Milia are small white bumps that form on the face when dead skin cells get trapped beneath the skin’s surface, forming small, hard cysts as a result. Milia are commonly found on the skin of people of all ages, but it is most commonly seen in infants and are affectionately called “milk bumps” – although they have nothing to do with milk. Nearly all babies and most adults who suffer with milia get them because the skin has not been properly exfoliated. Adults can also experience secondary milia, however, which develop after something clogs the ducts leading to the skin surface, such as after an injury, burn, or blistering of the skin.
Unlike blackheads and whiteheads, milia do not develop into acne lesions. Milia may disappear without treatment. In fact, when infants have milia, most doctors will recommend that you do not attempt any special treatment. Merely wash your baby’s skin with warm water and pat it dry with a soft towel every day.
In adults, milia appear as 1–2 mm white-to-yellow, dome-shaped bumps that are not painful or itchy. There are usually located on the faces of people who have had a lot of damage from sun exposure and are most commonly found around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead.
How to Treat Milia and Clogged Pores in Adults
At Skin MD and Beyond, there are many ways to remove milia and Dr. Wright with her vast experience in treating them, will provide you with the best option – for the best cosmetic outcome.
Resist the temptation to scratch them away. Milia are not pimples, so popping them will not be able to make them go away. The hard cyst lying under your skin will remain there unless a professional can lance it. You are unlikely to have success attempting its removal and will likely cause irritation and damage to your skin. You may even create a scar.
Milia are safely removed with a milia extractor which is a simple procedure that we perform almost every day in our clinic. For those that do not have a milia extractor, a simple unroofing of the cyst with a sterile scalpel blade or needle, followed by the use of a comedone extractor can also be used. It should heal with minimal-to-no scarring and for best results it should be performed by a professional with a lot of experience in milia extraction.
Because milia can form when the skin’s natural exfoliation process malfunctions, to prevent further milia: consider switching cosmetics, moisturizers and/or sunscreens, and practice sun avoidance. You can use a targeted exfoliating treatment to immediately improve exfoliation and allow milia to dissolve before they start.
Use a Good Exfoliating Product
A targeted exfoliating treatment is best if you have a few milia that you want to get rid of, but otherwise have no skin problems. Choose a targeted treatment containing salicylic acid or glycolic in the form of a wash or lotion/serum can be applied directly to the milia once daily until they disappear, but check the label to make sure. Retinol also has exfoliating properties that can keep your skin soft and clear. However retinol should not be applied close to the eyes since it can cause irritation and damage if it gets into your eyes.
Fiona WRxIGHT MD Skincare:
- Purifying Cleansing Mousse
- Exfoliating Cleanser
- 3 in 1 Acne Cleanser
- AntiOxidant Exfoliating Cleanser (certified organic)
- Purifying Toner
- 15% Glycolic Refining Lotion
Avoid Heavy Moisturizers and Cosmetics
You may be tempted to conceal your milia with makeup, but doing so will only prolong their stay. It will also welcome more dirt onto your face, making your milia harder to really get rid of. Cosmetics and heavy creams stay on your skin, blocking your pores. In order to get rid of your milia, you need to be able to exfoliate away dead skin cells. An exfoliating moisturizer is a good idea if your milia is widespread and accompanied by dry skin. The moisturizer will reduce the build-up of dead skin cells below your skin and the exfoliating aspect will allow your skin to release the dead cells that have already accumulated. Look for a moisturizer that contains vitamin A(retinol). It should also be free of any heavy oils.
Fiona WRxIGHT MD Skincare
- Clear Skin Repair Cream (certified organic)
- Rehydration Complex with Vitamin C
- Advanced Renewal Serum (certified organic)
Protect your Skin from the Sun
Milia can worsen with sun damage. This is especially true if you are suffering from secondary milia, which is caused by blistering. A sunburn can result in the spread or prolonged existence of milia, so cutting down on sun exposure will let you get rid of milia faster. Apply a gentle oil-free sunblock specially formulated for facial care. A heavy, oily sunblock will only clog your pores more, making it harder to exfoliating the trapped dead cells causing the milia. A light sunblock can offer protection from the sun without clogging your pores, though. Look for a light one with a minimum SPF of 20 or above. Stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. When spending time outside, wear a hat to shade your face.
Fiona WRxIGHT MD Skincare
Skin MD and Beyond has extensive experience in the successful treatment of milia and providing advanced exfoliation treatments for the more severe and stubborn conditions. With a variety of options to offer, you can be assured that your customized treatment will provide you with the most effective results and a clearer complexion. Call us today.
Exfoliating Facials to learn more click here
Chemical Peels to learn more click here
Microdermabrasion to learn more click here
DermaSweeps to learn more click here
Dermal Infusion Therapy