A milium (the plural is, 'milia') is a small white or yellowish raised bump or spot on the skin normally found around the eye area and cheeks, but can appear anywhere on the face or body. It is very common to have several milia appear in clusters, and they are very common in newborn babies often being referred to as, 'milk spots'. Unlike a pimple or spot, milia feel quite hard, almost like a small piece of grit under the skin, and do not have any redness or inflammation as you might expect with white heads or acne related spots.
Milia form where there has been a build-up of a protein called keratin under the skin, a harmless substance which is a component of our skin, hair and nails. The exact reason as to why this build-up of keratin occurs is unknown but this condition is more common as we age due to the slowing of our skin cell turnover.
If you are prone to milia, a good home skincare regime can go a long way to keep them at bay. An exfolianting cleanser will help to remove dead skin cells to stop them from building up on the skin and in pores. A vitamin A product, such as Pore Refining Lotion will also help control skin cell build-up as it works to regulate the rate at which the cells turnover. Cell turnover usually slows down as we get older making you more susceptible to reoccurring milia.
There are many types of milia but the causes of them aren't always clear.
Nenoatal milia, or 'milk spots' are milia found on newborn babies. It is thought they are caused by sweat glands that haven't fully developed yet.
Primary milia can appear on children or adults. They can disappear without treatment but they tend to last longer in adults and can often be permanent.
Secondary milia - these occur in areas after injury or trauma. It is thought that this is due to damage caused to the sweat glands in that area. These can also be a result of using certain types of creams.
Milia en plaque - this is a rarer type of milia that develops on a raised and inflamed patch of skin called a 'plaque'.
Multiple eruptive milia - another rare type of milia where clusters of milia appear over the course of a few weeks or months. This type of milia most commonly appears on the face, upper arms and upper half of the torso.
We offer a variety of treatment solutions to help remove milia safely and effectively with minimal risk of scarring.
I felt so self-conscious about my milk spots, even make-up didn't cover them. My skin has always been pretty clear. It was only in my late thirties when I started noticing the odd little white bump that I started to become self-conscious. They multiplied quickly and before long I was too embarrassed to go out without make-up even just to the local corner shop. My doctor brushed them off as 'milk spots' and didn't offer much help as they weren't dangerous or causing me any pain. sk:n however were so understanding about how self-conscious I felt about them and within a week I was booked in to have them removed. I feel like my old self again.
REMOVAL TREATMENTS FOR MILIA
At sk:n we have several solutions to remove your milia depending upon the type as well as the number and location of them. Your practitioner will assess the milia at your consultation and advise you of the best option for your individual case.
Needle extraction - Once the skin with milia has been cleaned, a sterile needle is then used to create a tiny incision in the skin covering the cyst and then the contents of the milia are carefully extracted to not cause any trauma to the skin.
Hyfrecator extraction - The hyfrecator works to cauterise the skin covering the milia by using tiny electrical pulses then allowing the contents to be extracted.
Prescribed medication - It may be more suitable to be prescribed a topical medication to treat the milia, but this is only for certain types of milia where physical extraction is not suitable.
Our expert practitioners can also offer advise on how to prevent milia reoccurring in the future, such as through in-clinic or homecare exfoliation options.
MILIA REMOVAL TREATMENT