Milia - The Common But Unknown Skin Condition

What is Milia? And Do You Have It?

By Dr. Iona Weir — March 20, 2019

Milia is a very common skin condition that usually goes undiagnosed due to the lack of knowledge around what these little bumps actually are! Hint – they’re not acne OR pimples. 

Milia – Those Bumps aren’t Acne!

If you haven’t heard of Milia it looks like small bumps that commonly form around sensitive skin places such as the eyes. It is not rare to develop a singular milium or a crop of Milia at some stage in our life, but the appearance of them can affect our self-esteem at times.

They do disappear eventually but generally, we want to speed this process up. So, it is key to recognize when you have Milia and what to do.

Our solution to protecting your skin against the build-up of Milia is our Radiant Balance Cream. Our cream unclogs the skin’s pores and reduces the build-up of sebum and dead skin.

Find out more information about Milia, its causes, and it’s cures below!

What are they then?

Milia, plural or Milium singular, form as a tiny bump just below the surface of the skin and present where the skin is thinnest, which is typically around the eyes. The milium bump can look whitish in colour and is a keratin-filled cyst. These cysts are benign thankfully! 

After the sebum and dead skin cells become trapped in the skin they turn into keratin, which over time solidifies. Keratin is a fibrous protein that forms to make the main structure of hair, nails and the outer layer of the skin. 

Typically keratin does its job at protecting the skin, (just like it does for our nails and hair!) but in the case of Milia it hardens up under the skin forming the tiny bumps.

Milia are also referred to as closed comedones, where the follicle is blocked. Comedones are the skin-coloured bumps that are mostly found around the forehead and chin of people who suffer from acne.

Blackheads, however, are called open comedones, which are exposed to the air turning the dead skin and oil black.

Who gets it?

Statistically, half of all newborn babies will likely get Milia around the cheeks, nose, and eyes. Adults can get Milia on the face, arms, and hands.

It is more often than not to develop on the hands in mature people after years of sun-exposure turned sun-damage. See our Sun Exposure and Your Skin blog to learn more about the effects of exposure on your complexion. 

Generally, some people are just more prone than others to Milia. It can be genetic causes, a skin condition or a number of other reasons as to why Milia can suddenly develop.

An interesting cause of Milia

Over applying thick moisturizers and creams, notably eye creams, have been linked with triggering Milia, especially in those that are already susceptible to it.

The skin also has a natural exfoliation process, when this malfunctions dead skin cells begin to build up under the skin’s surface and if they stay too long like this the build-up hardens into keratin. 

This keratin-filled bump won’t get red or sore – instead, it’ll just sit under a thin layer of skin.

Treatment

Unlike acne, Milia do not form in the pores, instead, it forms as a cyst. So knowing this means the treatment of Milia is a different approach. It can last on the skin from a few weeks to a few months.

Milia goes away on its own eventually, but the appearance of it can affect self-esteem and confidence. More than often we want to get rid of it as soon as we can. Below are a few tips to treat Milia – the key is patience however, as it can still take up to a few months of treating Milia from home for it to clear up:

1. Exfoliating

Due to the skin’s exfoliation process malfunctioning, choosing a targeted exfoliator is important.

One that contains salicylic acid to dissolve the bump can be used daily if it is gentle on the skin and does not cause irritation or drying out the skin.

Products containing glycolic acid are effective in exfoliators for Milia as well.

2. Creams

To avoid triggering Milia ensure you use a thin layer of skin cream. If the cream is too thick it can block the skin causing it to essentially suffocate and Milia can erupt.

Make sure to choose a moisturizing cream that won’t block your skin’s pores and that will allow the skin to still feel hydrated. 

Is Your Skin Showing Signs of Milia?

Atopis Radiant Balance Cream has been formulated using essential oils that do not plug up the pores.

Our patented process of making Atopis converts some of the essential oils to fatty acids which are critical to maintaining the health of the epithelium (skin).

Using a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, Atopis has been scientifically proven to restore the skin back to a normal function using all-natural and safe ingredients.

Learn More About Radiant Balance Cream

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