As your trusted sources for clinical skin care, our Gainesville dermatologists offer individualized treatments for improving the health and appearance of our patients' skin. The appearance of tiny, white or cream-colored bumps on your nose, cheeks, chin, or other parts of your face may indicate you have milia. Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center can help you get rid of milia for good with professional milia extraction and removal. Contact our office today to schedule a dermatologist appointment.
What Are Milia?
A milium (the singular form of milia) is a small white, yellow, or cream-colored bump or cyst that develops on facial skin, such as the nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin, but it may also develop on the eyelids and genitals. The presence of a milium cyst or multiple milia (commonly referred to as "milk spots") is usually associated with newborns and infants. Still, this skin issue can likewise develop in children as well as adults. The contents of milia are not fluid like the contents of acne and, as a result, they are not susceptible to squeezing or popping as zits are. A milium is a tiny cyst; the white lump comprising a milium is made of keratinized skin cells that have since been trapped under the skin's surface. So, if you're wondering how to remove milia, we advise against pursuing any methods of milia extraction without the help of a dermatologist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
What Causes Milia?
There are several milia causes and various contributing factors to the development of milia in adults. In most cases, milia occur due to the build-up of dead skin that accumulated in the pores near the skin's surface. If this build-up does not naturally expel, a milium (small cyst) may form. Concerning the orbital region of the face or eye area, heavy skincare products that do not properly penetrate the skin can cause milia to manifest. This occurs because the skin around our eyes does not contain oil glands and has limited blood circulation. Other factors related to the causes of milia include anything that clogs the skin's sweat ducts, typically due to skin trauma or an infection, such as chemical peels, laser treatments, long-term sun exposure/damage, skin burns, and skin burns and herpes. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of proper sleep, poor personal hygiene, and the overuse of oil-based beauty products, and long-term steroid use can also produce milia.
Types Of Milia
There are several different types of milia, including milia en plaque, neonatal milia, primary milia, secondary milia, and multiple eruptive milia, each of which ranges from common to rare. To learn more about the different types of milia and to discuss our available treatment options, contact Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center.
Milia En Plaque (MEP)
Milia en plaque is an unusual condition that typically affects middle-aged women, though it can affect other patients. This variety causes milia to cluster together or clump up on broad, flat, and raised patches of skin that protrude higher than surrounding skin. They are usually located behind the ears, on the eyelids, cheeks, or jaw. MEP may be associated with lichen planus and pseudoxanthoma elasticum, among other skin conditions.
Neonatal milia, or milia in babies, is a prevalent skin condition usually found in tiny babies soon after birth. Approximately half of all babies will develop neonatal milia at one point or another following delivery. Milia in babies commonly appears on the skin located around the nose, but it may occur on the scalp, cheeks, upper body, and even inside the mouth. This form of milia is thought to arise due to sweat glands that have yet to fully mature.
Primary milia may occur in both children and adults. As the most common form of milia, primary milia usually appears on the eyelids, cheeks, forehead, or genitals, but it may also develop elsewhere. This type of milia is not associated with skin trauma and, as with neonatal milia, primary milia usually clears up on its own in multiple months. Should primary milia fail to clear up on its own, professional dermatology treatment is likely required for removal.
Secondary milia, commonly referred to as traumatic milia, occurs secondary to an injury to the skin caused by health conditions that affect the skin. These health conditions can include ski burns, excessive sunlight exposure, surgical procedures, and radiation procedures. With secondary milia, the milia develop during the skin's healing process. Along with skin trauma, this form of milia may likewise occur as a skin reaction to heavy skin creams and ointments.
Multiple Eruptive Milia (MEM)
Multiple eruptive milia is a rare skin condition in which the milia arises in crops or patches atop the skin, developing over weeks or months. MEM patches may develop on the face, the upper arms, and the upper trunk, among other areas of the body. The lesions from multiple eruptive milia are usually asymptomatic. Still, they may cause patients to feel self-conscious and can be difficult to get rid of, especially without treatment from a dermatologist.
In most cases, milia are harmless and eventually clear up on their own and without treatment; in babies, for example, most milia clear up after a few weeks. In some cases, however, milia can persist for multiple months, or sometimes longer. Some forms of milia, such as secondary milia, may be permanent, requiring patients to contact a dermatologist for milia extraction. Patients troubled by their milia and seek effective milia removal may seek treatment from our dermatologists in Gainesville. Our dermatology professionals often remove these cysts using a fine milia removal tool or milia removal needle. Until you can see your dermatologist for treatment, please avoid squeezing or attempting to extract milia on your own, as this may lead to scarring, skin infection, or other types of skin damage. Milia characterized as persistent or widespread may be treated using laser treatment, dermabrasion, chemical peels, or cryotherapy, as recommended by our dermatologists.
How To Prevent Milia
In certain situations, milia prevention may not prove successful. But for most patients, taking specific steps can help reduce the likelihood of developing milia. We recommend that patients consider the following tips to help them improve the health of their skin and help prevent the development of milia.
- Discuss skin care/ product choices with your dermatologist.
- Avoid skin care containing ingredients either too heavy or rich.
- Avoid the use of certain oil-based beauty products.
- Limit your exposure to sunlight as much as possible.
- Start using exfoliating treatments suited to your skin type.
- Wear broad-spectrum sun protection daily.
- Consider products containing manuka honey or retinol for milia prevention.
- Schedule regular dermatologist appointments for skin check-ups and treatment.