What is Milia? Causes, Treatments, etc | Belo Medical Group | Belo Medical Group

What is Milia? Causes, Treatments, etc

By Ysabel Vitangcol on July 2, 2024

These white-head looking bumps are harmless, though uncomfortable – Here’s what you need to know and how Belo can treat it!

What is milia?

Milia are small, white or yellowish bumps that appear on the skin, often mistaken for whiteheads or pimples. These tiny cysts form when keratin, a protein found in the skin, becomes trapped beneath the surface. Milia are generally harmless and non-inflammatory, presenting as hard, raised bumps that feel firm to the touch.

Milia can affect individuals of all ages and skin types, including:

  • Infants: Milia are common in newborns, often appearing on the nose, chin, or cheeks.
  • Children and Adults: While more common in infants, milia can develop at any age.
  • Elderly Individuals: Older adults may experience milia due to prolonged sun exposure and skin damage over the years.

What causes Milia and where is it commonly found?

Milia develops when dead skin cells fail to shed properly. In return, these become trapped in small pockets just below the skin’s surface. Several factors can contribute, including:

  1. Skin Damage: Burns, blisters, or injuries can cause the skin to heal improperly, leading to the formation of milia.
  2. Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure can thicken the skin, making it more difficult for dead cells to be shed naturally.
  3. Use of Heavy Skincare Products: Thick creams and oils can clog pores, contributing to the development of milia.
  4. Genetic Factors: Some individuals may be more prone to milia due to their genetic makeup.

Milia can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the face (particularly around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead), neck, chest and back.

Is Milia painful?

Not typically. They do not cause inflammation or discomfort, making them more of a cosmetic concern rather than a medical one. However, if milia develops in sensitive areas or becomes irritated, they can cause minor discomfort. Don’t worry, Belo is here to help!

How can Belo treat it?

While milia are generally harmless and often resolve on their own, several treatments can help speed up the process or improve their appearance:

  1. Exfoliation: Regularly exfoliating the skin can help remove dead cells and prevent the formation of milia. Using gentle exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) can be effective.
    Belo Shop recommendation: ZO Exfoliating Polish 65G
  2. Topical Retinol: These vitamin A derivatives can help to speed up cell turnover and prevent keratin build-up.
    Belo Shop recommendation ZO Retinol Skin Brightener 0.5% Retinol 50ML
  3. Fractional C02 Laser: helps repair and resurface the skin by stimulating collagen production, tightening and smoothing out scars.

Is milia similar to warts?

While milia and warts may appear similar, they are distinct conditions with different causes and treatments:

  • Milia: Formed from trapped keratin, are not caused by a virus, and are typically not painful or contagious.

  • Warts: Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), can be painful, and are contagious. Warts have a rough texture and can appear anywhere on the body, commonly on the hands and feet.

Our Belo doctors can best recommend a skin care regimen for you. We have clinics located around Metro Manila, Pampanga, Cebu and Davao! Give us a call at 8819-BELO (2356) or book your appointment here.

Please note that prices may change without prior notice and the final price will be based on the doctor’s quotation upon consultation.

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