What are milia?
Milia or Milium Cyst is Small White bumps that appear on the baby under the eye, nose, chin, and cheeks. These cysts occur in clusters and are formed when keratin gets trapped beneath the surface of the skin. While these may occur in people of varied ages and ethnicities, it is most common in babies.
Milia is also referred to as Baby Acne. Usually, there are types of milia i.e.
- Prenatal Milia – About 50% of newborns are affected by milia. These disappear within a few weeks.
- Primary Milia – Milia occurring in children and adults i.e. found eyelids, forehead, genitals, etc.
- Milia en plaque – Flat patch milia cysts clumped together around certain body parts in men, women, and children.
- Multiple eruptive milia – itchy milia cysts occurring over a period of time in a certain area
- Traumatic Milia – Milia cysts occurring due to a skin injury
- Medical Milia – Milia Cysts occurring due to medicinal reactions
Milia symptoms vary from individual to individual depending upon their skin conditions, age, family history, etc. The occurrence and symptoms are also different. Some of the common symptoms are listed below for your understanding:
- Dome-shaped yellow or white bumps on the skin
- Irritation or redness on the bumps
- Roughness in the skin around the cysts
P.S. Milium Cysts are typically found on eyelids, cheeks, face, lips, etc. and sometimes can even form around the torso or genitalia.
Who is at Risk?
Milia risk factors depend on the skin condition, body functioning, age, and genetics of people. Certain red flags for when an individual might develop these cysts are:
- A condition when nutrients or keratin is not absorbed well in the body
- A health condition or injury with the counter effect of milia
- Skin conditions like other forms of cysts that leads to milia i.e. comedones, miliaria, etc
Milia cause for newborns is still unknown. Baby milia go off within a few weeks. Adults and children can have milia due to a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are listed below for your understanding:
- Long-term sun damage
- Skin injury or condition
- Interaction with medicinal or steroid creams
- Skin treatments like resurfacing, laser treatment, dermabrasion, etc
- Blistering caused due to a skin condition, like epidermolysis bullosa (EB)
- Skin that has lost its ability to exfoliate
How are milia diagnosed?
Milia diagnosis can be done by the doctor based on the appearance of the cysts, its occurrence, sensations, etc.
- Physical examination – Doctors physically examine the cysts and determine if the cysts are indeed milia or some other skin condition
- Skin Lesion Biopsy – A sample of the skin lesion is taken from the area where the cysts have been formed. This helps in studying and analyzing the milia cysts and its occurrence. Although, milia biopsies are rare and undertaken only in extreme cases.
Care.fit is your friendly doctor and healthcare partner! Helping optimize lifestyle habits, on-time consultation with doctors, digital records, and healthy eating habits, Care.fit assists in preventing, managing, and curing health conditions through mobile App and websites. Book an appointment now for milia removal by dermatologist.
How can milia be treated?
Milia treatment can be done in a variety of ways depending upon individual cases and their causes. Doctors can take colloid milium treatment to get rid of the cysts. As usual, the cysts are harmless, topical creams are the chosen method.
- Topical Creams – Over-the-counter medicines or dermatologist tested retinoid creams are prescribed to exfoliate the skin and cure milia
- De-roofing – Needle picks are done to drain out the contents of the cysts formed and then even out the skin
- Cryotherapy – Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the milia and remove it from the skin
- Laser Ablation – Laser treatment where the light is used on the affected areas to remove cysts
- Surgery – Also called as destruction curettage, the surgery involves surgically scrapping for colloid milia removalDiathermy – Extreme heat is used to destroy the cysts and prevent from further occurrence
- Chemical Peels – unearthing of the old skin to peel off the cysts and letting new skin to grow
How can milia be prevented?
Milia or Milium Cysts don’t involve any lifestyle factors for its occurrence. As such, milia reason isn’t related to lifestyle prevention methods directly. However, certain measures can be undertaken to prevent its occurrence naturally.
- Exfoliating skin twice a week with a natural or chemical exfoliator
- Following a healthy and balanced diet
- Exercising regularly to flush out the body toxins
- Mental wellness and emotional balance
- Managing a healthy balance of nutrients in the diet