Diagnosing White Bumps Under Eyes


Today, Dr. Jo Herzog will answer the following question from a Family Savvy reader.

Dear Dr. Herzog,

My son has tiny white bumps under his eyes that are making him really self conscious. Can you tell me what they are and if I can treat them over-the-counter or need to take him to see a doctor?

Thanks so much,

Sally P.

Dr. Jo Herzog


Thanks for the great question. I understand how your son feels self conscious. School age kids are very concerned about anything that appears on their face.

The bumps under your son’s eyes can be several things, but we should always keep in mind that common things are most common. That being said, the bumps are most likely small cysts, milia, or comedones (part of what we see in acne).  There are other “growths” that can occur under the eye that can be identified by a dermatologist, but they are less common.

If your son has acne or what looks like a lot of blackheads and clogged pores, you might want to try a benzoyl peroxide wash and/or a salicylic acid wash applied daily. Both can be bought over the counter.

If the spots do not appear to be part of acne, or if they do not respond to the OTC washes, I would see a dermatologist. The proper diagnosis will allow your son to have the correct treatment and clear up this problem more quickly.

Hope that this helps,

Dr. Jo

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