Beauty is not just about having perfect, flawless skin. We often depend on chemicals and makeup to obtain skin perfection, but true natural beauty comes from enjoying a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Our skin is the canvas for our life story; the sunrises we’ve seen, the sweat from intense exercise, and laughter-filled days are all displayed through our skin. Healthy life choices protect and nourish our bodies and skin. But making these healthy choices is easier said than done!
With all the curveballs life throws, we often struggle to meet the bare minimum – sufficient sleep, balanced meal, hydrated skin, and so on. It is not easy to feel confident in our skin when we have dark under-eye circles, sunspots, dry patches, etc. One such common skin problem among people of all age groups is Milia.
What Are Milia?
Milia, more commonly known as milk spots or fat spots, are tiny cysts that appear on the skin without any significant cause for concern. People often mistake milia for being whiteheads since they look quite similar but are actually different.
The build-up of keratin causes milia under the skin’s surface and mostly appears on the cheeks and around the eyes. They are entirely harmless and don’t cause any physical discomfort, though they can make someone self-conscious about their appearance should there be a large visible build-up on the face or other areas of skin.
What are the Symptoms of Milia?
If you start noticing white bumps or cysts in groups or clusters on your skin, which, although not painful or causing any discomfort, may give you an unkempt look, it is probably milia.
These dome-shaped asymptomatic bumps may appear anywhere on your body. The most common places are:
- On your eyelid or under your eyes.
- Arms or legs.
- Genitals such as your penis.
- Inside of your mouth.
Often found on the cheeks, chin, or nose, milia are also common to other body parts, especially the trunk and limbs, in both babies and adults.
Epstein pearls, a common condition present in newborns, are characterized by small, pearl-like white spots or bumps that show up on the gums or roof of the mouth. These bumps are also milia and are similar to small white-headed pimples, usually appearing on the body when dead skin cells are trapped under the surface.
The condition poses no problems for babies and tends to go away without treatment in a few weeks. While there is nothing to fear about milia in babies, adults wanting to get rid of milia to get clear skin is understandable.
In addition, it may cause discomfort for some people when rough surfaces or clothing may cause milia to appear irritated and red.
Causes and Risk Factors of Milia
Many people feel embarrassed by milia, often mistaking them for acne. Contrary to what some might think, milia don't result from dirt but rather from the inability of dead skin cells to naturally slough off the body. Skin changes over time and sheds its old layers to make way for new ones; when this process is hindered and old cells get trapped below the new layer of skin, they accumulate as cysts giving rise to milia on otherwise healthy-looking faces.
A few other causes for milia are:
- Skin damage from an injury or sun exposure.
- Long-term use of steroid creams or medications.
- Some genetic conditions.
- An autoimmune response.
The factors that put you more at risk of having milia are:
- An inefficient or improper skincare routine
- Excessive use of cosmetics that clogs the pores
- Insufficient sleep
- Having skin conditions like rosacea, dandruff, or eczema.
How to remove milia?
Milia can be primary or secondary in origin. While primary milia occur due to retained keratin, secondary milia develop when certain materials block the ducts from surfacing onto the skin due to an injury or inflammation.
Fortunately, a dermatologist can easily address any form of milia after inspecting the skin’s surface. A detailed consultation can help your dermatologist decide on an appropriate treatment regimen. In certain cases, a biopsy may also be recommended to account for changes in the deeper skin layers.
To remove milia from heavily affected areas, specific procedures or treatments may be recommended, such as:
- Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy to freeze the fat spots;
- Removing the contents of the cysts by pickling them with a sterile needle.
- Application of Vitamin A creams for skin exfoliation;
- Treating the affected areas with laser therapy;
- Diathermy technique to generate extreme heat to destroy cysts;
- Surgery to remove cysts.
How much does Milia removal cost?
The price of milia removal depends on various aspects, such as your geographic location, the expert you choose, and the treatment technique. Generally speaking, a single microdermabrasion session will cost approximately $85-160 per session. Alternatively, your dermatologist may opt for topical retinoids like Retin-A, Adapalene, or Tazarotene, which are offered in a six-month supply for about $170. However, one would need an estimated budget of between $120 to $250 for complete and successful milia removal.
How to prevent Milia?
Although milia are primarily unpredictable, taking precautions as you age can help reduce your risk of developing milia.
- One of the most effective methods of preventing milia is avoiding excessive sun exposure, as harsh UV rays can damage the skin and lead to milia formation.
- Consistently exfoliating your skin or using a face cleanser is another way of preventing it.
- Though not recommended for everyday use for extended periods, using thick facial cream temporarily may prevent milia formation.
- Use steroids only for the prescribed periods and not longer.
How to Get Rid of Milia Under Eyes?
Milia appearing anywhere on the face is uncomfortable enough, but more so when they occur under your eyes. Here are a few remedies you can try at home as milia under eye treatment:
- Steam: Steam opens up pores to release any irritants trapped under your skin.
- Rose water or honey: Rose and honey have anti-inflammatory properties. So you can make a mask using rose water or honey and apply it regularly on your face.
- Avoid picking or poking:Picking or poking milia may lead to irritation of the affected area, infection, and scarring. So it is best to leave those bumps alone and let them heal with time.
- Exfoliate the skin:This is a very efficient way to prevent milia. Gently exfoliating your skin with a warm washcloth may eliminate dead skin cells and help bring trapped keratin to the surface.
B5 Exfoliate Pred Pads: Get Rid of Milia Under Eyes
Contours Rx B5 Exfoliate Prep Pads are one of the most effective pads available on the market that can prevent milia formation and give your skin the glow you have always wanted. These prep pads can also be used to get rid of milia on the eyelids. They are easy to use and are safe for everyday application.
B5 Exfoliate Prep Pads have restorative B5 acids, which means it not only gently exfoliates your skin to eliminate dead skin cells but is effective in maintaining overall eye health and daily hygiene. It reduces bacteria formation, redness, and inflammation and prepares the skin for LIDS BY DESIGN - eyelid tapes for hooded eyes.
All products by Contours Rx are dermatologist tested, so next time you worry about ways to ensure milia skincare, give B5 Exfoliate Prep Pads a try and see the difference for yourself.
Product Link: B5 Exfoliate Prep PadsFAQs:
1. Can you pop a Milia?
Milia forms under a thin layer of skin, which means there is no pore opening for plug extraction the way you would expect with acne or blackheads. So, no amount of squeezing and prodding will help eliminate milia and might instead cause serious issues ranging from infection to permanent scarring. So it's best to leave your milia alone and seek professional treatment instead.
2. What causes milia?
Milia occur when dead skin cells fail to slough away and get trapped under a new skin, forming tiny cysts that are visible on the surface. This build-up of keratin is also caused by irritation such as sun exposure, a rash, or an injury to the affected region. Instead of trying to pop them off, it's best to try and stop the causes in their tracks - like avoiding excessive sun exposure and using the right ointment for any irritation.
3. Should milia be removed?
You likely have milia if you've noticed small, white bumps on your skin, especially around the eyes or cheeks. Most of the time, milia will disappear without any treatment; however, many people opt for removal for cosmetic purposes. Depending on the severity of your milia, your dermatologist will suggest a few techniques to choose from that can help quickly get rid of these bumps, such as laser treatments, chemical peels, and cryotherapy.
4. Can you remove milia at home?
Milia are harmless and do not cause any form of physical discomforts like pain or itching. However, they can be unsightly. It goes away in a few weeks without treatment, but most people want to remove milia for cosmetic reasons. It’s best not to try to remove milia at home as it may lead to infection or scarring. So the best way to prevent milia from occurring in the future is to ensure that you clean your face, especially before bedtime, gently exfoliate it regularly, and avoid sunburns.
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