How to Get Rid of Milia (Those Little White Bumps Under Your Skin)
If you’ve landed here, then it’s very likely that you’ve already asked everyone you know what the small white bumps underneath your skin could be or done your research on them. You’ve also probably tried to pop these white bumps, called milia, and know that not only is it nearly impossible, but it also leaves behind angry red marks at the scene of the crime. To get the scoop on how to get rid of milia, we tapped Miami-based dermatologist and Specific Beauty founder Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd.
What Is Milia?
Although you might think milia is a type of acne, according to Dr. Woolery-Lloyd, they’re actually a build up of “tiny white bumps under the skin that contain keratin, the protein found in our skin, hair and nails.” You can get milia regardless of your age; it can be found in infants to adults and it typically appears around the eyes and nose.
How Dermatologists Get Rid of Milia
Luckily, milia are easily treatable by a professional. Don’t try to take matters into your own hands — schedule an appointment at your dermatologist’s office. “Unlike a pimple, milia do not have a natural opening to express the contents through, so a sterile needle is used to form a small opening and then contents are expressed,” says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. “With this treatment, they typically heal without any scarring.”
Can You Get Rid of Milia at Home?
While there’s no DIY method for getting rid of milia, Dr. Woolery-Lloyd suggests adding products with salicylic, like Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, or glycolic acid, like the SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator, into your skin-care routine to help prevent these bumps from forming. These acids may not treat existing bumps, but they may help reduce your chances of new milia appearing. Topical retinoids can also be helpful for preventing milia, says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. “They can increase cell-turnover rate in the skin, leading to improved exfoliation of dead skin cells on skin’s surface.” One thing you should never do, however, is pick at them yourself. As previously mentioned, milia don’t have a natural opening and if you try emptying them at home, it could lead to irritation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.