Milia | What is Milia? | Causes| Treatment

What is Milia?

Milia are these firm papules that are seen on the face usually around the eyes, but can occur on the cheeks and forehead or on any part of the body. So basically these are small keratin cyst. These cysts are either attached to the epidermis that is the upper layer of the skin or the sweat duct or the hair follicle or sebaceous duct. Hence, are just a dermal cyst filled with keratin.

What are the causes for Milia?

  • Idiopathic; It is the most common. That means that there is no real cause for it. You just have a genetic predisposition to develop Milia.
  • Genetic causes; There are certain genetic disorders that predispose a person to develop a lot of Melia. They are pretty rare, but one of the causes.
  • Procedures; If you’re getting a dermabrasion done or even a laser done or anything that injures the upper layer of the skin can lead to formation of Milia.
  • Application of thick creams causing occlusion; If you apply some thick creams on the face, that lead to an obstruction of these ducts and occurrence of Milia
  • Excessive sun exposure; If you’re out in the sun for not a few minutes in a day, but your job requires you to be out in the sun for prolonged periods of time that can also lead to the occurrence of Milia.

Difference between Milia and Whiteheads

Whiteheads occur in the areas where there is increased oil secretion so mainly seen on the face on the back. It occurs due to obstruction of the pile of sebaceous unit. So there’s this hair follicle next to which there is a gland and there’s an obstruction of the lining and plugging of this area with keratin. That is when you see white heads and whiteheads are precursors for acne.

More about skin diseases

They are commonly defined as the type of an acne lesion, which is dormant. i.e. non inflammatory. This means there is no redness or any signs of inflammation associated with it. But it is a precaution lesion to acne.

Comparatively, Melia is something very dormant. And if you don’t do anything to The Melia, it is not going to become inflamed or cause issues. It is just going to sit on your skin. Over time Melia can become bigger, but can also just remain the same size.

How to treat Milia?

You would have noticed that sometimes, Melia occur, and then they spontaneously resolved. So if it is like that, then you can just let it be. Over time, they just reduce in size or just resolve. But if you’re developing multiple Milia or existing Milia are increasing in size, then you might want to treat it.

Common treatments

  • Extirpation; In the process, dermatologists make a very small nick on the surface of the skin and just press the contents out. It’s a 20-minute procedure and you will get rid of Milia immediately. I do not advise you to remove Milia at home, especially with a comedone extractor because that is just going to push the Melia down and create a lot of inflammation that can lead to dark spots. So it is best to visit a dermatologist and get these million removed if you feel it is bothering you.

Creams for Milia

There are no creams that can actually treat Milia. If you have a lot of milia, you have to remove it and then you can probably prevent the recurrence of milia by using creams that contain retinol. So you can use a retinol or Tretinoin cream in a small quantity, over the affected area that can help in reducing the occurrence of Milia. Also, you can use certain glycolic acid base creams or an AHA & BHA serum that can be used maybe once or twice in a week that can help in reducing the appearance of Milia. If you’re somebody that gets a lot of Milia.

Final Verdict

There are no effective creams that can completely treat Milia. You have to go to a dermatologist clinic and get them removed. If you want to reduce recurrence then using a retinol Breeze cream along with a glycolic acid or sunscreen may help. But there is nothing to completely prevent the occurrence of Millia.