Calcium deposits on the face appear as small, hard, yellowish-white bumps on the skin. They develop when excess calcium phosphate is deposited on the skin. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including skin damage, connective tissue disorders , acne, cysts, autoimmune diseases , or kidney problems, or as a result of taking certain medications.
In medicine, calcium deposits are called calcification . The calcium deposits that appear on the skin are called skin calcifications .
Calcium deposits are white, sometimes slightly yellowish bumps or bumps under the skin. They can be of different sizes and often accumulate in groups.
These lumps usually develop slowly over time. Some people notice mild itching or redness before the bumps appear, but most people have no symptoms until calcium deposits form.
Calcium deposits can form anywhere on the skin, although they are most commonly found on the tips of the fingers, around the elbows and knees, and on the shins. Calcium deposits can form in other tissues of the body, such as the face or scrotum.
They often do not harm or bother you (except cosmetics), especially when they are on your face. However, when calcium deposits appear in other areas of the skin, such as around the joints, they can be painful.
If calcium deposits crack (ulcerate) or perforate, a semi-solid, pasty material can come out.
Calcium deposits on the face form when excess calcium phosphate deposits on the skin. They don't have a specific cause, but many different problems can cause calcium deposits to form.
Your body uses calcium phosphate (a compound of calcium and phosphorus) to build healthy bones and teeth. Calcium also helps muscles contract and relax, blood to clot, and nerves function normally.
Calcium is a very important mineral. But when calcium and phosphorus levels are abnormal, calcium deposits can form due to a variety of different reasons.
Injury or infection
Skin injury or infection is the most common cause of calcium deposits. Caused by dystrophic calcification of the skin , with this type of calcium deposits, the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body are normal. But when the skin is damaged in some way and the cells die, they release proteins that bind to phosphates, leading to calcification of the skin.
Dystrophic calcification can develop due to acne , panniculitis , burns , and other skin lesions. This type of calcification is also associated with certain autoimmune and connective tissue diseases such as lupus , scleroderma , rheumatoid arthritis , and Sjogren 's syndrome.
Certain medications and medical procedures can cause a type of calcification called iatrogenic calcification of the skin . Any medicine that increases the level of calcium or phosphorus in the body can increase the chance that calcium deposits will form.
Calcium deposits can also appear at the site of an invasive procedure, for example, after surgery or on a newborn's heel after repeated treatments.
Diseases that cause abnormal amounts of calcium or phosphorus lead to a form of calcium deposits called metastatic calcification of the skin . The most common cause is chronic kidney disease. Other causes include hyperparathyroidism, tumors, sarcoidosis , excessive levels of vitamin D, and lactic alkaline syndrome.
Sometimes calcium deposits form for no apparent reason. When calcium and phosphorus levels are normal and there are no underlying medical conditions, but calcium deposits are still forming, this is called idiopathic calcification . This type of calcification is not as common as others.
Because they can be a sign of an undiagnosed medical condition, it's important to see your doctor if you think you have calcium deposits.
Your healthcare professional will first perform a visual exam of your skin. Not all white bumps on the skin are calcium deposits. What you consider calcium deposits can be completely different. If necessary, a biopsy can be performed to accurately diagnose calcium deposits.
If you have calcium deposits, your calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels will be monitored. Your healthcare provider can also check if your thyroid and kidneys are working properly and possibly detect systemic diseases that cause calcium deposits.
Calcium deposits against milia
Milia are small, hard, white bumps that also form on the skin. They are very similar to calcium deposits; so much so that those who develop them often mistake them for calcium deposits.
To add to the confusion, many people use the terms "miles" and "calcium deposits" interchangeably. But calcium and milia deposits develop in different ways and have different causes.
Milia are small cysts that form when a small piece of keratin gets trapped under the surface of the skin. They are especially common on the face, around the eyes, and on the forehead. Milia is completely harmless and is not caused by any medical problems.
Milia is much more common than calcium deposits, especially on the face.
This is another reason for your healthcare professional to examine any unidentified white bumps on your face or elsewhere. You must receive the correct diagnosis to receive the correct treatment.
Since there are many different underlying causes of calcium deposits, there are also many different treatments.
Calcium blockers such as diltiazem, amlodipine, and verapamil are the most commonly prescribed medications to treat calcium deposits. Calcium blockers reduce the amount of calcium that skin cells can absorb.
Sometimes warfarin, colchicine (an anti-inflammatory drug), and prednisone (a steroid) are also given. These medications can help reduce calcium deposits.
There are medical procedures that can also be done to treat calcium deposits. Surgical removal is a procedure done to physically remove calcium deposits from the skin. Sometimes surgery can be done to remove blackheads, which is less invasive than removal – small instruments are used to remove calcium from the skin.
Laser therapy uses light or carbon dioxide to dissolve calcium deposits. Iontophoresis can also be used to dissolve calcium deposits by using a weak electrical current to deliver medications directly to calcium deposits.
However, even after these procedures, calcium deposits may reappear. For the best long-term results, you need to address the root cause. Treating any underlying disease that causes calcium deposits by default also helps treat calcium deposits.
You may have other treatment options available. Your healthcare professional will help you decide which treatment is best for your specific situation.
Get the word of drug information
White bumps on the skin can be frustrating, but they are especially serious when they appear in an area as obvious as the face. However, do not assume that a white bump on your face is calcium deposits. In addition to calcium deposits, there are many possible causes of skin bumps.
If you have an unidentified bump on your skin, see your doctor. Then your healthcare provider can help you develop a plan to treat your calcium deposits and any other medical problems you may have.
Frequently asked questions
While there isn't much scientific research on natural ways to remove calcium deposits, preventing or properly treating the underlying cause may be the best way to go. For example, metastatic calcification of the skin can be caused by hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and excessive levels of vitamin D. In such cases, any thyroid or kidney disease should be treated immediately to avoid complications, including calcium deposits.
This usually depends on how severe the sediment is and if it is causing pain. Your healthcare provider may recommend ice, rest, medications to relieve inflammation, and light exercise until the flare-up is over.