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What Is The Prognosis For Milia?

Milia are small cysts formed on the skin of nose, face, cheeks or around the lips. They appear as a single bump (milium) or cluster of cysts (Milia). They are most commonly seen in newborns which are present in them since birth.[1] However, they can appear in older children and adults. They do not cause pain or redness in the skin. They disappear by themselves without treatment in a majority of patients in a few weeks.[2] They have good prognosis than other skin ailments.

What Is The Prognosis For Milia?

What Is The Prognosis For Milia?

Milia are tiny white bumps that appear in the face, nose, and cheeks. These cysts comprise of keratin, a protein found in the skin, nails, and hair. These bumps are formed due to trapping of keratin under the surface of the skin. They can appear as a single cyst or in groups. They can develop at any age, but they are more commonly seen in newborns.[3]

Milia does not render any long-term consequences. They are harmless skin conditions. Its prognosis is very good. It disappears by itself in a course of few weeks without any treatment. It does not leave a scar or black spots in most of the cases.

In newborn infants, it resolves at a relatively faster rate than older children and adults. In old children or adults, it may resolve in a few months.[4]

Milia can return back in adults and secondary Milia can cause permanent scarring.[5] If Milia are not treated properly or squeezed or scraped forcefully from the skin, it may leave permanent marks or scars on the face of baby or children or adults.

Milia Symptoms

  • They have white or yellow heads.
  • They do not cause itching or pain in most of the cases.
  • In some cases, discomfort is experienced.
  • They don’t cause any swelling or redness.
  • On rubbing with rough sheets or clothes on Milia can render irritation or redness.
  • They typically appear on the face, eyelids, nose, cheeks, and lips. However, they can also develop on other parts of the body as well even on genital parts.[6]

Milia Causes

The real cause is not clear. The causes of Milia can be-

Hormones of the mother can trigger development off milium cyst in the newborn babies.[7]

Other reasons can be-

  • Injuries leading to the formation of blisters such as poison ivy
  • Blistering due to ailments of skin such as porphyria, epidermolysis bullosa, etc.
  • Overuse of steroid creams
  • Laser resurfacing or dermabrasion
  • Burns
  • Longstanding Sun exposure

Milia Diagnosis

Milia are diagnosed by your physician by close observation of the appearance of a cyst. Skin biopsy is performed in selected cases.

Milia Treatment

Milia is not a serious condition, but it does not require treatment in each case. Most of them resolve by themselves in a few weeks to few months. In cases, where Milia cause discomfort and cosmetic problem in the skin, treatment becomes necessary. There are many treatment options available for Milia-

Deroofing– it is a procedure of removal of a bump with the help of a sterilized needle.

Cryotherapy– it is a technique in which liquid nitrogen is applied on the milia in order to freeze them and remove them.

Chemical peeling– chemical peels are used to remove the first layer of skin to expose the new skin underneath it.

Topical Retinoids– Vitamin A containing creams are applied on the skin to exfoliate the skin.

Diathermy– high heat is applied to destroy the bumps.

Laser Beams– a small laser is focused on the skin to remove the bumps.[8]


Milia are small bumpy growth on the skin of nose, cheeks or around the lips. They appear and disappear by themselves. The prognosis of Milia is good as they resolve by themselves in few weeks or few months without treatment. They usually do not leave any scar or spots on the skin.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 16, 2022

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