Milia is a skin condition that is marked by a presence of tiny white or yellowish bumps that typically appear around the nose, chin and cheeks. These are usually seen in neonates; however, they can be seen in people of all age groups.
Can You Be Cured Of Milia?
Milia do not require any treatment. They go away on their own, they are a benign condition that do not require any serious intervention. You can be cured of milia within a few weeks or a few months at the most. Neonatal milia does not require any treatment at all. Milia in older children and grown-ups can cause some discomfort by way of cosmetic reasons and if you wish to get rid of them for cosmetic purposes, there are certain treatment methods available with a dermatologist that can help you get rid of milia effectively.
Symptoms of milia-
Primary milia that is seen in neonates occur typically as tiny bumps, that are 1 to 2 mm in diameter. They usually appear around the nose, cheeks, chin, eyes and forehead. Sometimes, they can also appear on legs, arms, torso, genitals and mucus membranes.
- Milia can be seen inside the mouths of the infants too and in this instance, they are known as Epstein pearls
- Milia can sometimes accompany other skin conditions such as baby acne
- In older children and grownups milia can be seen as similar presentation to other skin conditions
These conditions can include cancers and moles, and also some of the following-
Comedones– these are papules that are skin colored and can be seen in acne
Xanthelasma– these are the lesions that contain a buildup of the fat in body’s immune cells. This is sometimes linked to high cholesterol levels
Cysts– these are nodules that are fluid filled
Syringomas– these are tumors of the sweat ducts that are benign
Seborrheic Keratosis– these spots are warty and are commonly linked with aging
Causes Of Milia
Causes of milia in newborns and infants are different than the causes of milia in older children and adults.
Causes of milia in neonates–
- The exact cause of milia in neonates is not known
- Milia in neonates is commonly misunderstood as baby acne, which is a condition caused due to mother’s hormones
- Baby acne causes swelling or inflammation, whereas milia doesn’t cause any of these
- Those babies who are suffering from milia usually have it from birth, whereas baby acne develops only after 2 to 4 weeks of birth
Causes of milia in older children and adults–
In older children and adults, milia is often linked with some damage to the skin. This may include the following-
- Blistering injuries due to poison ivy
- Injuries due to burns
- Blistering due to various other skin conditions
- Damage to the skin due to long-term use of creams and lotions that contain steroids, though this may be rare
- Damage to the skin due to an over exposure to sun’s harmful UV rays
- Damage to the skin due to the use of skin resurfacing procedures like laser resurfacing or dermabrasion
- Our skin exfoliates naturally from time to time. Milia can also occur if your skin loses that nature ability to exfoliate itself
Treatment Of Milia
Milia usually gets better on its own and there is no need for a treatment. Neonatal milia disappears on its own and it is best to leave it alone. In older kids and adults, if milia is causing any discomfort, or one wants to get rid of them for cosmetic purposes, then a few options are available. These may include-
- Chemical peels
- Topical retinoids
- Laser ablation
- Destruction curettage
Milia is marked by an appearance of tiny bumps, white or yellow, around the nose, chin and cheeks. Milia goes away on its own and most of the times, there is no treatment required to cure milia.