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Have black pimples on cheek. Rice like grains comes out after popping. Cause and cure?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 2016 Questions
I have this small black pimple kind of thing on my cheek. When i pop them - rice like grain comes out and there is a spot of blood. I have too many on my cheek and i wonder how it happened all of a sudden
Posted Sat, 9 Mar 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 18 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
These 'small black pimple kind of things that release rice like grains' are nothing but comedones( blackheads).
You seem to be suffering from Acne vulgaris. From the pics these seem to be of mild to moderate grade. I can also see increased hair growth over your face.
I would like to know
Since how long are you having these lesions
Medicines used so far to control them
If your periods are regular as most of the time in adult age, acne has a hormonal precipitating factor.

To help you out with your skin concern, you may follow these
1) use a salicylic acid based face wash twice in a day like Saslic DS
2) use a water based moisturiser which is non comedogenic
3) get all your comedones extracted. You can extract these at home. Mildly steam your face, clean the areas from where comedones need to be extracted by using spirit, use a comedone extractor to gently remove the comedones. After removal ice the area to reduce inflammation and apply anti acne cream( clindamycin or adapalene). Those comedones that are too XXXXXXX and difficult to remove can be removed by booking an appointment with your dermatologist.
4) apply clindamycin gel in morning and adapalene gel in night over acne lesions
5) a course of oral antibiotic like azithromycin along with isotretinoin is required to settle your lesions. However these are prescription drugs and a thorough consultation with your dermatologist is mandatory.
6) you may also talk to your dermatologist regarding few sessions of salicylic acid peels as these will settle acne as well as pigmentation of acne.

Hope that helps. Kindly answer specifically to few of the queries I have put forth.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have black pimples on cheek. Rice like grains comes out after popping. Cause and cure? 9 minutes later
This outbreak happened recently .. 3/4 weeks before. I didn't actually notice them.
I tried to use alovera gel after i pop some of them
I have irregular periods and last period was on 20th dec

do you think i need to pop them.. i m afraid it will leave scars on my face.
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 7 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
I hope you did not use any steroid cream to control acne or improve skin as it is quite a common culprit in sudden flare of acne. Secondly I had asked about your periods per se as adult onset acne along with increased facial hair growth points towards hormonal etiology. As your periods are irregular, you need to get your hormonal profile done. Here in India we prefer getting S. LH, S. FSH, S Testosterone, S. DHEAS, S Prolactin, S. insulin done along with USG pelvis to rule out Polycystic ovarian disease. The same tests can be either advised by your gynaecologist or dermatologist.
If any hormonal imbalance is found, a hormonal therapy in the form of oral contraceptive pills should be started at least for 6 months to an year along with the measures I have mentioned in my previous post to control acne.

As such you should not try to pop the lesions with bare hands as inflammation and scarring will set in. However superficial blackheads where you can see a central black core can be removed the way I have told earlier. If they are XXXXXXX or difficult to remove, you can always take your dermatologist's help. Blackheads should be removed as these lead to formation and flare of acne. Aloe vera gel would not help in acne as such.

I would advise you to XXXXXXX a dermatologist so that investigations could be advised along with prescription of oral drugs. In the meanwhile kindly follow steps 1) to 4) of my previous post to help with your break outs.

Hope that answers your query.
Take care

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have black pimples on cheek. Rice like grains comes out after popping. Cause and cure? 20 hours later
Thanks doctor for your inputs. I had irregular periods since i have periods and i had facial hair since birth and my face was very clear.

I noticed this outbreak recently and i am unable to figure out the reason. Initially it started as tiny lump and then became dried black hard tiny pimple . when i pop them - it came out as white dry skin or grain and left a blood spot behind. Now these have turned like black scar on my face.

Also i noticed that even if i moisturize my skin - it becomes very dry and dry skin can be seen on cheek.

My left cheek had plenty of these tiny pimples and right cheek had less.but now it seems like right one has more .

Attached recent pics of both cheeks.

I am just worried if this is normal and eventually go or this is some kind of disease.

I remember that i saw this outbreak when i came from New Jersey and it was snowing there.. Is it due to excessive cold?
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 7 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
The skin concern that you are having is acne vulgaris or pimples and it isn't some kind of serious skin disease! It will eventually go with treatment. The grade of acne in your case is mild and is mainly comedonal.

The lesions are not due to excessive cold

The etiology of pimple includes excessive hormones, bacterial growth, increased oil gland duct blockade( manifests as comedones) leading to inflammation of glands and finally spillage of these inflammatory cells in surrounding tissue.

Irregular periods since puberty or of recent onset suggest excessive androgens which can lead to acne during puberty or later on in adulthood. It is essential to do a hormonal work up as deranged hormones have gynaecological implications too.

Acne is never bilaterally symmetrical that is one cheek might have more lesions than the other one as it depends upon the androgen sensitivity of oil glands.

In your case this recent outbreak is most probably hormonal, however use of some medicines like steroids, new cosmetics or facial creams or facials can also induce acne.
These tiny lumps that you are having which release black debris is nothing but comedones. Too much squeezing of these lesions would definitely leave black marks or scars.

Follow the recommendations I have suggested in my previous post to heal your lesions. Saslic DS face wash and adapalene will both cause mild skin peeling and hence would help in XXXXXXX reduction too. Use a mild moisturiser like cetaphil or Clinique to keep skin well hydrated. It would hardly take a month for your pimples to clear off. Later on to decrease pigmentation you may use a Kojic acid or hydroquinone based cream to reduce marks. Taking few sessions of chemical peels would give wonderful results too.
I would request you to XXXXXXX your dermatologist for hormonal work up and to assess your skin well so that if oral prescription drugs are required can be added.

Hope that answers your query.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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