How Much Does Milia Treatment Cost?

I have milia. It used to be only on my forehead for years but now its going on my whole face and its almost incurable to me. I want to see a dermatologist because I heard they can get rid of it once and for all how much would it cost and is it really affective?

Doctor Answers 2

Milia is a Common Problem

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Milium ( from the Latin for millet seed) are very common, white, pin-head sized miniature versions of so-called  "sebaceous" cysts--( which curiously lack  both sebum or sebaceous glands, and may be one of the greatest misnomers in the history of dermatology). They essentially are plugged up pores. The white you see is keratin, the ubiquitous protein that forms the upper layer of skin and is the main constituent of hair and nails. 

 Milia usually are found on the face, but can occur anywhere, especially after trauma. They often follow procedures designed to enhance beauty such as dermabrasion or laser treatments. Milia  are noteworthy in a few dermatology conditions such as porphyria cutanea tarda, epidermolysis bullosa, and pemphigus. 

    Babies can develop them where they are sometimes referred to as "milk bumps", another misnomer since milia have nothing to do with milk. 

  You might want to check your makeup or skin care products. Sometimes such products can irritate the pores and cause, not only blackheads but milia. I saw a lady today who developed numerous milia after she began a widely used, and even more widely advertised benzoyl peroxide product. 

   Milia can be extracted with a No. 11 Bard-Parker blade and expression with a comedone extractor. Sometimes these can be anesthetized first, but usually this is not needed. On the eyelid, a gentle forceps is preferred, since pressing down on the eyeball can only do bad things for the vision. 

   Cost can vary among physicians. We do not charge, if the patient visit is for another problem. In fact, we usually do this gratis and voluntarily if these pesky bumps are noted during say Botox or filler. However, if this is the sole reason for the visit, and there are numerous milia, we charge $40. I have no idea what other dermatologists are charging, but you might inquire via telephone.

   This is a very effective treatment, made somewhat easier if the face is steamed first. 

   It is very important to follow up any treatment with a Retinoid such as Retin A ( or Refissa, Atralin or Avita,) Tazarac, of Differin. This will keep those pores open. Also, it is essential that you make sure that your skin care products are comedogenic. 

Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Cost of milia treatment

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The cost varies on the type of treatment, and its effectiveness. Topical retinoids (retin A (R), tazarotine, adapalene) are effective prescriptions for longterm, gradual elimination of milia and cost around $150 for a 6 month supply. Microdermabrasion is also effective in several treatments over a one or two month time period and the price depends upon whether it is administered in a Spa or a medical facility, but runs around a $100/session.

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon

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.