Unlike acne, milia do not form in a single pore, but these small white cysts contain dead skin cells that have been trapped because they weren't shredded properly. Lean more about the causes, prevention and removal of milia.
Sometimes called "baby acne", milia is often seen on the faces of newborns and it goes away on its own. Adults may not be willing to wait it out and can take a number of steps to remove it, from a visit to a dermatologist to a spa treatment, or can simply choose to treat it at home. Milia shouldn't be confused with yellowish bumps on the skin, or xanthoma, caused by high cholesterol.
What Causes Milia?
Usually seen in adults around the eyes, milia is more frequent in women, since they use makeup which may trap dead skin cells. This is the primary form of milia that affects most adults.Milia can also show up as a secondary problem, after the skin has been affected by trauma, either from a rash or from burning.
Exposure to UV radiation has been linked to milia, but it's not a cause-effect relationship.
How to Remove Milia
Milia removal is usually best left to professionals or simply aided at home with the right cosmetic products. Attempting to break the skin to remove the small cysts can lead to scarring which lasts much longer than these small, firm, white bumps on your face.
Dermatologists can use needles to remove it, but sometimes a deep-cleansing treatment at the spa can be just as effective when it comes to milia removal.
While there's no easy to use milia treatment cream available, these small cysts can respond to a few treatment options available at home.
Use products formulated for acne prone skin that contain salycilic acid and AHAs or even opt for a microdermabrasion cream at home, which can help with milia removal. Try the Dermadoctor Physical Chemistry Facial Microdermabrasion + Multiacid Chemical Peel, the Clinicians Complex Microdermabrasion Cream or the La Prairie Cellular Microdermabrasion Cream.
How to Prevent Milia
While you can always include a bit more care in your skincare routine to look out for milia, the steps needed to prevent it completely include proper exfoliation.
Go for chemical exfoliation, using products that contain glycolic acid and Retin A, not for harsh physical exfoliation that features scrubs.
Using sunscreen with the right SPF for your skin is also a great prevention measure since sun damaged skin may develop milia more easily.