Dermatologist-Approved Methods for Safely Removing Milia
Milia are small, hard white or blue-tinted bumps that can appear on the face, particularly on the cheeks, eyelids, and nose. These tiny cysts, sometimes referred to as “milk spots,” are made of keratin and are caused by dead skin cells getting trapped and hardening. They are common in infants, with about 50% of babies having them at birth, according to the Cleveland Clinic, but they can appear on anyone at any age.
While milia are benign and harmless, they can be a cosmetic concern for many people. However, it’s important to note that attempting to remove milia yourself can be dangerous. Picking, prodding, or scrubbing at the bumps can lead to infection, scarring, and further damage to the skin.
So, what can you do to safely get rid of milia? According to dermatologists, the key is to focus on gentle cleansing and exfoliation.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a gentle cleanser with mild exfoliating properties such as glycolic or lactic acid. These ingredients work by gently breaking down the keratin that makes up milia, allowing them to be released from the skin. When using these products, it’s essential to follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s advice for washing your face. This includes using lukewarm water and your fingertips, avoiding scrubbing, and patting your skin dry with a soft towel.
It’s also essential to make sure your skin has a chance to breathe and be free of makeup. This means taking regular breaks from makeup and allowing your skin to rejuvenate. Additionally, try to avoid heavy skin care products and prolonged use of corticosteroids, which can cause milia to form.
If you have a predisposition to milia or experience recurring cases, your dermatologist may recommend a topical retinoid cream. These creams work by removing cells in the outer skin layer, encouraging the release of milia. Retinols are among the best ingredients for this purpose, and while they are often prescription-based, non-Rx products with a lower concentration of the ingredient can also be effective.
It’s also worth noting that certain medical conditions can cause milia to form. This includes blistering skin conditions such as burns, autoimmune diseases, and genetic conditions. If you have any of these underlying conditions, it’s essential to work with your doctor to address the root cause of your milia.
In conclusion, milia are small, hard, white or blue-tinted bumps that are commonly found on the cheeks, eyelids, and nose. They are made of keratin and are caused by dead skin cells getting trapped and hardening. While they are harmless, they can be cosmetically concerning for some individuals.