Milia are benign, white cysts. They are quite common, and can be found on infants, children and adults. These cysts are filled with keratin. Milia often appear around the eyes and on the cheeks and nose. Milia occurs when surface-level skin cells are not sloughed off--the cells clog the skin, leading to these cysts. Thankfully, you can have milia removed by a dermatologist. You can also follow a skincare regime at home that will decrease the presence of milia.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Facial scrub
- Body scrub
- Hydroxy acid cleanser
- Chemical peels
Exfoliate your skin. Regular exfoliation encourages skin cell generation, helping new skin cells to replace the cells affected by milia faster. Use a facial or body scrub to exfoliate the area at least three times weekly. Exfoliation also helps to prevent new milia from forming.
Cleanse the area twice daily using a hydroxy acid cleanser. Hydroxy acids encourage skin cell turnover, helping your milia to disappear more quickly. You can find hydroxy acid cleansers in most drug and cosmetic stores.
Get chemical peels. During a peel, acids are applied to your skin to burn away the top layers. Once your skin heals, it will appear younger and smoother, and your milia will be less noticeable. A series of peels are often needed to effectively get rid of milia.
Have milia surgically removed by a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will use a scalpel to remove the milia from your skin. Generally, no stitches are necessary since the cysts are scraped off at the skin's surface level.
Consider microdermabrasion. Dermatologists often use microdermabrasion to get rid of milia. A small sandblaster-type device is used to buff away the top layers of skin, effectively smoothing out the cysts. You will likely need a series of sessions to get rid of your milia.
Tips and warnings
- Do not squeeze or pick at your milia to avoid permanently scaring your skin. Only a dermatologist should perform extractions.
- Do not treat milia on infants or children. The cysts will go away on their own, and treatments are often too harsh for young skin. If the milia does not go away within a few weeks, take your child to the paediatrician.
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