What are Milia?

Milia are small, white bumps that often appear around the eyes, across the nose, chin, or cheeks. While they are common in newborn babies, they can occur at any age. Milia occur when keratin becomes trapped under the surface of the skin. While these bumps are not itchy or painful, they may cause discomfort for some people. In older children and adults, milia are usually associated with some type of skin care product applied to the skin. In some cases, milia may also develop if the skin loses its ability to exfoliate, which can occur as a result of aging.

Types of Milia

There are also different types of milia, which are classified based on the age at which they occur or what is causing them to develop. These types of milia also fall into primary or secondary categories.

Primary milia develop from entrapped keratin, while secondary milia develop after something clogs the ducts leading to the skin’s surface, like following an injury, blistering, or burn.

Some different types of milia include:

Neonatal Milia: These develop in newborns and usually clears up within a few weeks. They usually occur on the face, scalp, and upper torso.

Primary Milia in Adults: These milia can be found around the eyelids, forehead, and on the genitalia. They may disappear in a few weeks or last for months. 

Milia en Plaque: This condition commonly occurs in people with genetic or autoimmune skin disorders, such as lichen planus or discoid lupus. These milia can affect the eyelids, cheeks, ears, or jaw.

Milia Treatment Options

In some cases, milia will clear up on their own within a few weeks. However, if removal is preferred, there are a number of treatment options that can eliminate them, some of them include:

Topical Retinoids: These creams contain vitamin A to help exfoliate the skin and lift off the milia.

Electrodesiccation:  This is the most frequently used treatment option for milia and destroys the sites with pinpoint precision.

Deroofing: Involves extracting the contents of the cyst with a sterile needle.

Chemical Peels: These peels cause the topmost layer of the skin to peel off, allowing new skin to replace the upper layers and sloughing of the milia.

Who is a Good Candidate for Milia Treatment?

Anyone who is bothered by milia can benefit from milia treatment. To determine which treatment option is best for you, contact our office today to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Beach.

What to Expect After Milia Treatment?

Following milia treatment, fewer milia are present. There is no downtime following milia treatment, and Dr. Beach will provide you with specific instructions on how to clean your treatment area for the best results.

Contact Us Today

If you would like to learn more about possible treatment of milia, contact our office today! We will inform you how to schedule your consultation at DermAtelier on Avenue with Dr. Beach, during which she will help to create your personalized treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Milia contagious?

No, not at all. There is no infectious or contagious component.

Are Whiteheads and Milia the same?

No, whiteheads are a form of acne and milia are more firm and represent a keratin plug

Can a beautician get rid of Milia?

Dermatologists can confirm the diagnosis and use electrodessication for proper removal.

Can a dermatologist remove milia?

Yes, they can be removed with electrodessication or sometimes with curettage.

Can Milia grow bigger?

They can, albeit still staying fairly small in size

Can moisturizer cause milia?

Yes, heavy moisturizers or balms with thick emollients contribute to milia formation.

Can you squeeze Milia?

Squeezing milia unfortunately will not help remove them; it can lead to bruising

Does hyaluronic acid help Milia?

No, hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin but does not help remove milia.

How do I get rid of milia seeds?

Milia are removed via electrodessication primarily.

How do I get rid of Milia?

Milia are removed via electrodessication primarily. There are times when they may be curetted off.

Is Cetaphil good for Milia?

It will not contribute to forming milia.

How do you stop Milia from growing?

Ensure that your moisturizers and facial products are not heavy or thick and are applied sparingly, especially around the eyes

How do I get rid of Milia in the corner of my eye?

This is a delicate area, and removal may be done by the dermatologist with electrodessication

Does tea tree oil help with Milia?

No, this is not a therapy for milia removal or prevention.

Does Retinol get rid of Milia?

It can, over a very slow process which helps to accelerate lifting off of the top layers of the skin

Does Milia on eyelid go away?

It can resolve within 2 - 3 months in some circumstances.

Can Milia be prevented?

Milia can be prevented or limited by using water-based products, as opposed to heavier creams and products.

Can Milia be permanent?

There are some cases in which milia go untreated and remain on the face indefinitely.

Can I remove milia at home?

Attempts to remove at home could result in pain, bruising and infection. This is not advised.

Can an esthetician remove milia?

Obtaining a diagnostic confirmation is important before any removal. Dermatologists can confirm the diagnosis and use electrodessication for proper removal.

Why am I suddenly getting Milia?

The product use may be too heavy or occluded particularly around the eye

What products are good for Milia?

For prevention of milia, having a water-based product is

What is the difference between Whiteheads and Milia?

Whiteheads are a form of acne and milia are more firm and represent a keratin plug.

What is inside Milia?


What causes milia in adults?

Heavy and occlusive products applied to thinner skinned areas form milia

What are Milia made of?


Is Milia permanent?

No, not usually, but they can take several months to resolve without treatment.

Is Milia caused by stress?


Is Milia caused by diet?

No, it is not caused by diet.

What does Milia look like in adults?

white to yellow coloured firm bumps about 1 - 2mm wide

What essential oil is good for Milia?

There is no essential oil recommended for milia

What happens if you pop Milia?

Milia do not pop because they are firmly impacted into the skin.

Will salicylic acid remove milia?

It may, but can also cause irritation and redness and a mild chemical burn on the skin if used incorrectly.

What causes milia?

Heavy and occlusive products applied to thinner skinned areas cause keratin to sit in the top layer of the skin and form milia

Is Dermaplaning good for Milia?

No, it doesnt go sufficiently deep.

How do I stop Milia coming back?

Ensure that your moisturizers and facial products are not heavy or thick and are applied sparingly, especially around the eyes



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