I get a lot of tiny little white bumps under my eyes. Could it be milia? How can I get rid of them?
Best Way to Get Rid of Under Eye Milia?
Doctor Answers (7)
Baby epiderma Inclusion cysts
Milia ( sing. milium, from the Latin millet seed) are small epidermal inclusion cysts ( sometimes erroneously called sebaceous cysts). Milia are totally, benign, tiny keratin-filled cysts. They form when the follicular orifice ( pore) is clogged. For physicians who might chance on this answer, especially those preparing for the boards, milia in the oral cavity in infants are named Epstein pearls.
Unlike blackheads ( open comedones) and whiteheads ( closed comedones), milia do not develop into acne lesions.
Primary milia in infants are the well known "milk bumps" although they have nothing to do with milk and more to do with the immaturity of the pilo-sebaceous ( hair-oil gland) unit. They can be seen later in life when the skin has been irritated, by cosmetics or the sun. They are almost invariable following deep dermabrasion ( not microdermabrasion).
There is a secondary variety which results from other skin condtitioins such as porphyria cutanea tarda,
Milia are easily treated by plucking the roof of the milium with an #11 blade and expressing the contents, either with a comedone extractor or a forceps.
There is usually no extra charge for this procedure.
To prevent further milia: consider switching cosmetics, moisturizers and/or sunscreens, and practicing sun avoidance. A Salicylic Wash and a Retinol or Retinoid are also advised. I would recommend the Salicylic Wash be used in the morning and the Retinoid at night.
Extraction is the simplest and most effective away to remove milia.
I agree with the posted comments by the other physicians. Milia, more commonly know as a whitehead, is a ordinary problem. It is easily treated by using a sterile small gauge needle to unroof the lesion followed by extraction of the contents. It should heal with minimal-to-no scarring. The treatment of milia should be performed by a professional!
To prevent milia from forming, I would advise a skin regimen which includes a good cleansing agent and Retinol or Retin-A products. If you are using hairspray, try to avoid this getting on the facial skin, as it can occlude the skin pores.
I hope this helps.
Extract the milia
We see milia frequently in dermatology. The best and simplest method is to take a tiny needle or scalpel blade and nick the milia and then use a comdone extractor to remove the contents. It should heal beautifully and not leave any scarring.
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Salycylic Face & Body Wash for prevention
I would also recommend that once you have the milia extracted you consider using a salycylic acid facial & body wash. With consistent use you can help prevent future milia from forming.
A Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5%) based lotion can also help keep your skin clear from blemishes.
Unroof them with a small needle and what's inside will come out. You can either let it do it on its own, or use a comedone extractor.
Not too many alternatives
Milia often appear as little whiteheads that have retained skin appendages in them. The best and slowest treatment is to unroof them with a very fine needle.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.