Milia on an 8-year-old?

My 8-year-old son has tiny white-head type bumps on his cheeks and forearms, they do not itch or bother him, just don't look good. When popped a hard white seed like stuff comes out. From what I've read it sounds like milia. However, I'm also reading that this goes away, he has had the since birth and is not going away.

What milia treatment will get rid of them?

Doctor Answers 2

Milia treatment

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Milia are very common in babies, but can show up at any age. They are essentially small little cysts filled with keratin which gives off a white color. Depending on the size, they can either be zapped with a hyfrecator (electric current) or extracted with a comedone extractor or other such device. I'm not sure you son who isn't bothered by them would let anyone take them out. Unfortunately there are no great creams or pills to get rid of them.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Maybe he has Keratosis Pilaris

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Without a photo it is hard to tell, but given the large areas, he may have a common condition called keratosis pilaris.  With that, the follicles get blocked up and dead skin cells as well as a tiny hair accumulates and creates a blockage.  It may be that he will outgrow this.  If this is what he has, I recommend keeping the skin moisturized, and you can get some over the counter lotions with alpha hydroxy/glycolic or lactic acid.  You can gently scrub the area, such as with a buff puff.  I also recommend my patients supplement with some omega 3 fish oils.  They tend to come in rather large capsules, so look for a liquid formulation, unless he is good at swallowing pills.  Make sure he has a diet that is healthy, without a lot of processed and refined foods.

Lisa Benest, MD
Burbank Dermatologist

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