topical treatments fail. These can have serious side effects like weight gain and mood changes, so speak with your doctor about them. Always follow your doctor’s direction when it comes to taking this and all medication.Skin TagsWhat They Look LikeSkin tags are small, soft growths on the surface of the skin that are normally the same color as the rest of your skin, though they can be darker or reddish. These growths are often on a stalk and balloon out towards the end. They’re nothing to worry about, but they can be annoying.They normally occur on the eyelids, groin, neck, shoulders, and under breasts. If you have one or two, they’re not usually much of a problem. However, some people can develop hundreds of them, which can lead to issues with self-consciousness and embarrassment.Skin tags can also become a problem if they grow large. Most of the time this doesn’t happen, but it is possible to have a skin tag as big as a grape or even a fig.Causes of Skin TagsNobody really knows what causes skin tags. All we know is most people will get at least one in their lifetimes and they seem to be related to obesity. Since they happen in places where the skin folds, friction might be part of the problem.Possible SolutionsThankfully, skin tags are pretty easy to get rid of. Your dermatologist will normally give you a quick shot of local anesthetic and cut or tie them off. Tags that come back can also be frozen off like a wart.However, it’s better not to try to rip them off yourself. While skin tags themselves are completely harmless, sometimes moles or more dangerous growths can resemble them. Your dermatologist can determine if your growth is just a benign skin tag or something more concerning. They may do a skin biopsy on anything suspicious before removing it entirely.Cold SoresWhat They Look LikeCold sores are fluid-filled blisters or blister clusters that appear on the lips and surrounding skin. Also called fever blisters, they can be pinkish, dark red, white, or even brown or black, depending on the stage they’re in.Cold sores appear in stages. The first stage is usually a tingling or itching sensation around the lips. Within 12-24 hours, the cold sore develops, becoming painful and swollen. Over 2 to 3 days, the blisters will rupture and “weep” clear or yellow fluid. On the 4th or 5th day, the cold sore crusts over, and it can often crack and bleed once the scab forms. The scab eventually falls off to reveal new skin underneath, which may be pink or red for up to another week or 2.Causes of Cold SoresThere’s only one cause of cold sores: the herpes simplex 1 virus (HSV-1). This viral infection is incredibly common, highly contagious, and spreads in all kinds of ways, including sharing utensils or water bottles, sharing lip balm, or even using the same face towel. It’s very easy to be exposed or expose someone to this virus without knowing it, so it’s best to avoid behaviors that can cause saliva mixing if at all possible.Once you get HSV-1, it will always stay in your body, even though your symptoms usually go away after 2 to 3 weeks. You may experience cold sore outbreaks periodically for years, though the first one is often the worst.Despite there only being one cause for cold sores, there are environmental factors that can trigger post-infection outbreaks. These include:SunburnStressExhaustionCold or fluExtreme temperaturesHormone fluctuationsPossible SolutionsBesides avoiding triggers you know will cause you to develop a cold sore, there are a few remedies you can try.IceIce can help reduce the inflammation and redness of cold sores by constricting the blood vessels feeding them.Lemon BalmLemon balm has antiviral properties that reduce redness and swelling and possibly even decrease the duration of cold sores.Antiviral MedicationsDocosanol or benzyl alcohol can lessen the lifespan of cold sores as well, and best of all, they’re available over the counter.PrescriptionsIf cold sores are really driving you crazy, speak with your dermatologist. They may give you a prescription such as Valtrex, Zovirax, or Famvir to prevent outbreaks. Usually, it’s only recommended that you take these if you have several outbreaks a year.Ingrown HairsWhat They Look LikeIngrown hairs can happen anywhere on your body, but they can be especially painful and annoying on your face. An ingrown hair is a shaved or tweezed hair that grows back into the skin, causing pain, swelling, redness, and bumps. These hairs can happen to guys when they shave their faces and to women in areas where they shave or tweeze individual hairs, like eyebrows and lips.Causes of Ingrown HairsUsually, hair removal is what causes ingrown hairs. When you shave or tweeze, you can encourage your hair to re-enter your skin by creating sharp edges in your individual hairs—especially if you have tightly curled hair, meaning your hair follicles are curved. Curved hair follicles are the number 1 risk factor for ingrown hairs.When removed hairs regrow, they curl around and pierce the skin. You might also get ingrown hairs if you pull your skin tight to get a closer shave, which can tug the hair back into the skin, letting it re-enter without even having to grow back first.Possible SolutionsSince not shaving isn’t an option for most people, you’ll have to take other preventative measures to avoid ingrown hairs.Always wash your skin with a mild antibacterial cleanser before shavingUse lubricating shave creamMake sure your razor is sharp every time you shaveDon’t pull the skin taut when shavingApply lotion after shavingFAQsWhat are some other common facial bumps?Aside from acne and the issues we talked about above, there are plenty of other common skin ailments, like dermatosis papulosa nigra, seborrheic keratoses, milia, cherry angiomas, and keratosis pilaris. If you’re worried or upset by a stubborn or severe skin condition, speak with your dermatologist about treatment options.How can I prevent bumps rather than treating them after the fact?Some bumps are just the products of aging, past lifestyle choices (like tanning too much), or your genetic makeup. However, you’re not doomed to terrible skin just because of a few less-than-stellar genes or you spent too much time in the sun. A good skincare routine can go a long way to heading off skin-related problems as you age.Always cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and spot-treat problems based on your age and skin type. There is a whole range of skincare products available for any age, and engaging in a daily routine can go a long way to preventing some of the issues we discussed above.What’s the best facial moisturizer?There’s not really any such thing as the “best” moisturizer. It all depends on your age, your skin type, and your personal skin issues. For instance, if you have oily skin, you’re going to want all your products to be oil-free. If you’re worried about wrinkles, retinoids, vitamin A compounds, or collagens are probably the way to go. If you’ve got dull skin or dark spots, vitamin C might be up your alley. The best moisturizer for you all depends on your personal needs, and you may have to try out a few things to figure out what works best.When should I see a dermatologist?A lot of times, mild skin irritation and redness can be relieved with nothing more than some home remedies or over the counter treatments. However, if your skin problems are resistant to treatment or severe enough to disrupt your life, it’s probably time to ask your primary care physician for a referral to a dermatologist. Also, see your doctor if you feel the bumps on your skin could have a more significant underlying cause.Are bumps ever a sign of something serious?Most of the time your bumps are nothing to worry about, but they can be a sign of something more serious. For instance, skin cancer can sometimes present as a bump or pimple-like lesion called nodular melanoma. If you get a raised bump that won’t go away—especially if it’s asymmetrical, multicolored, or unevenly bordered—it’s time to call the dermatologist. Don’t ignore a bump like this. If caught early, melanoma is highly treatable through surgical removal, but in its later stages, it can be deadly.Other, more serious conditions of the skin include staph infections, bacterial infections, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, allergic reactions, and shingles. If you worry you may have a significant medical condition, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor.Bottom LineWith skincare, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is human skin is capable of going crazy in all kinds of diverse and infuriating ways. The good news is most of these ways are more annoying than dangerous—and there’s a lot both you and your dermatologist can do to treat these irritating issues to help you get and keep clear skin.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.