Hi everyone, Tina here (+1 662 830 8246, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today we are learning about Milia, what is it and what can be done to remove it? Milia, sometimes called milk spots are harmless, they are hard white bumps on the surface of the skin that are often confused for skin tags, acne, or whiteheads.
What is Milia?
Milia often appears out of nowhere - dozens of tiny, painless but ever so pesky bumps. Your instinct to try and pop them is a common mistake, no matter how much you press and squeeze nothing happens. The good news, there are several simple ways to remove milia and prevent it from happening in the future.
Before we discuss ways to prevent and remove milia it is best to know what we are dealing with. Generally, there are two types of milia (source: https://www.acne.org/)
- Secondary: Considered less common, tend to develop in sweat ducts resulting from several side effects such as medication use, traumas, skin diseases.
- Primary: Much more common, develop in skin pores of all ages. They manage to appear and disappear in a rather unknown fashion.
What Causes Milia?
It is most commonly believed that milia are a result of dead skin cells becoming trapped under the skin. Milia is made up of keratin, a protein found in the outermost skin layer called the stratum corneum. Most commonly found around the eyes and eyelids but can also be seen on your cheeks, nose, forehead, and chest. Milia around the eyes are caused by heavy creams which increased the chance of clogged pores, especially seeing as the skin around your eyes is very thin. When milia appears on other areas of the skin it is usually a result of skin damage from the sun or excessive use of harsh chemicals on the skin.
How Do You Get Rid of Milia?
Thankfully Milia rarely requires any treatment or professional extraction from a dermatologist. So, we will be looking at in-home remedies and switches to your skincare regime that can help remove and prevent milia all together.
- Substitute heavy creams for lightweight textures: Since milia are usually found around the eyes, it is especially important to use a cream specifically designed for the eye area. Heavy creams increase the likelihood that pores will be clogged, and dead skin cells trapped.
- Gentle exfoliation: This won’t just decrease the chances of getting milia but will yield multiple other benefits. Since milia are caused by trapped dead skin cells, exfoliating will clean your skin rid it of dead skin. Look for a cleanser that won’t strip your skin of natural oils and is good for daily use.
- AHA and BHA Peels: Alpha-Hydroxy and Beta-Hydroxy Acids make for excellent superficial chemical peels. These will exfoliate your skin without the need to aggressively scrub your skin. Some common AHA are Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid. Common BHA are salicylic acid (or related substances, such as sodium salicylate, salicylate, and willow extract), Beta Hydroxybutanoic Acid, Tropic Acid, and Trethocanic Acid.
- Use of Retinol/Retinoids: Retinols, which are vitamin A derivatives are brilliant at initiating cell turnover. Fewer layers of dead skin result in fewer obstructions, fewer milia, and a more even, flawless skin texture. I recommend finding an eye cream with Retinyl Acetate as it is not as harsh as other retinoids.
- Avoid Increased Sun Exposure: We all know UV rays are harmful and if we are to be outside for extended periods of time be sure to wear sunscreen! SPF 50 is now the standard, and if you do get a burn, apply aloe vera, Vitamin C, and a moisturizer to help your skin to heal.