When someone is uncomfortably close to my face they sometimes notice the little white bumps on my cheeks. They aren’t whiteheads or anything I can ‘pop’. “It’s something called ‘Milia'” I tell them whereupon they tilt their head in confusion. I don’t blame them for not knowing! To be honest, most people I come into contact with on a daily basis have never heard of “Milia”. Here is a definition for ya’ll:
“A milium (plural milia), also called a milk spot or an oil seed is keratin-filled cyst that can appear just under the epidermis or on the roof of the mouth. Milia are commonly associated with newborn babies but can appear on people of all ages.They are usually found around the nose and eyes, and sometimes on the genitalia, often mistaken by those affected as warts or other STDs. Milia can also be confused with stubborn whiteheads.
In children, milia often disappear within two to four weeks. In adults they may require removal by a physician (a dermatologist will have specialist knowledge in this area) or an esthetician.”
Basically, they can be a PAIN to get rid of. I have had milia on my face since I was a child. In my case, they have never completely disappeared BUT it has gotten much better over the years with proper skin treatments/skincare.
- First and foremost, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try and pop them. They will not pop. Trying to squeeze them will result in pain. Also, I do not recommend piercing them with a needle or some other sharp object and trying to squeeze them that way. I have tried this many a time and 9 times out of 10 I am left with a bleeding wound on my face that ends up scabbing over. If you are itching to get them removed, go to a dermatologist. They have a specific instrument designed to pop open the cyst. You will bleed a little but it’s safer than trying to do it at home.
- Secondly, avoid skincare products with oils in them/stick with oil-free makeup removers, eye creams etc. The oils in these products can clog pores and make milia worse/make them pop up more frequently. Milia are caused by sloughed-off skin etc. getting trapped around a hair follicle or sweat gland and you do not want to aggravate your skin further.
- Third, because milia is the direct result of your skin not exfoliating itself properly, use a manual exfoliant 3-4x a week or more if your skin is tough. By exfoliating you will be getting rid of the dead skin cells that become trapped underneath your skin as well as promoting healthy cell turnover. I enjoy using Clinique’s 7 Day Scrub and the Michael Todd’s Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub. They are both gentle and non-abrasive.
- If you want to take it up a notch, invest in a Clarisonic (I have a review on my blog). I have found a VAST improvement when I started using the Clarisonic. Sometimes it even looks like my Milia is completely GONE after using it even just a few times. Again, it’s that manual exfoliation! Got to love it!
- Makeup wise I have been told to avoid powders as they can aggravate Milia. I avoided powders for a while but I am back to using them. I think my skin can tolerate powder because of my skincare regimen. Try cutting powders out of your makeup routine and see if that helps you!
- Finally, try not to obsess over it. I have made the mistake of letting my Milia consume me. Most of the time, no one notices it but you. We ALL want our skin to look flawless but there is only so much you can do! There is hope!
Let me know if YOU suffer from Milia and what steps you have taken to eliminate them! If you have any further questions do not hesitate to post them down below!
Thanks for reading!