Homeopath Treatment for Colloid Milia?

I've been diagnosed with colloid milia on upper eyelids. Is there any homeopathic medicine available for it? I am a bit skeptical to have allopathic ones. I have been applying a liquid given by my homeopath since the past 2 months but it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. How do I prevent it from recurring?

Doctor Answers 1

We Lack Good Treatment For This

My confidence in so-called homeopathic medicine has dropped another notch. Your homeeopath sounds like a quack. He/she besmirches the name of all the wonderful, kind homeopaths of the past. I wish they would describe themselves as naturopaths or something else since the last true homeopath is long gone. My medical school, Boston University and other fine medical schools such as Jefferson were once homeopathic medical schools. The heomoepaths of the day, were learned, concerned men who gave their patients the utmost care. You would be advised to research this topic, it is very interesting.

Anyway, the reason I am venting here is that colloid millia of the upper eyelid is a very rare entity. Most likely, yours was the first case your ophthalmologist has seen, never mind the homeopath. I doubt the homeopathic "literature" is replete with successful therapeutic interventions regarding this condition.

I am assuming that you have the adult form. This usually occurs in middle-aged patients and has a predilictioin for white males. Outdoor workers are most often affected and lesions are seen on the sun-exposed areas. Aside from one case of the juvenile form, my few patients with colloid millia, have been construction workers or sailors. Cases of colloid millia resulting from tanning beds have been reported.

Colloid milia presents as dome-shaped yellow translucent papules measuring 1-5 mm. in diameter and contain a gelatineous material. Lesions are more common on the face, ears, neck and the back of the hands. Having it on the upper eyelids, as in your case, is very uncommon. I found two papers regarding colloid milium on the upper eyelid. One was in Ophthalmology, Colloid Milium of the Upper Eyelid margins A Rare Presentatiion, Volume 109, Issue 10, pages 1944-1946, 2002. The other was a case report in the Indian Journal of Dermatology Volume 58, Issue 1, page 43-44, 1992., Unilateral palpebral Colloid Milia.

Incidentally, the latter journal underscores the fact that we physicians should read journals with a certain amount of skepticism. Upon reading this article, it appears that the authors confused the common milia that we see nearly every practice day with the rather rare entity of colloid milium. They describe colloid milia as being very common and sometimes being caused by steroid ointments and 5-FU ointment. It has been implicated in treatment with hydroquinone, but oitnments and topicals in general can cause the common milia.

As regards treatment. Treatment is not very good for colloid milia. Dermabrasion, diathermy, and cryotherapy have been tried with only limited success. Vitamin C orally at 1000 mg is occasionally helpful. Treatment with the Er: Yag laser seems to be the most successful treatment available.

The reason I am annoyed is that I feel the homeopath should have just told you that, rather than take your money for a bogus "cure". The only redeeming thing: the homeopath probably looked in his book and found something to treat "eye conditions" He read that the drops he recommended were in that section, they are probably harmless. Thus, if your colloid bumps are getting larger and'or more nuerous, I would not blame the homeopath.

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