Milia – Causes and Treatment
Milia is the technical term for a collection of small, white bumps that appear on the face, particularly around the eyes and nose, and create the look of an uneven, irritated complexion. These bumps are caused by a build-up of dead cells that harden to create a small cyst underneath the skin. Although skin has the ability to naturally exfoliate in order to remove the dead skin cells so that new ones can take their place, it can sometimes require a little helping hand.
The important things to remember are:
- they’re not spots – milia do not form from a pore, they are formed when keratin (a substance produced by the skin) becomes trapped beneath the outer layer of the skin, forming a tiny cyst. Unlike acne, milia are rather firm, and squeezing has little to no impact on them
- they’re not harmful or infectious
- they’re not caused by germs/bacteria
- If you are prone to them or have a lot of them – and if your family also suffer with them – you’re probably genetically predisposed to them.
Known Causes of Milia
The most common reason for Milia formation tends to be due to the usage of rich, heavy comedogenic, or pore clogging skincare products preventing the skin from naturally exfoliating as normal. In some adults, sun damage is also a major contributor to milia, because it thickens and toughens the outer layers of skin, meaning it is more difficult for dead cells to rise to the skin’s surface and shed normally.
Treatment of Milia
The most important thing to note when treating Milia is to avoid extracting the milia yourself, as this can irritate or damage the skin and lead to scarring or continual reappearance.
- Gentle exfoliation will aid the eventual removal of milia because the layer of skin surrounding it becomes thinner. Deep exfoliating product ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) and beta hydroxy acid i.e. Salicylic acid & glycolic acid can help reduce the size and number of milia. However, exfoliating your skin will only prevent milia and aid treatment, it will not remove them
Image Ageless Range utilises AHA blends
- Existing milia that don’t respond to exfoliation can be manually extracted by a professional aesthetician with a sterile small gauge needle, which is used to un-roof the lesion, extract the keratin and leave the area to heal.
- Regular professional treatments such as facials, mild chemical peels and microdermabrasion will help prepare the skin for removal and help with the healing process.
Although not a lot can be done to prevent milia, maintaining a suitable skin-care routine certainly helps minimise the chance of them appearing.
- A gentle exfoliating routine. Gentle exfoliation helps to prevent milia from forming and makes removal easier by thinning the layer of skin and removing dead skin cells
- Re-evaluate your skin care products – including eye make-up remover which may cause milia around the eye area, and certain lipsticks, lip balms and products around the lips edge.
- Because secondary milia can be caused by sun damage, always use a moisturiser with at least SPF 15 to protect your skin every day, and choose zinc based sunblocks over chemical sunscreens
- Use gel based, water based products to avoid clogging the pores
- Retinol is also very helpful for both fighting and preventing milia.
- When brushing your teeth, limit possible fluoride irritation to the skin by removing excess froth around the lips
- Drinking lots of water will help to flush out toxins and keep your skin hydrated
- Keep make-up light and opt for mineral based makeups
- Reduce high cholesterol foods
If you think you might have milia and would like a free consultation please call us on 018063200 or use our online booking form