How to Prevent Milia in Children's Faces

Milia, also known as whiteheads, are white cysts on the face that can occur on both adults and children, and are particularly common in newborn infants. They look like raised, pearl-like bumps on the face. Children with milia do not require treatment. The bumps will disappear within weeks and will not scar; however, you can attempt to prevent milia by following a few rules.

Limit sun exposure and apply sunscreen when in the sun. Make sure the sunscreen is not oil-based.

Clean your child's face regularly. Use a warm, damp cloth to wipe your child's face three times a day. Pat the face dry after cleaning.

Limit the use of lip balm. If you are using lip balm to prevent chapped lips on your child, the excessive moisture around the lips might be causing the milia. Do not use the balm indoors and limit its use when exposed to the elements outdoors.

Apply a light moisturiser. Ask your pharmacist for an appropriate moisturiser for your child's skin. Apply a small amount to the entire face once a day before bedtime.

Avoid toothpaste foam around the mouth. Monitor your child while he is brushing his teeth to prevent too much foam from irritating the skin around the mouth. To reduce the amount of foam, reduce the amount of toothpaste on the brush.

Avoid activities that force your child to sweat. Sweating could be a cause of the milia lesions to form. In infants, make sure your child is not overheated.


The best way to get rid of milia in children is to not treat it. It will likely disappear within a couple of weeks.


Consult your physician first to properly diagnose milia and guide you in any treatments that may be necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunscreen
  • Wet cloth
  • Dry towel
  • Moisturiser
  • Toothpaste
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About the Author

Based in Vancouver, Janet Veverka is a freelance writer and artist for Pink Olive Designs. She also blogs under the tag IMAGINATIONmama for Veverka received her Bachelor of Arts degree in arts management from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1999 before working in Europe for 5 years and then returning to North America.