Milia are a common skin condition that is noncancerous and affects people of all ages. Milia appear as small white bumps and are the result of skin that does not slough off normally being trapped in a hair follicle or sweat gland. Some milia may occur after an injury or blistering of the skin and have appeared on people suffering from sun-damaged skin. The condition may also occur following the long term use of topical steroids. Milia can occur in all ages, races and both genders.
Common Locations of Milia
Milia are generally found around the eye on adults and children but can be found around the nose area on infants. Because the oil glands of infants are not fully developed, milia may form in the blocked pores. Milia in infants tends to correct itself, whereas milia in adults are long-lasting and may require dermatological removal. When a skin condition, injury or sun damage exists, milia may be found on other parts of the body.
Milia will appear as white or yellow bumps that seem to be just beneath the surface of the skin, but they are actually deep seeded. The bump will range from 1-2 mm in size and may be mistaken for acne. You may find several bumps clustered, or find only one.
Milia may resolve itself when the skin cells trapped in pores find their own way out from under the skin. However, if the milia do not resolve itself or are recurring, you can take some simple steps to correct the problem. Skin and hair products you use every day could be contributing to the formation of milia. Scrutinizing the lotions, makeup, hair gel and other products you use may make a difference in recurring milia. Adding a gentle exfoliation to your skin care regimen can help renew the skin and keep pores clear. A dermabrasion treatment or fruit acid peel can be done at home for a minimal cost and may go a long way in helping rid yourself of milia. Treatments by a dermatologist may include topical retinoid creams, sterile removal or acid peels.
You will begin to notice a big difference in your skin's appearance within a few weeks after using dermabrasions or facial peels. Following the instructions on the product you opt to use, it could take up to 30 treatments before you see a noticeable change or the absence of milia. You should continue a skin care regimen after your milia has been resolved to ensure that it does not recur.
Milia located around the eye or on the eyelid can be problematic when using facial peels or dermabrasions. Visiting a dermatologist for the sterile removal of milia around the immediate eye area is highly recommended. If you question the severity of your milia, it is best to seek medical advice on its treatment and prevention.