Milia Treatments

Milia Treatments, At A Glance

  • Best Results1-3 treatments
  • Treatment Recovery1-3 days
  • Procedure Time10 to 20 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistNurse, dermal therapist
  • Duration of ResultsMonths to years
  • AnaestheticNumbing
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$ (Nurse/Dermal therapist)

Milia Treatments

Milia are common bumps that occur around the eyes. They can be secondary to occlusive moisturisers or laser resurfacing. Most commonly there is no known cause however milia can be seen in families. Treatment options include extractions with instruments, lasers & peels.

FactsFacts on Milia

  • Milia are hard balls of keratin that lie under the skin’s surface
  • Occlusive moisturizers can lead to milia formation
  • Unlike zits, the core of milia consists of hard protein
  • This means milia are harder to squeeze out compared to pimples
  • Simple treatments include chemical peels, microdermabrasion & needle extractions
  • Exfoliating regularly can reduce & prevent milia formation
  • Microdermabrasion can treat & reduce milia

What are milia?

Milia is a term to describe accumulation of keratin beneath the skin’s surface. Milia can be located anywhere on the body, however they are more common around the eyes.

Milia can be confused with whiteheads, cysts & syringomas.

What simple steps can you do at home to treat milia?

Product guide: Use a less occlusive moisturizer if you are prone to milia, consider lotions or serums over creams/ointments.

Exfoliate once a week. Consider a physical exfoliant such as Clarisonic or gentle pads. Chemical exfoliants include AHAs such as glycolic acid or lactic acid washes or serums. Skin care products that can help include retinol & retinoids. These take time to work, so be patient.

Can milia be due to my products?

Yes, occlusive moisturizers are often the culprit. This can occur if you are using a body moisturizer on the face. Creams & ointments can give rise to milia, whilst lotions & serums are less occlusive. Consider swapping your moisturizers if you are prone to milia.

Can I pop milia?

Most milia lie deep in the epidermis, unlike blackheads & pimples. Keratin is also much harder than pus. Unless you have a super steady hand, milia treatment at home can be tricky. 

Using a sterile 30-gauge needle can ‘flick’ the surface skin, leaving a track for milia to escape. Just don’t hit your eyeball with the needle if you are contemplating a DIY job. If you are prone to milia, consider swapping your skin care products. Some milia go away on their own within 4 to 8 weeks.

Davin’s Viewpoint: Milia

Milium or milia are common causes of white dots & lumps, they are not to be confused with eccrine or adnexal tumours like syringomas.

These lumps contain keratin (hard protein like material). Unlike zits & pustules, milia can be difficult to remove. Aestheticians, beauticians & dermal therapists employ needle extractions, microdermabrasion & peels to deroof milia.

A good skin care routine consisting of AHAs, BHAs & retinoic acid-retinol can reduce or prevent milia formation. Be guided by your skin care expert.

Disclaimer: I do not remove milia, even on the eyelids. My day job is surgical, complex lasers, deep peels & injectables.

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