Milia: What You Need to Know About the Tiny White Bumps on Your Face
There’s a chance you have milia and you don’t even realize it. Due to their small size and white color, the tiny bumps known as milia are often mistaken for whiteheads. Despite the similarities in appearance, milia aren’t a form of acne. That’s why if your handy spot treatment isn’t helping to minimize the white bumps on your face, you may need to reevaluate what exactly you’re dealing with. Here’s how to spot the difference and treat milia.
What Are Milia?
According to Jenn Oakley, a medical esthetician, SkinCeuticals ambassador and Skincare.com consultant, milia are a buildup of keratin underneath the skin that have the appearance of tiny, white bumps. Most often, milia forms under the eyes and around the nose or cheeks, but they can appear anywhere.
What Causes Milia?
Milia develop when tiny skin flakes become trapped in small pockets near the surface of the skin, says the Mayo Clinic. Oakley shares that if you have sun-damaged skin, an overly oily complexion or don’t exfoliate regularly, you may be more likely to develop milia.
Can You Get Rid of Milia?
The good news, according to the Mayo Clinic, is that milia typically disappear on their own within a matter of weeks or months. To help speed up the process, the Cleveland Clinic recommends using an over-the-counter exfoliator formulated with salicylic acid. As for milia that are more persistent, Oakley shares that visiting a dermatologist is likely the best solution. A licensed skin-care provider can extract stubborn milia with a lancet.
How Can You Prevent Milia?
While milia are usually easy to address, it can take time to get rid of them, which means it can be worthwhile to take steps to help ensure they don’t crop up in the first place. Oakley says that exfoliation is key in the prevention of milia because they are a build-up of excess skin. She suggests using the SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator. “It’s always my go to product for exfoliation.”
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn