Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Acne and Skin Disorders Forum

Strange Pimples Or Cold Sores - Total Mystery - Help! (Page 1)

Greetings all,

i have within the last six months developed a strange case of acne or cold sores. Or, something else :!:

i do not have acne on my face except for the rare pimple (which heals quickly), so its rather noticable when I have a new mark on my face.

These unidentified "sores" on my face started out as what appeared to be little pimples filled with pus. They are not clustered together, but appear sparsely on my face. (about 8 - 10 in total) they took a while to heal.

Upon healing, they have left ever-so-slight scarring. On a fairly regular basis, on *exactly* the same spot as the scarring, they appear again, not usually all of them at once however. They first become a little red and slightly pronounced. If squeezed, a small amount of pus comes out.

These little sores then dry-up and take longer than normal pimples to heal. There is a continuous slight peeling of the scar/skin on at least one of these healed sores.

This entire process repeats itself.

I very occasionally get what I know to be cold sores on the corners of my mouth. But since these little sores started six months ago I haven't had a cold sore on the corners of my mouth!

I *think* these sores respond well to zovirax cream, which would indicate that they are cold sores, but I can't be sure.

What on god's earth are they!? :?:
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First Helper McDoodle
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Users who thank nazz for this post: feelshelpless 

replied January 24th, 2006
:oo
ps
hi nazz,
you won't beleive it but I have been suffering from the exact same problem as you it seems. I have tried everything and to no avail. I had up to about a year ago blemish free skin, but noticed that I was starting to get random marks that flared up almost overnight on the right hand side of my mouth. Some would have a little pus, some would disappear quickly only to come back later with no apparent reason. The top of the pimple was flaky, and they have left light scars under the skin. I have not had pain with them, but if I touch ( or pick !) one then the skin goes very red very quickly and the spot immediately gets bigger..Almost like blood vessels have broken under the skin.
They are not sore, but very unsightly and as soon as one seems to go another turns up...All around the mouth and chin area. I am going nuts about this as my diet is healthy, I have tried every cream known to man and no success....Please can anyone suggest anything?

Ps I also have a very dry and cracked lower lip, but this may not be related
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Users who thank steffers for this post: feelshelpless 

replied December 6th, 2011
Pimple that Won't Stop Bleeding
1. WHAT CAUSES SKIN CANCER?

The association of sun exposure with skin cancer is well established. People with lighter skin (especially those who don't tan) are more susceptible to skin cancer. Skin wrinkling and skin cancer relate to total sun exposure over one's entire life.

2. WON'T I HAVE EARLY WARNING SIGNS?

Even patients who never sunbathe receive thousands of hours of lifetime exposure. Unfortunately, when the total dosage reaches a critical point, patients start noticing precancerous and cancerous lesions. These may appear in large numbers and at frequent intervals. A patient may have had smooth skin until age 30, 40, or 50 and suddenly begins to develop precancerous or cancerous lesions several times a year. They cannot undo the sun damage now. They can decrease further radiation damage by wearing sunscreen lotions regularly. This will not, however, keep radiation damage at zero. Patients will even develop lesions in winter. X-ray treatment in the past also predisposes to skin cancer. We should know of any such previous treatment.

3. WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON TYPE OF SKIN CANCER?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in the United States. Approximately 500,000 new cases occur each year. We treat this kind of skin cancer many times daily in our office.

It usually appears as a pimple-like spot that does not seem to go away. Almost all patients thought it was a pimple at first. They tend to pick at it, believing this is the reason the lesion persists. Any pimple should be gone within 1-2 months. If a pimple is still on the face after a 2 month period, make sure we check it.

This cancer does not usually metastasize (one study reported one in 3000 spread to other organs) and, therefore, it is rarely fatal, except in persons who neglect it. It does grow locally in the area in which it develops with the potential of destroying adjacent structures (for example nose, cheek, eyelid, etc.) and must, therefore, be treated to prevent this.

4. HOW IS BASAL CELL CARCINOMA TREATED?

I use surgical excision with suturing, laser excision, or curettage and electrodesiccation (using a sharp surgical curette to remove the tumor and for biopsy while making sure the entire tumor is gone, and subsequent burning with an electric needle). I find cure rates with any of these methods to be well over 95%.

The surgical procedures described above should be completely painless, with the patient feeling only the slightest prick with a local anesthetic.

Another method reserved for the most difficult skin cancers, in my opinion, is called Moh's chemosurgery. This method may leave larger defects that can take a significant period of time to heal. It is, therefore, not usually my initial therapeutic choice. This method involves taking small pieces of skin and checking them to ensure complete removal of a large tumor or difficult recurrent tumors.

We may occasionally use cryosurgery (freezing) or x-ray to treat some skin cancers.

In some carcinomas, large size or difficult location may lead me to suggest that our plastic surgeon excise the cancer. This would be recommended if indicated; however, most lesions can be treated quite simply in the office.

5. WHAT IS APPROPRIATE FOLLOW-UP CARE FOR EARLY DETECTION AND TREATMENT?

Patients who have had a skin cancer will be prone for life to develop others, just as a patient with cavities will be so predisposed. Studies have shown a 35-50% incidence of an additional skin cancer (basal and squa-mous cell types) within 3 years after treatment of the first cancer.

A small percentage of cases may recur but are usually detected at an early stage when patients are followed routinely. Every 3 months (for 1 year) after removal of any cancer and every 6 months lifelong are current recommendations. Patients who follow this routine rarely have significant problems because lesions are found when they are small.

Some areas, such as the forehead and nose, may develop several skin cancers. Former President Reagan developed one skin cancer on his nose and had another one develop on the nose shortly thereafter, and a recurrence, according to reports. This is another reason for frequent lifetime check-ups by any patient having basal cell carcinoma.

6. WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

The face, neck, tops of the hands and arms are most frequently exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. 90% of all skin cancers (except melanoma) occur in these areas. These are the areas that patients should watch most carefully, although all skin should be checked monthly at home. The following signs of skin cancer (basal and squamous cell) should be closely looked for:

1. An open sore or pimple that bleeds, oozes or crusts and remains for one month or more. A persistent nonhealing pimple should be checked. Almost all patients (including former President Reagan) call skin cancer a pimple that they usually pick at. They invariably think this is the reason it is still present.

2. A reddish patch or irritated area, especially on sun exposed skin. It may or may not be symptomatic. Most skin cancers do not cause the patient any discomfort. Many skin cancers will also never bleed.

3. A shiny bump that can be a pearly color or pinkish-red color.


7. WHAT ARE PRE-CANCERS AND SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA?

Actinic keratoses (pre-cancers) usually present as small reddish patches that may have a slight brownish tinge. They may be slightly scaly and occasionally bleed. One usually notices it as a small patch that will scale or is rough and looks slightly different than the surrounding skin. One key in differentiating this from a benign area is that these areas will still be there one or two months later. Any persistently different area of skin should be checked by a dermatologist.

These keratoses will lead to a somewhat more difficult skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, if not treated. They usually grow slowly and may take several years before turning into a squamous cell carcinoma; however, patients should not delay in treatment, as some may develop into squamous cell carcinoma rather rapidly. Although squamous cell carcinoma of the sun-exposed skin does not frequently spread to other organs (metastasize), this is possible (approximately 5-10% reported in different studies) and, therefore, should be treated early. As these develop into squamous cell carcinoma, the scale may become thicker and the lesion may grow deeper.

These premalignant keratoses can be easily treated with superficial therapy, such as freezing with liquid nitrogen. This causes a scab or blister and heals usually within 1 or 2 weeks. This method removes the diseased top layer of the skin. Presidents Clinton and Bush have had several actinic keratoses treated with this method. A topical chemical, 5-fluorouracil, may be used, but may cause too much irritation of the skin for some patients. It is used mostly for patients with large numbers of actinic keratoses.

Although actinic keratoses are precursors of squa-mous cell carcinoma and therefore can be detected in a premalignant phase, basal cell carcinoma does not have any precursor lesion. Basal cell carcinoma develops from the very beginning as a basal cell carcinoma.
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replied April 6th, 2012
the sores
I have had the same issue for about 6 months also! Never had blemishes before this, scares the hell out of me and makes me feel very alone and confused... I also have had a dry and cracked lower lip Sad
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replied August 4th, 2012
did psoriasin ointment. worked!
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replied September 19th, 2012
VSE
Its a fungal infection. Try an over the counter anti fungal ringworm cream will do. Should respond ASAP
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Users who thank VSE for this post: rainikat 

replied November 15th, 2012
Could be millia?
Sounds like Millia to me...I had something similar. I read this blog and it usually is SUPER informative. Plus, if you can't find the answer on the site, the dermatologist will answer your questions if you submit them. Good luck!
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replied January 24th, 2006
Extremely eHealthy
Hi there! My suggestion is to talk to your pharmacist, that is what I do when I have problems such as this and they are very helpful!
Good luck!
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replied February 4th, 2006
I have the same scourge on my face as you both described. When one area clears, another pops up. I get really stressed about it. I never had pimples as a young woman. Now i'm aging and should be worried about wrinkles but I have these sores, usually one, sometimes two but they are gross, larger than a pimple, and take a long time to heal.

I suppose they could be cold sores... I've even had one on my forehead. They are red and angry looking. When I attempt to pick one of the plugs out, it bleeds a lot. I try not to touch them b/c i'm sure it makes them worse but sometimes I take off the dead skin and even that will sometimes draw blood, just a small pin point area that will bleed a long time.

I've seen many dermatologists about it, they all give me the "drive-through" visit, and put me on antibiotics which don't help. I even saw 2 dermatologists at johns hopkins who did nothing but say I was self inflicting. I would never pick my face like this, I even asked them to do a scraping and they refused. They couldn't get me out of their office fast enough.

If you get a proper diagnosis, please share it and I will do the same.
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replied April 8th, 2006
I'm 31 and all my life my skin has been ok. I'd occassionally get a pimple, but nothing like this. Mine are mainly on my chin, but i've had them other places. They are so hard! Sometimes there will be a little yellow head, but if I do try to pop it it just bleeds and a little pus comes out. Have any of you had them on your chin or around your mouth? It seems if I push my tounge inside my mouth behind where the bump is, it feels inflamed on the inside. I am so frustrated!
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replied April 27th, 2006
Experienced User
Re: Strange Pimples Or Cold Sores - Total Mystery - Help!
nazz wrote:
greetings all,

i have within the last six months developed a strange case of acne or cold sores. Or, something else :!:

i do not have acne on my face except for the rare pimple (which heals quickly), so its rather noticable when I have a new mark on my face.


These unidentified "sores" on my face started out as what appeared to be little pimples filled with pus. They are not clustered together, but appear sparsely on my face. (about 8 - 10 in total) they took a while to heal.


Upon healing, they have left ever-so-slight scarring. On a fairly regular basis, on *exactly* the same spot as the scarring, they appear again, not usually all of them at once however. They first become a little red and slightly pronounced. If squeezed, a small amount of pus comes out.


These little sores then dry-up and take longer than normal pimples to heal. There is a continuous slight peeling of the scar/skin on at least one of these healed sores.


This entire process repeats itself.


I very occasionally get what I know to be cold sores on the corners of my mouth. But since these little sores started six months ago I haven't had a cold sore on the corners of my mouth!


I *think* these sores respond well to zovirax cream, which would indicate that they are cold sores, but I can't be sure.


What on god's earth are they!? :?:


i am a chronic sufferer of coldsores, and it sounds like them simply because of the zovirax comment, and also because coldsores often appear in the same place because they are nerve-based sores. They pop up when something triggers you (ie: cold, stress, and even vitamin deficincy!).

My advice: buy a bottle of lysine. Take three of these pills a day; if you get diarrehea from the three, only take two. Cut down on chocolate, wheat, nuts, coconut, caffeine, brown rice, oatmeal, peanutbutter, seeds, and raisins. If they are coldsores, arginine is a vitamin that a coldsore needs to reproduce.. The lysine is an amino acid that the body doesn't make naturally but still needs -- it comes from milk, vegetables, etc.

What it also may sound like is impetigo. This is commonly found on the face, and looks a lot like coldsores or acne. I would vote moreso on this than coldsores. Check out a site about impetigo, and hope it helps!
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replied January 18th, 2009
I have the same thing on my chin...
But unlike a cold sore they are smaller (pimple like) and don't blister like a cold sore. They also dont pop like a normal pimple and although it looks like you could squeeze the white out of the middle, very little comes out and they just turn very red like you've broken a blood vessle trying to sqeeze them... Very bizarre and I have been freaking out trying to figure out if it's herpes or not that is crawling down my chin and above my upper lip.

I recently had oral sex with a girl i've been dating briefly so I wonder what else it could be?? yeast? a rash? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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replied November 16th, 2012
I think its called Millia, I had the same thing and couldnt figure it out for the life of me..but checked out this blogand it helped A TON. It's a blog run by a dermatologist who definately knows what she is talking about.
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replied January 22nd, 2009
not sure if this has anything to do with above posts....
Last week I noticed I had a pimple on my chin, about 1/2 an inch from my lip. Well a head formed and I popped it and it seemed like a normal pimple. Just a few days ago, the spot started becoming more enflamed and skin started peeling away around the edges of it.

After I wash my face everyday liquid starts coming out of it and eventually forms a crusty-ish looking/feeling scab.

I've never had a cold sore so I don't know if I have a cold sore or not. I'm 18, and have mild acne, so I don't know if this has anything to do with it. My mom suggested I put Releev on it in case it is a cold sore.

Anyone know what this could be?
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replied March 25th, 2009
same
same happening 2 me nover had acne now 31 its been 6 months. now today after a week free of the acne noticed about 7 small ones on my neck i think its migrating. help!
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replied April 10th, 2009
ARG HELP
Same exact thing. Mine have turned into larger sores,(maybe 3-4 mm in diameter, but oblong), probably because i pick them excessively. ( I am determined!)

These sores contain clusters of what look like tiny whiteheads or plugs or watever. I can't usually squeeze them out, (THOUGH I Try), and light prodding procures blood from around them.

They almost remind me of this planters wart I had one time on my foot. Little tendrils sparsely clustered in a sore that have really deep roots and dont go away or keep coming back.

Help! ...I think Im going to see a dermetologist
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replied November 29th, 2011
THAT IS EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN GETTING!!!!! AHHHHHH

I have cystic acne that gets pretty bad but these are different. Its just exactlythe way you described it. I was led to this page because I searched "acne that looks like a plantar wart" lol! With the tiny cluster of white dots and I can't help but poke and prod because I swear it looks like if I can just pick it out or squeeze hard enough it will all just unclog! But it won't! I hate this! If I find any information I'll let you know.
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replied February 6th, 2012
I HAVE THIS EXACT PROBLEM TO THE TEE!!!!!!

PLEASE PLEASE UPDATE IF YOU FIND ANYTHING!
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replied February 28th, 2012
Strange pimples
I have had this problem for a long time. I read a post regarding the possibility of this being a fungal infection, i.e. ringworm of the face (tinnea faciei.) So I tried lotrimin cream, antifungal. Slowly, the fungus is receding and I'm getting my face back. I have been using the cream for 3 weeks and my skin is not completely clear, but fungus is stubborn. By 4 weeks, things should be looking good, but the cream must be used for an additional week or two to make sure there's no recurrence. I too saw a dermatologist twice and was prescribed an antibiotic. That and hydrocortisone cream make fungal infections WORSE! I too tried everything under the sun to rid myself of this awful skin affliction. I too began to feel so self conscious about my skin that I didn't want to go out any more. I did not feel comfortable without make-up. I cannot believe this was a fungus! I wasted so much time and energy on this affliction. I was infected by a micro-organism. A simple fungus cream would have cleared it up and saved me a lot of physical and emotional harm! Use the cream on any itchy bump and be vigilant. The fungus does not want to go away easily, but it will go away. I had all but forgotten what having normal skin was like. I will keep an antifungal cream in the house in case of a future outbreak. I hope this information helps. This has been an unbelievable experience!
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replied June 11th, 2012
I have had a facial issue for over three years, and the spot is now about 4 times larger than when it started. Your answer is the FIRST plausible expanation and remedy that I have read in the time that I have been researching. Thank you!! I will try what you have suggested. Wish me luck!
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replied December 20th, 2014
I'll use anti fungals and I've told a few doctors, including my derm that I think it's fungal but four times now they've perscribed anti biotics, I just want a perscription strength anti-fungal. That makes me feel better, I was getting impatient. I've missed school because it'll get so bad and embarrassing and a good skin day for me is only having like three spots. but the blisters have been there forever.
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replied August 4th, 2012
I'm just yelling this! Psoriasin Ointment healed my sores in 2 days! I am here to share because I have experienced all of the same symptoms for years now and this is the first thing that has knocked it down. Tried ACV, Antibiotics, steroidal and acne cream. I have done asprin and honey masks (Don't do this one) did cinammon and nutmeg mask... who would have guessed plain old coal tar ointment. Give it a try. let me know if it works for you.
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replied September 28th, 2012
Blister like acne
I have this same thing going on and I tried a aspirin and honey mask and after that is when I started getting the same red rised bumps/blisters. I wish I had never er done that stupid mask bc I think that's what started it off. It's around my lower chin on under the corners of my mouth and the bottom corners of my nose . It makes perfect scene now that it's a fungus became honey has spores. I am going to the store tomorrow and getting the psoriasin ointment and trying that and hopefully getting rid of this for good or at least contain it better. I have had acne for yrs and these are different and not cysts. Thanks for the info!
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replied August 4th, 2012
Wet weepy sores on face
Hey all. I have had the same symptoms on and off for 5 years. Weepy, crusting sores with tingling and itching. They appear on my chin and jaw. I have tried everything! I was tested for staph and impetigo...On a whim I smeared some of my Psoriasin brand ointment on them and they are all but gone in 2 days! These were NOT psoriasis patches but plain old coal tar worked!!!!
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replied May 30th, 2016
THANK YOU , THANK YOU , THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been suffering from this horrible oozing, crusting sore on my chin for over 6 weeks. It will finally clear up in one spot and continue to spread over the crease in my chin. I have tried absolutely everything, including all creams, alcohol to dry it out, Neosporin, etc. etc. etc. and nothing works.

After reading this page, I went to Walmart and got some Psoriasin. WHAT A GODSEND !!!!!!!! In just 12 hours, the Psoriasin made my chin quit oozing, quit crusting over, quit spreading and it is now healing and going away. I cannot thank you enough for this post.
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replied August 4th, 2012
Wet weepy sores on face
Hey all. I have had the same symptoms on and off for 5 years. Weepy, crusting sores with tingling and itching. They appear on my chin and jaw. I have tried everything! I was tested for staph and impetigo...On a whim I smeared some of my Psoriasin brand ointment on them and they are all but gone in 2 days! These were NOT psoriasis patches but plain old coal tar worked!!!!
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replied December 20th, 2014
I have the EXACT same thing. and if you do pop it it comes right back. help..i've not gone to school and haven't left the house sometimes because OI'm so embarrassed
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replied April 13th, 2009
interesting ppls
i have a very similar thing. a skin sore, that forms a scab, and when i lift this (ok i know i shouldn't, but...) there is often little white 'root-like' structures attaches, and this takes for ever to heal
i can find zero about it on the net anywhwere
cheers
Dave
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replied April 18th, 2009
comedomes
I have the exact same thing...takes months to heal and then it seems only after I pull each of these little plugs or cores out....it is oil that is clogged in the pore...I use needle nose tweezer...which I shouldn't do...but I just want them gone....I have tried leaveing them alone...that doesn't seem to help either...I have also tried every over the counter thing I could think of or was recommended.....still searching for a mircle cure...
anybody have any new ideas???
Jules
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replied May 22nd, 2009
i've got 'em too :(
Hi guys,

I have just what you all are talking about, and it is so frustrating when I wash my face and I mask and I spot treat them, and nothing has worked. They are sometimes painful because I try to pop them. I only have 2 bad ones, one on my cheek and one on my nose Sad but I spot treat them everyday with alcohol to try and dry them up. I think it seems to be working, or at least causing them to be less irritating. If they continue, I'm definitely going to see my dermatologist!
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replied June 2nd, 2009
hello everyone ive got them too and i cant find a solution any where it started off at first with one on my cheek i picked it a little pus came out but the spot didnt go away its just got bigger and now i have more little pimples in the same form around my mouth and chin i try to squeeze them but nothing comes out and they wont go away ive tried everything i clean my face very well in the morning and at night i dont know what else to do : (
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replied June 8th, 2009
I have the same sore like bumps too!
WOW i didn't think anyone else suffered from the same thing. Mine are all around my nose, chin and cheeks. They come back in the same exact spots, over the existing scaring. I have been to dermatologists in DC, CT, PA, and NY and no one has been able to help me. I was diagnosed once with impetigo. I was given an antibiotic that worked but then it came back after a few months. It was gone for a while but started back up again recently but not it is worse. Does anyone else have the oozing/ weeping problem as well? I can't find anything online but this post. Someone PLEASE HELP!
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replied August 14th, 2013
My bio showed prurigo nodularis....capsaican cream and inject steroids is helping alot
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replied July 1st, 2009
For the past six months I've had the same exact thing. Why is it that no one, including dermitologists, has any idea what this is.
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replied July 2nd, 2009
I have this same problem. I started getting these sores on my chin when I was younger. For the longest time I did't get them on the chin and I started getting something similiar on my lip. The doctor said it was a cold sore and prescribed me Zovirax. It worked great and when I felt one coming up I just dabbed a little on and it went away quickly. Yesterday I thought I had a pimple coming in on my chin and didn't realize that it is what I used to get on my chin. I have tried the Zovirax on it. It seems to make it ooze a lot more and I think that it is helping but not as well as it did with what was on my lip. I would say to try cold sore medicine and see if it helps. I know from the past that I used to just pick it and get all the soft stuff off and it seemed to heal quicker but this still took several days to a week. I'm hoping this Zovirax clears it up sooner.
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replied November 16th, 2012
i had this same thing and had no idea what it was. turns out it was millia. this blog that i found is run by a dermatologist and had a ton of info on it about everything skin and really helped me figure out what it was. good luck!
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replied July 15th, 2009
well... i think you should all put aloe vera oil on them. i had them and treated them as i stated and they are now gone. the scarring was there for about a month afterwards but it has now vanished. hope this helps.
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replied July 22nd, 2009
ROUND SORE THAT BLEEDS ALOT
I HAVE HAD THESE SORES THAT BLEED ALOT IF PICDED.I HAVE FOUND THAT PUTTING ANTI FUNGAL CREAM ON THEN SEEMS TO HEAL THEM AND WHAT I DO IS TO PICK IT TO MAKE IT BLEED AND THEN PUT SMALL AMOUNT OF CREAM ON IT , WHICH WILL MAKE IT BLEED MORE,KEEP PLOTTING UNTIL BLEEDING STOPS AND YOU WILL SEE SORE DISAPEAR IN COUPLE OF DAYS.MAKE SURE NOT TO SPREAD,WASH AREA AFTER BLOTTING.IT WILL SPREAD
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replied July 22nd, 2009
While I find it comforting that others share my problem, I'm disturbed that no one has found a solution. I have had these weeping sores on my chin (in the soul patch area) for 9 months now. I have gone to the doctor, thinking it was herpes, who informed me it was foliculitus(sp)that was continued by my shaving, and prescribed me an oral antibiotic. W/in 48 of STARTING the antibiotic, it goes away! But within 1 week of finishing, it comes right back. I have gone through 4 cycles of antibiotics...stopped shaving, used various creams...etc. I am 37, and suffered from acnes as a teen, but acutane took care of that. These are different. They see ooze, and get crusty...if one small one starts in the morning, it can be 10 times bigger in the afternoon, and trying to pop or drain just makes it worse. The only thing that I have found is Desitin (40%) at night, then the creamy (h20 based) during the day (it's not as obvious, blends a bit better). If I do this, without fail, it will keep it at bay, but if I miss ONE treatment, it comes back with a vengeance. I'll try the aloe vera oil(?) recommended by the prev. poster. Good luck all.
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replied February 7th, 2012
Weeping spots on one side of face
Hello JCPowder. I have a similar condition, but only on one side of my face. I get spots/lumps which sometimes appear quite aggressively, pop on their own accord and then weep for anything upto 2 days. I have been suffering with this problem for about 3 years now and it is more than just frustrating. I am wondering if it is a food allergy. Do you have an update?
Trevor
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