Causes and treatments for Milia

What is Milia?

Milia - cluster of small white hard spiky lumps located around the eyes and on the cheeksMilia are tiny, white cysts that feel quite spiky to the touch. The cysts are made up of keratin which is what the skin cells are made up of and occur when keratin becomes trapped beneath the surface of the skin. It is a sign of local keratinisation malfunction. Milia usually occurs around the eyes, cheeks, and nose. They can appear as a single milium or a cluster called milia.

What causes Milia?

The actual cause of milia varies from person to person and there are a number of theories for the causes of milia. I have seen milia on people with a history of long-term sun damage. The documentation I have read indicates that milia may also be the result of local injury to the skin, rashes, such as rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis, allergic reactions and irritation from harsh products or long-term use of steroid creams. Milia may also occur in some people following skin resurfacing procedures, such as microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing. 

salicylic acid

How to treat and remove Milia

The treatment for milia depends on how deep it is. Do not try to squeeze milia out. Often it is too deep, and people have created ugly scars trying to squeeze milia out. Milia is a clump of keratin trapped under the skin. Using a spot treatment with salicylic acid to dissolve the top skin cell layers will help to work the cyst to the surface where it will often pop out on its own. If it is nearly ready to pop out, your beauty therapist can use a sterile lancet to gently ease it out, but it must be worked up to the surface first. I have also found that salicylic acid serums will help to "dissolve" or break up the milia because salicylic acid is keratolytic, which means it is attracted to the keratin in the milia and breaks it down.

Once the milia have cleared, prevention involves skin care products that encourage healthy cell turnover. Gentle and regular exfoliation once or twice a week together with a good enzymatic cleanser will help to keep it at bay. Staying out of the sun and not overdoing it with harsh resurfacing treatments will help. Be gentle with your skin, avoid using harsh or poor quality products that may cause rashes and allergic reactions. Always use the best quality skin care products you can afford for a healthy, glowing skin. 

Check out my Essential weekly skin care ritual for a healthy skin! 

Was this article useful? Never miss the latest FREE blog updates! 
* indicates required

I hope you found this interesting and informative. If you have any comments or your own experience about (topic), share your thoughts in the comments below. For more beauty, skin care tips and advice visit my blog  and if you would like to learn more about the skin and skin care, join my facebook group:   

Thank you again for joining me, be sure to tune in each week to discover the latest beauty news and trends and to learn how to better look after your skin. So until next time, have a fabulous week!

Jana Elston x