If you are obsessed with all things skincare – or just curious about annoying raised white lumps that seem like spots on your face – then this post is for you.
These white lumps, which primarily pop up around the delicate eye area, are called Milia, and although they are irritating, in most cases they are harmless enough. Just don’t pop them.
According to patient.info:
“Milia are very small, raised, pearly-white or yellowish bumps on the skin. They are most often seen on the skin around the cheeks, nose, eyes and eyelids, forehead and chest.
However, they can occur anywhere on the body. Milia are very common in newborn babies but can affect people of any age”
Now for the science part. These random white bumps are in fact a type of skin cyst filled with a protein called keratin. The cyst occurs when keratin, typically found in skin tissue, hair and nail cells, becomes trapped beneath the surface of the skin.
There are five different types of Milia that are found on the skin according to health and beauty website healthline.
- Primary Milia in Children and Adults: This condition is caused by keratin trapped beneath the skin surface. Cysts can be found around the eyelids, forehead, and on the genitalia. Primary milia may disappear in a few weeks or last for several months.
- Milia en Plaque: This condition is commonly associated with genetic or autoimmune skin disorders, such as discoid lupus or lichen planus. Milia en plaque can affect the eyelids, ears, cheeks, or jaw. The cysts can be several centimetres in diameter. This condition is primarily seen in middle-aged women, but it can occur in adults and children of all genders and ages.
- Multiple Eruptive Milia: This type of milia consists of itchy areas that can appear on the face, upper arms, and torso. The cysts often appear over a span of time, ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
- Traumatic Milia: These occur where injury to the skin has occurred. Examples include severe burns and rashes. The cysts may become irritated, making them red along the edges and white in the centre.
- Milia Associated with Drugs: The use of steroid creams can lead to Milia on the skin where the cream is applied. However, such side effects from topical medications are rare.
Now, supposedly Milia will clear up of their own accord. But if you just can’t wait, do not pop them like a spot because you can cause serious long term harm to your skin.
How to treat Milia:
Instead, use a sterilised tweezers, comedone extractor, or needle and gently make a small tear in the skin and see if it comes out.
If the Milia is on a really sensitive spot, like eyelids, it is recommended that you get a professional to remove it for you.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must go to a dermatologist. Some beauty salons are offering Milia removal at very reasonable prices. It is worth noting, however, that once removed, the skin can swell, so it is not advisable to remove Milia too close to a big occasion.
Dermatologist say to prevent further Milia outbreaks, regular skin cleansing, toning and buffing is advised.
Watch the video below for some tips