What's under your scab?


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January 16, 2014

I have been dealing with the same exact life consuming issue for the last 8 months. 3 different doctors and countless medications and creams for the sores that covered my once flawless skin. Without getting into to much,wounds that won't heal, skin only closes when u remove the little clear cylinder shaped things growing in clusters within each sore. I would say if I dont take them out it feels like needles ripping through my face. When I pulled one out from the root it would bleed like crazy. Seemed like each sore was connected by a blood supply. Itchy at times but nothing compared to the pain. After all the pain, embarrassment, hours wasted in mirror picking trying to get my face to heal enough for me to leave the house. I was finally diagnosed with shingles. Antiviral for three days and what hasn't gone away in 8 months is clearing up. Today when I took the scab off it was smooth underneath. no more little spikey, cylinders to pull out and stick on the side of the mirror for later inspection. If anyone has felt the hopelessness the I have had with these sores that ruined my life talk to ur doctor, it's hsv3. The little clear things are the virus covered in a protein sheath to protect it. There can be hundred of these little things in each sore. Good luck!!
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January 22, 2014

So, reading this just made me really excited. I have had a scab that I have picked for about a year and a half as well. Picking at it was hard to control, and since the skin was "scalp-like" it would usually come off in one big glorious chunk of skin (thinking about it now makes me miss it since I made myself let it heal, with heavy neosporin use and acrylic nails). Anyway, it was on the top of my head so I never really examined the scab itself, just the skin Id pick off. But little spikes and white balls in your scab makes me so excited, it makes me crave what you have. When I pick, the pleasure is a mix of seeing what I pick off, the easy pain, the act of picking. I even believe that a part of me takes pleasure in disobeying my more practical side that tells me it's gross to do in public, and the scabs it leaves is gross. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks!!:)
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March 09, 2014

I'm 50 and I've suffered with these for about ten years. I have the ones that need to be pulled out with sharp tweezers and are firmly connected to the layer of flesh deep under the skin. They're about 1 mm or so long, whitish and rubbery and stretch as I pull them out. Once out, the hole bleeds profusely for about 10 seconds. I seemed to enjoy examining them under 20X magnification and thinking that I'm somehow helping my skin to heal by removing them. Like you, I've probably spent hours researching what they could be and came to the conclusion that they are sebaceous glands and part of the structure of the skin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebaceous_gland Look at the cross-section picture of the layer off skin. These tiny glands are firmly anchored to the layer of flesh below the top layer of skin and are quite abundant. If you remove one, there are plenty more to take its place. If you only get a portion of one, it will surely grow back (like a zombie gland). I read on one site that there are 1,200 of these per square cm. I've concluded only recently that these are simply sebaceous glands that are inflamed due to a pimple. Digging them out may seem immediately satisfying but it can leave scarring. For me, it seemed the only way they would heal was to remove the visible ones and hope the skin would heal before another started to protrude or become visible. Of course, I would still enjoy peeling off the scab and examining the little "spikes" under the scab. The last one I had (that took months to heal) appeared as simply a tiny white dot near the laugh line on my face. It wasn't even a pimple. I knew it was a sebaceous gland but I couldn't resist removing it. Thinking back I could have saved myself a lot of grief by leaving it alone. Sure the gland was visible to me because I could see it just under the surface, but the truth of the matter is that nobody else would ever have known it was there. The way I've beat this is to use every ounce of will power to stop picking them. These glands serve a function to hydrate and nourish the skin. They are completely normal. That's why nothing shows up in a biopsy. Of course, those of you with some other type of infection may be diagnosed otherwise. I firmly believe that picking to remove them only makes them worse. It opens up a wound that gives you access to countless more. My new regimen is to let the occasional pimple run its course and treat it with an over the counter medication to dry it up. Any attempt to pick or squeeze it will inflame the sebaceous gland and lead to me wanting to remove it. This is extremely hard to do because I've been a picker all my life. Now I use tea tree oil on any potential outbreaks, and after showering I use moisturizer on my face. I have come to realize that as I get older, my skin is different due to hormonal changes. It wouldn't be realistic to think that my skin would remain the same all my life. At one time, I had about seven of these horrible spots on my face. I know how awful it is to go through daily life with these wounds but YOU CAN BEAT IT! It just takes a tremendous amount of will power.
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August 23, 2014

I get these white rubber things too, but they are about 2mm long when stretched, and it is very satisfying to pull them out with tweezers. In fact sometimes I just pick a scab off to try and find one underneath. When I am stressed I just can't stop, even though it makes a mess of my skin. What I'd like to know is what do they look like under the 20x magnification?
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September 17, 2014

Under magnification they appear shiny, smooth and moist. Sometimes they are glistening with little streaks of blood. The end pulled by the tweezer is flat from being squeezed but the other end is pointed just like a spike. I'm not sure why the end is pointed; maybe it's from when it stretches and finally breaks loose. One thing I know is that they are not parasites or worms or anything like that...I'm CONVINCED they're just sebaceous glands that have moved close to the surface of the skin//////. I've pretty much beaten this by using De La Cruz sulfur ointment on the wounds and allowing them to heal. But I know how SATISFYING it is to pull them out. Maybe we all have some form of OCD???
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November 27, 2014

I took a photo of some, and they were like pale amber coloured roots, with a kind of rounded point at the end. They looked like they were made of jelly. The weird thing is, I'm actually glad to find them in my skin, but they're very difficult to get out as they seem to sink back into the skin when I try and get them with my tweezers. They seem a bit slippery and slimy. I did get one the other day and as I pulled it out I could feel the tug deeper in my skin as it detached from whatever it was stuck to. I don't think I will ever be able to stop picking because horrible stressful things keep happening to me at work, and I get a bit of relief from my agitation when I gouge and pull things out.
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March 27, 2014

I am a 39 year old male and have suffered these little white plugs for about three years. They appear only on my chin at the moment. I do not know if they are a fungus or are some type of acne. What I do know is that I am a picker. From reading these forums I know we are all pickers. I have told myself that these sores and plugs will not go away until I have picked all the cores out. In reality all I do is damage my skin further and probably cause what ever it is to spread. What I can tell you is that I have recently stopped picking and have started applying Lamasil cream. On my chin at the moment I have two that I have not picked and one that I had picked. The two that I had not picked are disappearing and never amounted to anything. The one I had already squeezed has healed. I didn't remove the plugs and it definitely healed. This was over a three week period. The secret is not to pick. I am converted. Let your body heal itself. Trust me. Give yourself a challenge and not pick. Also give the Lamasil ago. For all those that say have you have to remove the cores/spores/spikes/fleshy plugs you DON'T!!! Mine healed with plugs still in there. Good luck everybody.
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July 20, 2014

Holy cow I'm not alone!!! Reading through the posts is mind blowing as I've been suffering with this weird "plug" thing for years but never asked the doctor about it. I never had bad acne, but suddenly, about 10 years ago I started getting these crazy sores around my mouth. They were worse than acne, they hurt, they oozed, they had gross little white things in them that I had to pull out before the wore healed, and they'd lwst two months or more! INSANE! I went to a dermatologist about 5 years ago after my doc tried treating them like acne. Not. He said I had Perioral dermitits and super sensitive skin. He put me on 10% benzoil peroxide and said to eliminate what is causing rhe skin irritation, including my shampoo. He said sulfates and fragrance wre the most likely problem. So I went through everything I used on my face, starting with my makeup. Long story short, all my makeup had crap in it, and then there was the anti-aging stuff I had started to use for my wrinkles. I'm 48 now. I started over by seeking all the info I could about this strqnge nam3d perioral dermitits, looking for makeup, skin care, hair care, anything that went on my body, that did not have chemicals in it. I have been using Bare Minerals makeup and skin care for 4 years with great results. Still have an occasional sore but they are smaller and don't last as long. I have recently switched to Aubrey Organics Skin Calming line and LOVE it!! I also use the apple cider vinegar and water mix as a toner. Smells nasty but works great! Greek yogurt mask once a week for 20 minutes too. I truly believe this problem is caused by what we are putting on our skin. We have been led to believe that all this crap is needed to maintain our youth, and it's not! I do not use anything for wrinkles, my skin looks about the same. I cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Anyone who has this problem shoild look at what they use on their skin, in the laundry, etc. I now use All Free & Clear with Oxi for my laundry, and only shampoo and conditioner that has no chemical ingredients. Right now I'm using Aubrey Organics shampoo and conditioner. I used to use Cover Girl sensitive skin powder, Neutrogena, and Physicians Formula. No more. Bare minerals only. Look at what you put on your face and make some changes and see if it helps. A second dermatologist treated me like I had acne, AFTER I told her what I had. She gave me a cream that burned my skin (side affect was perioral dermitits) and prescribed Spironolactone. Seriously, every dermatologist needs to go back to school and learn about dermatitis!!! My first one was old school, he called it but he still didn't have the right treatment. Half right. That's my story and im so glad I found this place! :-D
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July 23, 2014

Hey, what mix of apple cider vinegar & water do you use? Same with me most makeup & washes has crap in it that causes my skin irritation...I like the Alba Acnedote line. I have been using Organic Wear Physician's formula which works better than most, but I will check into the Aubrey.
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July 26, 2014

I use a 4:1 water to vinegar. It stung bad the first time I applied it but after a few days it got better. The smell is the worst! Wet dirty gym socks? LOL! I highly recommend the Aubrey Organics Calming skin line. I'm going on three weeks now and not only is my face healing, but I swear it's shrinking those white plug things! I do have a gel ointment that the dr gave me for new irritation but I hardly use it anymore. I wash my face at least three times a day too, using a washcloth in the morning and when I wash off my makeup. Right before bed I just use my fingers to scrub. I noticed a big difference when I started doing that too. My dermatologist had told me to rinse my face whenever it felt too oily as that's my skin trying to cleanse itself. I use the oil blotting tissues when I'm at work, they're great and don't remove my makeup! I am constantly reading lables to see what's on stuff. I don't use anything that treats acne, it seems to cause my skin to flare up.
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July 23, 2014

I get these very few and far between, however, I have searched the internet, and been to a dermatologist to try to figure out how I can heal these better. NOTHING... I work in the public eye.. and it so embarrassing to have to apply make up (which ends up looking crusted and raised) several times a day between appointments.. unless I get the core.. it stays.. for a long time, I don't have any scars..or very slight.... I am generally not prone to picking anything..but with this there is no option!.. I use all CLINIQUE makeup..its only a few dollars more than you would spend in the drug store, and so worth it...lets create a "get the core stop the scab and heal together"....or I can stick with twizzerman twezzers! ... cure anyone? Help!
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August 03, 2014

I suffer from the same thing ,my doctor said that h It's called pickers nodules . Hope this helps ! No cure
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August 29, 2014

I have the same issue going on I've gone as far as to get a hypodermic needle and cut the needle off and suck them bas#@3ds out I must warn you though if you do that you better not have a weak stomach you will be surprised at what comes outI wish you would let me upload some pictures of what I've sucked out on me here then there would be some real help help for us. I've been having this happen for I don't know three years nowand I'm starting to believe that it's a hookworm or tapeworm.I've done quite a bit of research and in rare cases tapeworms can and we always travel outside the digestive tract. hookworms sometimes penetrate the skin coming out and have the appearance of the Whitehead
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August 31, 2014

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/morgellons-disease-what-is-it
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August 31, 2014

nars have you discovered the reason for the little white things and or spikes under your scabs or in you wounds my partner suffers from the exact to the stress picking and pulling out little white cores from scabs, we would love to know what they truly are all suggestions are welcome
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September 17, 2014

I'm positive they're sebaceous glands as I mentioned in my post from a few months ago. These glands are in abundance just below the upper layer of skin (I read there are approx 1,200 per sq. cm!). The more you pull out, the more move up to take their place. The bigger the wound, the more you have access to. Their function is to provide oil to the skin... Since my last post I can say that I'm 99.9% cured of these little plugs by using De La Cruz sulfur ointment. It works by drying up the open wound and allowing it to heal before any more sebaceous glands move up to the surface. BUT if you peel the scab off before it's done healing, then the cycle starts over again! Usually there are some underneath the scab that dried into the scab, and of course there are plenty visible. And, once again, we are compelled to pull them out. ... I'm the past few months I've seen horrible spots that had plenty of deeply rooted "cores" heal and dry up using the ointment. The trick is to resist all temptation to pick while the ointment is doing its work. I've "relapsed" a few times and picked too soon and started the cycle over... I have also very carefully removed "dried up sebaceous" glands from healed wounds that were treated. This tells me that they're fine left in place as the scab heals. They just dry up and will probably be naturally expelled by the skin.../// Also, I've examined these plugs under 40x magnification and can tell you they're not some sort of foreign body or parasite or worm. They are tiny glands that are firmly attached to your flesh underneath the upper layer of skin. We pull them out because we are pickers and can't stand the thought of having something on or in our skin that we can see or feel. I hope this helps.
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December 24, 2014

The sulfur ointment worked because it keeps Demodex mites from reproducing and laying eggs. Those plugs are the adult mites. Please see my comments farther down on the post.
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December 26, 2014

I think I've found out what they are - empty hair follicles. I reckon the scab or the gunge underneath rots the hair away leaving just the follicle. I saw a YouTube video of someone pulling out her hair follicles and it seemed like the things I pull out.
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July 12, 2015

Yes I agree with you. I watched the youtube video called "self-performed follicle extraction" or something like that... I used to pull those out along with the little spikes. I think I was pulling out follicles AND sebaceous glands. The ONLY way to beat this to is accept the fact that they belong in your skin. Otherwise you can just keep pulling them out and destroying your skin. Look at any diagram of the skin and there's only a few things in the top few layers. If we could just accept the fact that they're not foreign bodies, then that is the first step to healing!
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October 15, 2014

look up carbuncle. As we continue to pick, we spread infection into the surrounding tissue. The long, white, tensile, thread like things we pull that hurt and bleed like a mother are part of the body and can even be nerves. I tend to pick on my chin. I've had numerous surgeries to close the wound . Luckily I have a great and sympathetic and understanding dermatologist. My last round on my chin resulted in a 1 and 1/2 long wound that almost punctured into my mout . I pulled out several of those "spiky threads" as wel . Very satisfying apart from the horror and revulsion if the pucking and the complete revulsion with my appearance. At least until I realised I'd partiasllt paralysed my lower right lip. The drooling when I drink is awesome. My doctor says the may grow back and repai . So just a warning. Don't pull those threads. They lead no where good. I know we always look for external infections. I've even hoped for cancer. But it really is us.
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December 22, 2014

Please try Biotin 7500 mcgs!! I had these cyst bumps all my life. Lots of things helped heal but nothing kept me from getting the sores to begin with. Until I tried BIOTIN... I can't shout it enough. Try it and see if it helps the sores from starting to begin with. If you don't have the bump to begin with it won't be there to pick..... Please try. It helped me... NO new Places for TWO..... TWO solid weeks!! Plus when I started taking it my skin healed on its own. I could tell the difference in three days. It's usually takes at least 3 weeks for my skin to heal!
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December 24, 2014

Those weird scabs are caused by parasites. DO NOT LET ANYONE CONVINCE YOUR OTHERWISE …and believe me, they’ll try (ill-informed dermatologists included). The parasites are called Demodex mites. That plug is the adult stage of the mite. Usually, humans are only inhabited by Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis. I suspect you’re describing the Demodex injai, the "large-body" Demodex. You'll want to get rid of these things ASAP and with extreme prejudice. Your skin improves and then erupts again because of their life cycle. I wound up with an all-out infestation because it took me 7 years, 5 useless dermatologists, and 2 ill-equipped primary care physicians to figure it out. One dermatologist accused me of making the sores myself and suggested I take an anti-depressant. But, don't get me started on that... I even had an elevated IGg because my system was so irritated by them. Anyway, back to the mites …The adults move around on your skin (usually at night because they don’t like light) and give you an itchy, crawly sensation. After they mate, the pregnant female emerges to lays eggs. When the pregnant female comes out, it looks kind of like a regular pimple. But, no puss comes out it-only fluid- and it gets red and irritated if you mess with it. The eggs she lays around the area where she emerged, that look kind of like "spindles." They’re down inside your skin but have little white hairs sticking out of your pores. Those hairs get a little thicker and will sometimes fall out as the egg evolves into an adult mite. Don’t bother pulling them out. The hairs will simply detach and the mite will stay in your pore. The adult mites are NOTHING NICE. They have, what I call venom (for lack of a better word), that causes a sever immune response. If you mess with them, they create this clear fluid that makes a hole in your skin. If you persist, they will make you bleed profusely. I think that stuff is an anti-coagulant too! After you lose the battle (and you will), your skin feels like it's on FIRE. Depending upon how much you messed with them, you'll either have a sore spot that won't heal or a plasticky quasi-scab looking thing …on top of a sore that won’t heal. If you lift up the plasticky scab, you can see the adult mites attached to the underside of it. I say that to say this: DON’T BOTHER MESSING WITH THEM. You will not get them out without putting a deep hole in your skin. They just dig down deeper if you try to pull them out with tweezers. The immune response will make a real mess of your face. You cannot kill the adult Demodex with creams because they move down into your pores beyond the reach of topical miticides. You cannot kill adult Demodex with ingested miticides because they have a hard outer shell that protects them from absorbing the chemicals. If you pinch one of those white plugs really hard with some tweezers you can hear it crunch. (I even tried applying a tiny bit of RAID …didn’t work.) I got rid of the MF’ers with 3 things: (1) Ivermectin, (2) Permethrin SFR, and (3) sulfur paste (all of which I found at the local feed store for animals). First: Use Ivermectin to kill the mid-stage mites. I used the equine version. It’s a paste with 1.87% Ivermectin. (DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. IVERMECTIN DOSES ARE DETERMINED BY WEIGHT. I SIMPLY USED THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF PASTE FOR MY WEIGHT. I HAD NO PROBLEMS AT ALL, BUT BE CAREFUL). Within 6-8 hours of your first dose of Ivermectin, you'll see the mites pushing out of your pores IN DROVES. Because it only kills the mid-stage mites (not eggs or adults), you’ll need to take Ivermectin once a week, for 4-6 weeks. When you take the Ivermectin, change your bed sheets every night, for at least three nights. Also, buy a few extra pillow cases so you can have a newly washed pillow case every night for at least four weeks. I STRONGLY suggest this measure because the mites wreaked havoc on my scalp. My hair has not grown for more than 3 years. You may want to use Selson Blue shampoo for 4 to 6 weeks, just in case. Second: Use Permethrin SFR, which is 38.6 % Permethrin, to kill the eggs. Dilute it in a spray bottle and spray EVERYTHING in your house, including mattresses, couches, carpets, etc. …EVERYTHING. Then, vacuum really good, and spray EVERYTHING again. Buy new pillows too. Wash ALL CLOTHING and LINENS in hot water. Put them in the dryer on “high heat.” I even lightly sprayed the Permethrin solution on the dried laundry, and the replaced bed sheets. Permethren is not really toxic to humans, and it’s odorless once it dries (PLEASE READ THE PACKAGING THOROUGLY). WHILE I DON’T RECOMMEND THIS: I poured ¾ cup of the Permethrin SFR in my bath water. After soaking for a short time, there were so many eggs (with the white hairs) that my bath water had a film on it. I only did this because I had a full-on infestation. Third: Apply the sulfur paste all over your body. It’s a little tricky to apply, so I suggest wearing gloves. Also, it’s really thick and has a strong smell. I used Pierce’s All Purpose Nu-Stock. I had to mix the paste with baby oil to get it to spread. You’re supposed to wear it, kind of like calamine lotion, for 3 days straight. Then re-apply, on top of the first application, and wear for another 3 days. The objective is to keep the adult mites from mating and laying new eggs. I realize this is a lot. But, BELIEVE ME, you do not want to be infested with these things. This has been a 7-year nightmare for me …finally coming to an end.
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January 11, 2015

They're all on my arms. And they have roots around them that I can see. If I get the ball out it heals. The roots are still here though and a ball will reappear and I can see it under my healed skin. And I pick it out and I see the white roots in my skin. What the fuck is this. I went to a dermatologist and spent 180 dollars on meds that didn't work. If I let them go they get uncomfortable and If they touch anything it hurts.
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February 13, 2015

I found out exactly what I have been plagued with for the past two years thanks to help from people on this blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! It's RINGWORM, it's RINGWORM, it's RINGWORM!! More specifically it's KERION. From Wikipedia: "Kerion is the result of the host's response to a fungal ringworm infection of the hair follicles of the scalp and beard accompanied by secondary bacterial infection(s). It usually presents itself as raised, spongy lesions. This honeycomb is severely painful inflammatory reaction with deep suppurative lesion on the scalp. The follicle may be seen discharging pus. There may be sinus formation and rarely mycetoma-like grains are produced." GRAINS from ringworm!!! Let me also state that I am a woman and I don't have a beard, but it has infected the hair follicles on my face in the beard region. Ringworm is a fungus and is easily treated with over the counter creams. I started using Lotrimin ringworm cream (clotrimazole) just two days ago and the infection is pretty much gone and healing has begun. Just two days ago it was swollen, oozing, red and painful with the grains present. I have been suffering from this infection on my face for two years thinking it was contact dermatitis from skin care products I'd been experimenting with. It has slowly been getting worse and worse. I was so wrong and have suffered miserably for TWO YEARS! :( It has ruined my life. I have turned into a complete hermit, only leaving the house when I absolutley had to and covering my sores in makeup. It has been extremely painful, both physically and emotionally. I've cut off almost every relationship I have with friends, too embarrassed to try and explain what was going on. I wish I had found this site earlier. I can't believe it could have been healed in days and I've suffered needlessly for years. I absolutely had to sign up on this website to share what I have learned with all of you. There have been a few people saying it's ringworm, but I haven't seen anyone post anything about Kerion, which explains exactly WHY it is ringworm causing the grains we are all seeing and picking at. I've also been washing in between Lotrimin treatments with Apple cider vinegar and water. This is slightly painful but ACV kills fungus. I have read that washing with Selsun Blue (selenium sulfide) is great for treating ringworm in combination with an antifungal cream like clotrimazole (Lotrimin) and is sensitive on skin. I've also read that Monistat and Lamisil are good at treating ringworm even though the packaging doesn't specifically say ringworm cream. Yeast infections, athletes foot, jock itch....it's all fungal. I hope this helps. Thank you for this blog! Prayers for fast healing to all of you!!!
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October 09, 2015

I finally found out what was the cause of my sores that turned into scabs with the little white spikes buried in the open sore/wound! For me, it was antidepressant medication. More specifically, Wellbutrin. I found an article where I read that other people were having so much trouble with inflamed hair follicles from taking Wellbutrin & it's was exactly as everyone has described here. I stopped taking any & all antidepressant medication & my sores healed, fully! I have scars from years of this, but I no longer have breakouts now that I know I'm allergic to antidepressants
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December 30, 2015

Quite disappointed at how many people visit this thread with answers pertaining to treatment or the problem, that are 100% incorrect, their comments don't even relate to what the first commenor speaks of, this sucks to see, I've seen one lady state she thought it may have been chemical warfare, like come on, but as I browse through the comments I notice many that are spot on with the descriptions, and although we can all have a say, their are next to no images, I have done extensive searching online as well, I come to this page about 5 years ago, when comments where only a few, but still have found no real answer, doctors have never been any help, many creams, antibiotics, steriodal creams etc, Although their are limited images of under the skin/scab, I believe when the skin healed over it looks much like this, before I begin to remove the scab and squeeze out the contents, which nearly always has the white spikes connected to the scab and a white seed like thing embedded in the skin. https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Carbuncles&espv=2&biw=1440&bih=802&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiMrsW0nYPKAhUDM6YKHdJ1A3kQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=furuncles But take a look as drop me a reply, and for the crazies, please leave the thread, I'm not here to talk bullshit
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December 31, 2015

Hey! I too appreciate your research. My "spots" look nothing like those pictures.shiver. Those poor people. Mine are totally flat and the little white things never leave whether i pick the scabby part or not. I do think it is obviously pretty common since so many seem to complain about them. The only answer my derm has ever given me is that they were pickers nodules. I don't agree. I hope the new therapists on this site will be able to help identify the issue. My problem too is that I have dark skin and these irritated areas leave terrible hyper pigmentation. Thank goodness my honey doesn't care whatsoever but suffice it to say that I won't be posing nude anytime soon lol. Mine are ALL on my buttocks. Sigh
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December 30, 2015

Dear F*cknuckle. Thank you for the research. I've been saying all along that they are sebaceous glands and hair follicles. The first step in recovery is realizing these are not foreign bodies but rather a part of the structure of the skin. Of course, if they are inflamed they MAY need removal if they have moved to the surface of the skin -- but do so carefully and STOP picking after you get it out. Don't search for more! People just need to stop picking for a few days and see it will eventually heal. I know first-hand because I went on a two week trip and was unable to pick. At the end of the trip my skin was great!
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December 30, 2015

I also want to add that I've been using Swan Calamine lotion at the first sign of any trouble and so far nothing has come up to where it is visible or needs to be removed.
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January 05, 2016

When you have any open wound on your body, your body reacts by over leading that area with keratins (skin protein). First your body bleeds to flush out bacteria, then creates a barrier to work under out of plasma and platelets. Part of the body's response to internal wound care is to automatically send supplies, skin protein, and begin throwing it all at one spot, ignoring how your body already began laying down the protein and creating the appearance of scar tissue. When all the product is thrown all at once, of course there is some expected build up. This buildup creates the hard white balls. Those spikes are the result of the balls going where they need too, and then slowly feeding protein to the surface. You are impeding the healing And increasing chance of infection
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January 05, 2016

Sorry! The name of those white balls are called Malia, and it's not recommended you pick them. Those spikes are for holding the scab up, keeping the scab on, and distributing keratin. And none of this info is going to stop you from picking. It hasn't stopped me.
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January 05, 2016

They are hair follicles. White,stretchy plugs in some of the pores. I wish I could post a picture on here ot show you but I can't seem to. They are full of sebum when first pulled out, but after a few hours dry up.
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January 06, 2016

The OP said the spikes and balls are hard. Hair follicles, even with their sheath, are soft and pliable.
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March 13, 2016

Omg this happens to me!!! The scab will only go away if you get the white things out. My face currently has 14 open sores from a picking fit 20 mins ago.... I can't go outside now
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March 21, 2016

Read Aussie Walt post. Insect bite started mine as well. And lots of blood when removed..help please!!!
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March 22, 2016

DAY 1 TODAY...OKAY RUN DO NOT WALK...GO GET SILVER OINTMENT. AMAZING RESULTS....ACTUALLY WITHIN A 2 HRS IT IS ALREADY WORKING ON THESE WHITE THINGS SENDING BACK TO HELL. OPEN WOUNDS CLOSED WITH A SMALL ACTUAL HEALING SCAB. NOT WITH JUST THIN SKIN LIKE BEFORE. THANK LORD FOR LEADING TO THAT POST AND A POSSIBLE ANSWER AND END TO THIS NIGHTMARE!! AMEN. IM USING CURAD SILVER SOLUTION GEL. BOUGHT IT AT WALGREENS FOR 7 BUCKS..THERE IS STRONGER PPM BUT THIS IS ALL MY LIL HO.ETOWN PHARMACY HAD.
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June 10, 2016

Hi an all! I am from Germany, so please excuse My poor english. I have exactly the Same problem With those tiny white dots under a scab. And yes, if i pull them Out, it bleeds a lot for some seconds, then stops bleeding and i feel better. And yes, if i pulled one or more of them Out, there is a hole. And the wound is wet. In Germany i also only found one site that describes the Problem exactly like you did. It even Has pictures on it, so i thougt that might be interesting to you. I dont know if links are allowed here, so just try to Google: weiße Zäpfchen haut (These 3 words) the first result is the site
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June 10, 2016

The pictures of those pulled-out things are on Page 4 (warning: it's pretty gross)
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June 28, 2016

Prurigo nodularis. Research it.
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July 26, 2016

Yeah i pick. Way before these things ever appeared. Used to my mom pick all the time, especially during her methamphetamine years. She's clean now, pride. I think she is where i pick up the picking habit. Scabs never bothered me, just thought they were ugly and topical so i removed them. But i was never a "digger" until i was 19. I was in the shower, just realizing i had cured my 3 month long first time with jock itch. And yes i scratched myself raw a plethora of times. I believe i really messed up the follicles. Anyway that day i noticed 1 pin sized lump on my scrotum, i thought, ingrown hair. Gave it a squeeze, it was hard like a small pebble, but a wispy hair thin strand came out. And it seemed like it was dancing. Well the dancing is just from the release of pressure, from you forcing out the pus, sebum, or other material. I thought it was good. Months later i noticed it, in the same spot but bigger than a pin. More like a nickel, and even harder, it made my fingers hurt I squeezed it so hard, never popped. I carried that lump until i was 22, from 19. One day i noticed a dark blackish spot on the now thumb nail sized area, that stood about as high as an unused pencil eraser. It popped there was a ton of mottled cottage cheeseish pus substance, off white, with darker blackish spots in it, there was a lot on half my index finger. Seemed to have a somewhat slimy sheen or film. I washed that off. Inspected the now erupted wound, and saw in the center of it was a white ball thing. So i reefed on it as hard as i could. And i heard and felt the pressure release, it felt good. That white head was now much bigger, i grabbed it and tried to pull but it was very stubborn. I had kept the pressure on the entire time, and tried again, this time it started to come out, and i beheld a strange sac. The outer layer of it was tough, all white. I ripped it open and a somewhat waxy pus was the only content. I squeezed the area until all that came out was blood. Leaving a huge hole in my sack. But it went away, and healed other than the damage i did to the tissue. All the years i spent researching what it could be (I'm now 29) i have settled on cysts. I've had several more appear on my scrotum, over the years. And they are all in areas where i did damage from the jock itch scratching. Some are spherical sacs, some are as others say, tubular, or like a spike (think toothpick shaped) one seems to be more like a disc (typical flying saucer shape). These days i get them on my legs, back, arms, seldom on chest and face. No new ones have ever appeared on my scrotum after the initial 7. I excise them on my own. And simply put im pretty sure they are one form of cyst or another. I have never seen a worm, and the only time one had color, which was the first, it was not bluish or moving on its own as some people have said, that one guy in particular. The blackish color i saw i believe was old blood. As I've never seen any color in any of the others except for white. However i won't say they aren't worms, because they could be in some cases. I know it's not ring worm for sure as I've seen ringworm before. There is a genetic disposition called foredyce spots, and another i can't remember, which in some of your cases could be the issue. Otherwise what i think a lot of us are dealing with are subcutaneous cysts, and possibly follicular cysts. Well anyway, hope this helps someone, i hate these they are ugly, and even though it feels so rewarding to us the answer is picking leaves scars, it is extremely tramautic to your flesh, the glands and hair follicles that are present. You will very likely cause glands, and follicles to deviate. this happens when deep gouges heal improperly because, we continue to pick or dig. I am going to start trying a full body pumice stone scrub, this is to help relieve any blockage in your pores, which allows the glands to secrete freely so you don't get lumps under the skin, same effect with follicles. And i will also try hot baths, as the heat (if the substance is sebum which is wax like when solid but made of oils) will liquefy soak backwards, and hopefully be able to properly secrete. If it is calcium deposits heat probably won't do this. And epsom salt baths, as the salt pulls toxins from the skin, and may free up blocked skin pores/glands/follicles (like a face skin mask thing for blackheads). Again hope this helps even 1 person. And i will report back with any success or failure. Take care everyone, and let's beat this and the picking!
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July 26, 2016

Sucks how many different things these look and "act" like. Also wanted to note something about the natural healing process. It itches, is supposed to itch, your flesh is reknitting itself and teeing to heal. It itches. The lumps i get do not itch at all and are painless, until i attempt to extract them. Once you create a scab, it is going to itch, and it is a wound, so the nerves in the area are probably inflamed,shocked, more tender and sensitive than they would usually be and so do you may get pain as well. Of course I'm not a professional, and i can't diagnose you, but i can relate my experience and personal research.
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October 25, 2016

I desparately suffer from the same condition. Recently I found information on Pityrosporum (Malassezia) folliculitis, describing something similar: Splendore-Hoeppli phenomenon in Pityrosporum folliculitis (pseudoactinomycosis of the skin) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1939789 And more: “Involved follicles are dilated and often plugged with keratinous material and debris. There is a mild chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate around the infundibular portion of the follicle. Intrafollicular deposits of mucin are sometimes present. If serial sections are examined, disruption of the follicular epithelium is sometimes found, with basophilic granular debris, keratinous material, neutrophils, and other inflammatory cells in the perifollicular dermis . A few foreign-body giant cells may also be present when rupture of the follicle has occurred. A PAS or silver methenamine stain will reveal spherical to oval yeast-like organisms, 2–4 µm in diameter. These organisms are sometimes budding. They are found most often in the follicle, but following rupture they can also be found in the perifollicular inflammatory exudate. Sometimes a few hyphae can also be seen. Pseudoactinomycotic granules have been reported in two cases.” Its and abstract from Pityrosporum (Malassezia) folliculitis description from here: http://plasticsurgerykey.com/mycoses-and-algal-infections-2/#st0070
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November 07, 2016

I have picked since 2nd grade, i'm now 37 years old. Stress got me started at such an early age, parents messy divorce, horrible abusive mother ... we all have similar stories I bet. Scabs on my scalp are the worst. At any one time there are 5 or 6 wounds about a cm in diameter randomly across my scalp hidden under hair, except at the crown where decades of picking has worn the hair thin. It's a disgusting habit and I can't stop. I work at a specialty pharmacy and the ONLY meds I have seen work is a regimen given to opiate addicts - to wean pickers off the euphoric high you get after a session. Too bad it takes loads of psych visits and years of "let's try this first" before being given a mild narcotic for such an off label reason. The addiction is, and it IS an addiction, all chemical. For whatever reason, we get a dopamine high when picking. At around 30 yrs old, I began getting these white irritated sebum gland things you all are talking about. Deep in the skin, around my mouth and on my cheeks near my nose. The deeper it is, the more it hurts. Squeeze on it, thick'ish white sebum comes out ... pus too if it's infected. Great, now there's an open wound on my face. It won't heal, more goo keeps coming out. WTF. Poke it with tweezers, notice there is a distinct core involved. Almost like a sebaceous cyst but much smaller. Gently separate the "cyst" wall from the normal pink tissue surrounding it. It pulls away pretty easily, the white core is loose and free but still attached at the base to ... something? Grab with the tweezers and pull, it stretches about 3mm but remains attached. The teeny bit of core tissue i could grab with the tweezers breaks off and the rest sproings back into place and even further inside *sigh*. I know your pain. That core HAS to come out or it will never heal, at least for me anyway. I think it is an irritated or infected sebum gland thats producing bacteria. Its so deep in my skin nothing will reach to kill the infection. Proactive twice a day has barely any affect. Alcohol, dry out the core and it's easier to tweeze out. Treat it like a cyst and pull the core away from the surrounding tissue. BE GENTLE. If you're not having any luck, come back to it later - you want to get that fucker out the first time, don't snap it in half because then you will need to wait 2 more weeks to grow long enough to try and tweeze out again. Alcohol, never peroxide. If tweezers aren't working i've used cuticle cutters. My secret weapon is a Dentec tool, you know, for teeth cleaning. The plaque scaler is perfect for working the core away from the healthy pink tissue, it is thin and curved to reach way down. If done correctly you can scoop the whole thing out with hardly any wound. Apply alcohol, when dry let a scab form if it seems to want to scab up, then triple antibiotic ointment. I don't use a bandaid unless it's unusually noticeable. Once healed, there is a small hole where the sebum gland was removed, like a dialated pore. It gets smaller over time but never closes completely. It's odd that i never want to pick on these like on my scalp. Once the core is out, im so happy that its not hurting anymore i totally leave it alone. I am immuno-compromised also, ulcerative colitis. Hypersomnia and sleep apnea, generalized anxiety disorder. All are generally related and seem to appear together. I only list these for a comparison with other sufferers. Oh, I did have an ovary removed 3 years ago. Biopsy showed dermoid cysts and a fully formed molar tooth, it was a first for my OBGYN and pics if it circulated the web for a while lol.
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December 12, 2016

OMG!!! My family and child's mother had an intervention about my obsession with picking the white spikes out of my skin. They all begged need to stop picking and did not believe me they said as well as the hospital and dermatologist that it was part of my body's natural healing process. I however do these things we're not a natural part of my body. So I agreed to stop picking only because I know they get so much worse when I stop. So once they created the hard layer on top and got about the size of a half-dollar and larger and made my legs look like they had leprosy or something. Then I called and intervention of my own and took a pair of sharp tweezers out of my pocket lifted my pants leg and jammed it into the biggest one I had and ripped out so many humongous spikes blood went everywhere but when I showed them what I pulled out they finally believed me. Dermatologists in doctors all tell me that they're different things now that they can't deny there's something going on because I let them get so bad but not picking at them to control them. Nothing that give me helps however I found if I put apple cider vinegar on them and then cover them up and leave them covered overnight when I remove the bandages spikes and that top hard layer are stuck to the bandage. But since I have not picked at them they have gotten much worse. I would like more than anything to find out what these things are because now they have overrun my legs and gotten very big and are growing deep into my legs and wherever they were when I pulled them out there is a large hole in my flesh that bleeds profusely
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January 05, 2017

Nolimitscot, I understand how it feel, and sorry for you -I have the same condition. Please update if you'll be able to find out what that could be and how to cure that. I try different methods of self treatment, as doctors were of no help((( My latest idea - I've read about Giardia lamblia, microscopic parasite, which can cause strange and kind to diagnose types of allergy. I've taken a medicine from this and also a course of herbs helping the bile flow (as giardiasis is connected to gallbladder problems). I can't say I'm cured but the lesions seem to start heal faster and less spikes appear.
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June 01, 2017

I enrolled on this site just to comment on this thread,this might help someone someday,Ive had several different things happen to me over the years like a touch of MRSA with mine just plain antibiotics took it away (for the time being) mine is due to a weak immune system,i am a picker big time, I'm the kind that has a "kit" and i love to look at the stuff i get out with a loupe,lol . Sometimes at work ill see someone with a scab or a big zit and I'm like "man are you gonna pop that??? i just cant understand how someone could not want to, oh well to each his own. Anyhow the big reason why I'm on here, back in October i got a little sore in my arm, i started picking (of course) and about the third time i picked it and it got a little bigger i started noticing those little "spikes" man you talk about cool stuff,once the scab comes out the come out with the scab, stuck to the scab more like it, when it first started i actually got some good size ones out,listen to me and listen good, THIS IS PART OF YOUR BODY, ITS NOT, I REPEAT IT IS NOT SOME "ORGANISM LIKE SOME LOONEY HAS BEEN SAYING ON HERE, granted its probably caused by some bacteria but its not some "snake" thats coming out of your body or anything of that nature, you know how to get rid of it? QUIT PICKING ON IT!!! I MEAN IT, see what happened was i was enjoying it soo much November came,December, January February March and the damn thing was getting bigger and bigger,well my sister decided she was going to come and visit me in May for my birthday, my Sister is one of those that if i get a bite from a ant she freaks out so i knew i had to do something cause she was gonna be asking questions, i had noticed when i would leave it alone for a few days it seems like it was receding, the minute i took that big scab off BAM there is was again growing,basically you leave it alone for 4 days and then you pick that big scab and your back to square one buddy, i ended up getting another one close to where i had the original one,well i picked it for a few days and wow there were the little tiny spikes appearing again so i left that sucker ALONE!! and with a week it was on its way OUT!! well the big one has taken a few months but its almost gone!! something Ive been using is LOTRIMIN,what you buy for jock itch or athletes foot, that stuff is pretty powerful and its over the counter, now these sores are more powerful but the lotri kills them reeeally slow, just be patient, i have gone thru at least 120 band aids but its paying off and what its doing its receding to one side, this is the weirdest but coolest thing Ive ever had in my life, its like it has a mind of its own!! so remember if you pick it gets worse,leave it alone when they are young and they will go away,if you continue to pick it will just get bigger and bigger,its up to you!!! i do believe to be honest they are MRSA related but a different strain of it, more powerful but less invasive,with a normal MRSA sore, it hurts like hell, gets big, pops and your done,this is different,if you leave it be it will go away, for me the way it starts its a little scab thats hard as heck and you have to tug hard to pull it off, once you start doing that the little spikes show up,from then on you are doomed unless you stop and dab some lotri and put a band aid and leave it alone!! if you have any questions just leave me a comment and ill be glad to help.
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June 04, 2017

Praetorius, thank you for writing about your experience! Please update if possible, if you'll be able to heal the sore. Do you think the spikes and glanules can dissolve after healing?
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July 22, 2017

I've found an interesting article. Might be related to our problem. "Herpetic Folliculitis and Syringitis Simulating Acne Excoriee We describe the case of a 46-year-old woman with a long standing history of acne excoriee, confirmed by several dermatologists, that finally was unmasked as herpetic fol- liculitis and syringitis. Report of a Case. A 46-year-old, white, nonatopic woman who had not suffered from severe acne vulgaris in puberty developed acneiform lesions on her face at age 25 years. Subjective symptoms like palpitation, burning, and itch- ing made her pick and squeeze these lesions. Numerous recurrences over the next 20 years led to considerable scar formation. The “acne lesions” had resisted the acne treat- ment advised by several dermatologists. Because of her skin lesions, she was in deteriorating psychological condition that seemed to support a diagnosis of acne excoriee. When treatment for acne was again ineffective, a 5-mm punch biopsy was performed on demand of the patient. Serological testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detected IgM and IgG antibodies to HSV. Comment. Over a period of 20 years, our patient suf- fered from recurrent episodes of acneiform lesions on the face clinically resembling acne excoriee. Herpesvirus folliculitis and syringitis was diagnosed only by his- topathologic examination. The diagnosis of HSV infection was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction amplification of HSV DNA, by detection of HSV-specific antibodies using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and by the positive response to antiviral therapy with valacyclovir. In herpesvirus infection of the skin, the histopathologic changes are often limited to the epidermis. Remarkably, the involvement of the follicular epithelia (herpetic folliculitis) and the sebaceous and eccrine structures (herpetic syringitis) is only rarely reported in the literature. In conclusion, herpetic folliculitis and syringitis should be considered relevant differential diagnoses in patients with acneiform lesions that fail to respond to conventional acne treatment."
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August 23, 2017

Omgggg! I just stumbled upon this website and I love it. I'm a severe picker and I googled what the little white things were under my scab and I ended up here.. some people call them spikes or cores I guess.. cores is a good way to describe them but I always just call them little rice.. they remind me of tiny pieces of rice that I pull out.. not to be confused with milia.. because I get those too.. but the things I was curious about aren't milia.. I'm just new to realizing them and I'm obsessedddd with pulling them out.. once I get hold of one it literally pulls out like a plug.. I have to use tweezers every time but once it finally pulls out I'm left with a little hole that usually bleeds quite a bit but once it stops that's when I notice that the area will finally start to heal better... sometimes when I pick a "good enough" scab off the little rice stay attached to the scab... but for the most part I need to tweeze them out.. I usually only get them on my face but just yesterday I had a wicked good one on my arm. If it wasn't for milia and obsessing over ingrown hair bumps I'd have clear skin.. I don't suffer from acne and I never ever get pimples. I just end up turning the smallest unnoticeable things into huge visible open wounds. I really wish I could stop.. any idea on how to deal with milia or these little "rice, spikes, cores, etc etc" whatever you guys call them? Lol
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August 25, 2017

I have this, and normally I wouldn't care, but it's on a tattoo that I really want to heal, but I can't leave it alone long enough. :(

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