Milia are the white bumps which forms on the surface of the skin, when the dead skin cells and the sebum, gets trapped in the sweat glands or the hair follicles, due to the lack of exfoliation. Other reasons for milia to develop on the skin are over exposure to sun, irritation to certain chemicals, and injury to the skin. They are 1-2 mm in size and are yellowish white in color. Both adults and children are affected by this skin disorder. The most common locations for its occurrence are the cheeks, around the eyes, forehead, and nose. In infants milia can occur even within the mouth. Although this is a harmless condition, yet it can make the person very unsightly. There are various methods which can be used for milia removal, some of these are explained here.
Milia in infants gets resolved on its own, though it may take a few weeks. Usually no treatment is required for removal of milia in babies.
In adults too, milia disappear on their own. However, if they refuse to go away and are making the person uncomfortable, the doctor may recommend applying creams, i.e. topical retinoid creams on the affected skin. Some of the widely used products are adapalene cream, tazarotene cream, and tretinoin cream.
Other treatments that are recommended by doctors include, using fruit peels, as well as microdermabrasion. If these treatments too fail in milia removal, the doctor then uses the piercing technique. In this technique, a surgical knife is used to pierce the milia, and then the cyst material is removed using a comedone extractor. The cost varies from place to place. Also, different hospitals in the same area may quote different rates. For exact costs, the person needs to contact his doctor and find out.
Unlike pimples or acne, milia do not have any opening or hole on their surface. They also are trapped beneath the skin, thus making them almost impossible to treat at home. It is always the dermatologist who should be consulted for milia removal, as removing milia at home can leave some ugly-looking scars behind. Nevertheless, if you are looking to treat them at home, then here is a treatment technique for you.
Step 1: Clean the affected area as well as your hands with a medicated soap.
Step 2: Boil some water, and wet a cloth with it. Now, apply this cloth on the affected area.
Step 3: Take a needle, which is sterilized beforehand, and pierce the white bump with it, making a tiny hole in its center.
Step 4: Take a tissue paper and gently squeeze out the contents of the white bump on it.
Step 5: After the white bump has been cleared of its contents, dab some astringent into cotton and apply it on the bump. Repeat the same procedure on every white bump.
In order to avoid or reduce milia on skin, there are certain precautions which you can follow. Firstly, follow proper skin care regimen, and exfoliate your skin regularly so that the dead skin cells and sebum do not get an opportunity to get accumulated on the skin, thus preventing occurrence. Secondly, if the condition is due to some harsh chemicals such as fluoride in toothpaste, switch to milder or herbal products. Thirdly, avoid going out in the sun during the peak hours, i.e., between 10 to 4 and if it is unavoidable, apply a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide before venturing out.