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
- Back to WorkImmediately
- Cost$ (Nurse/Dermal therapist)
Milia are common bumps that occur around the eyes. They can be secondary to occlusive moisturizers 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 Treatments?
Milia is a term to describe the 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.
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How can I prevent milia?
The correct use of products can prevent milia. The use of light moisturizers, gentle exfoliation & retinoic acid products can markedly reduce milia formation.
Regular microdermabrasion, chemical peels or Hydrafacials can reduce milia formation.
Who should I see for milia extractions?
Your aesthetician or beautician can look after milia. If you have tricky milia & would like them removed, book to see one of the dermal therapists at Clinic Cutis. We employ microdermabrasion, AHA, BHA & retinoic acid peels to effectively manage this common condition.
How do we treat milia?
Most cases can be ‘flicked’ with a sterile needle. Simple, painless, effective. Other methods we employ include lasers (overkill) & microdermabrasion.
Chemical peels including retinoic acid 1 to 2% peels monthly can reduce recurrence. Book an appointment with our dermal therapist @cliniccutis.
Disclaimer: I do not treat milia, even if they are on your eyelids. Best see a nurse or dermal therapist.
What is the best exfoliator for milia?
The ideal exfoliation will depend on your skin sensitivity. Most people can tolerate retinols. Combining a physical exfoliator such as brushes, sponges & mitts once a week, together with AHAs or salicylic acid washes can improve milia.
What is a simple skin care routine to reduce milia formation?
Exfoliate once a week with an AHA wash or AHA BHA combination wash.
Apply retinol or better still topical retinoids to milia prone areas. If you are using topicals on your eyelids, dilute ¼ active to ¾ light facial moisturizer.
Moisturize with a light lotion & reduce creams & other ‘heavy moisturizers.’
What medical conditions can cause milia?
Essentially any condition that separates the dermis from the epidermis can give rise to milia. Medium to deep chemical peels & ablative laser resurfacing are iatrogenic examples. Other medical conditions include familial milia, blistering conditions such as porphyrias, bullous pemphigoid, EBA, EB, DEB, phototoxic drugs, photodermatoses, burns, & many others. Medically induced milia should be managed by a medical dermatologist (not me).
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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