How to get rid of milia – white dots on the face

What are milia

Milia are small (1-2 millimeters), firm, round, benign cysts on the skin filled with the protein keratin. They are also called whiteheads, whiteheads, or wen.

Milia do not hurt, do not itch and are not harmful to health. They are yellow and white and usually appear in places with thin skin – near the eyes and mouth, on the forehead, also found on the cheeks, nose, chin, rarely on the genitals. Millets can occur individually, or they can be in whole clusters.

Photo: Levent Konuk / Shutterstock

They are common in people of all ages, including half of newborns.

Why milia appear

When skin is shed, old cells fall off to make room for new ones. If for some reason they remain, then after some time they harden and form a cyst – primary milia.

There are also secondary milia. They may appear:

  • due to damage to the skin in places where there were injuries, rashes or sunburn ;
  • prolonged use of corticosteroids;
  • genetic or autoimmune diseases.

Who gets milia more often

Very often, whiteheads occur in newborns, because their skin is just learning to exfoliate old cells.

But milia can happen to anyone. The risk is higher in people who:

  • insufficiently cleanse the skin;
  • use oily or comedogenic cosmetics;
  • not sleeping enough;
  • have skin conditions such as seborrhea or rosacea
  • take steroids for a long time.

How to get rid of milia in children

Milia in newborns do not need to be treated . It is enough to wash the child with warm water every day. Sometimes with a mild baby cleanser. In this case, it is important not to rub the delicate skin, but to pat it, and then blot it with a towel.

But you can’t wipe the skin with lotions, oils and exfoliating cosmetics for adults. Also, in no case do not try to squeeze milia or remove them with a needle: this can leave scars and cause an infection.

If the millet does not disappear in a few months, you need to inform the pediatrician about this at the next scheduled examination.

How to get rid of milia in adults

As we already wrote, whiteheads do not harm health in any way, so they can not be treated. In addition, in adults, milia can also go away on their own.

If you don’t want to wait, you can try exfoliating products, such as those with weak acids, which are allowed for home care. But before that, you should ask a dermatologist or cosmetologist whether they are suitable in your case.

It is absolutely impossible to open milia at home. Scars may remain at the site of the cysts, and bacteria may enter the wound.

If home treatment does not help, milia can be removed at a dermatologist’s appointment. To do this, use the following methods:

  • excision – mechanical peeling;
  • cryotherapy – quick freezing with liquid nitrogen;
  • diathermy – cauterization using high-frequency alternating current;
  • laser surgery;
  • chemical peels;
  • dermabrasion – mechanical skin resurfacing.

Less commonly, a doctor may prescribe topical or systemic retinoid-based remedies.

What to do to make milia appear less often

The best way to prevent whiteheads from forming is to take good care of your skin. This means:

  • Wash twice a day.
  • Use deep cleansing two to three times a week. You can consult with a beautician which products are best suited.
  • Do not forget about sunscreen with SPF 30, even on cloudy days.

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