Milia are small, fluid-filled white cysts that typically occur on the face. Milia occur when dead skin cells becomes trapped on the surface of the skin instead of sloughing off during the skin's natural exfoliating process. They primarily occur on the base of a hair follicle or sweat gland. While milia can be difficult to treat, there are several remedies that are effective in treating milia on the forehead.
Milia can occur most places on the body, but is most often found on the face, particularly around the nose, eyes, forehead and cheeks. It can affect people of all races, skin types and ages. Milia are not painful or itchy, though they can be somewhat annoying.
Milia can be categorized as either primary and secondary. Primary milia is the most common type of milia found in infants and adults. Milia in infants is very common, occurring in up to 50 percent of children. Primary milia commonly occur on the face when skin does not fully exfoliate. This occurs at the base of sweat glands and hair follicles.
Secondary milia is the result of some form of skin damage such as injury, burn or blistering. The milia are formed when the duct on the surface of the skin is clogged. The milia can form on any part of the body where the damage occurred.
In some cases milia will disappear on their own and no treatment is needed. However, treatment for milia occurring on the forehead is straightforward, if you have the patience to continually treat the area. Keeping the area clean is the first step to treating milia at home. Using over-the-counter treatments such as witch hazel or gentle exfoliating scrubs can also help in keeping the area clean. It is important to not try to remove milia at home, as this could lead to scarring.
Treatment by a Dermatologist
If basic self care does not work in clearing up milia on the forehead, treatment by a dermatologist may be needed. Your dermatologist might pierce the milia with a small lancet or remove them with a tool called a comedo extractor. The dermatologist might prescribe a topical treatment such as tretinoin, tazarotene, or adapalene. Microdermabrasion or fruit acid peels might also be recommended by your dermatologist.