Milia: What Is It (and How Do I Get Rid Of It)?
Have you ever noticed a tiny white bump on your face and no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t pop it? That’s probably milia, or to put it more technically, a milium cyst. Milia are formed when skin flakes become trapped below the skin’s surface, turn into keratin through a process called keratinization, and then turn into hard little white balls or pearls (hence the confusion between milia and blackheads/whiteheads). Milia cannot be treated like acne or blackheads because they aren’t the same as blackheads: in fact, they are very different. They can’t be squeezed out of pores because they don’t get stuck in pores in the first place. The built-up keratin has nothing to do with your pores.
So what can be done about it? Milia responds well to a number of treatments, fortunately. The trick is finding the right one for you:
- A HealthWyze report has deduced that milia sufferers also have excess cholesterol in their skin, which is often where extra cholesterol does, in fact, get deposited. Some of the suggested remedies for milia include enough exfoliation, taking frequent showers, supplementing with niacin (to lower cholesterol levels), avoiding heavy facial cosmetics and more. Supplementing with CoQ10 is also strongly recommended.
- This article from patch.com recommends applications of retinol patches, creams or even directly applying vitamin A to the affected area.
- A veritable cornucopia of further home remedies exist as well. You can find a ton of them by clicking here.
- And of course, you can resolve milia by gently lancing the skin directly above or beside the milia, and using slant-tipped tweezers to extract the milia itself. This process is invasive, must be done using an exquisitely gentle touch, and requires complete sterilization of all surfaces, including the skin. We strongly recommend consulting your esthetician (or dermatologist) instead. Estheticians in particular are highly qualified in the treatment of milia, For those daredevils who refuse to do so, however, here is a helpful guide.
Milia is in no way dangerous, cancerous, indicative of poor skin care or contagious. It can be frustrating because it’s marring your perfect complexion. But there exist numerous ways to deal with milia. We hope we’ve helped introduce you to some.