COVID-19 UPDATE: Click here for more details

Milia: Stop Before You Pop

by | Sep 20, 2021

When unwelcome skin bumps begin to appear on the faces of adolescents, many do a crash course in how to get rid of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Unfortunately, that crash course often overlooks another source of skin bumps. Milia (or milium, if you’re lucky enough to have just one) are white bumps that can be troublesome long after we’ve left our teen years behind. We thought this would be a good time for the medical skin experts at Austin Clinic to give our readers of all ages a quick course in Milia 101.

The #1 Thing NOT to Do with Milia

You should not try to pop milia. It won’t work and it will irritate your skin. Whiteheads and blackheads are filled with dead skin and oil. They also have a small opening to the outermost layer of skin, so when you pop, the dead skin and oil are ejected. Milia are filled with excess keratin, a protein that occurs naturally in the skin. Most importantly, they have no opening. Squeezing them doesn’t help, but it can cause inflammation, or worse, scarring.

Be patient. Your milia could resolve in a matter of weeks all on their own. If they don’t, a clinical assessment and professional treatment may provide just the help you need.

What are Milia?

Milia are painless white bumps found on the face, usually on the cheeks, nose, and around the eyes. Occasionally, they can develop on the trunk and limbs. At just one or two millimetres in size, they can masquerade as tiny whiteheads. Don’t be fooled. If you’re not certain, a member of the Austin Clinic team can help you identify the problem.

Why Do I have Milia?

It’s not because you’re special (even though you are!). Milia are an all-inclusive annoyance, causing problems for people of different skin types, genders, and ages. With primary milia,the culprit is dead skin cells trapped in cysts beneath the skin. They harden and form tiny bumps that don’t go away.

Other factors that contribute to the development of these unwanted skin bumps include:

  • Skin damage (rash)
  • Poor skin care
  • Cosmetics and make-up that clog pores
  • Steroid use
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disease

A condition known as secondary milia develops when the skin becomes damaged and infected. Severe sunburn is a common cause.

How Is Milia Treated?

A few adjustments in your daily skin care routine may be enough to banish your milia in a matter of weeks. If that doesn’t work, laser treatments can be used to unseat the milia with little or no scaring. Micro needles can also be used to lance the bump with minimal scarring.

How Do I Prevent Milia?

A combination of home and professional care is your best defence against stubborn little white bumps. At Austin Clinic, we’re proud to offer milia-busting exfoliating cleansers and scrubs from Austin Clinic’s own product line, as well as other good-for-your-skin products and make-up from cosmeceutical leaders such as Synergie and Colorescience.

A Small Change Can Make a Big Difference

If the idea of re-thinking your skincare regimen is a bit daunting, Austin Clinic wants to help. You can contact us with your questions. If you know who you’d like to see, we invite you to book online today.