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.
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:
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.
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
We carry around a vast array of microbes in our gut that are completely unique to us, and these dictate how we digest food, maintain weight, and fight off disease among the many other jobs the microbes have. Our skin is triggered when the gut is at an imbalance and this can show on the skin depending on the skin condition you have.
What is the gut microbiome?
Think of the gut’s microbiome as an inner universe in our gut – it has billions of microbes that all have their own functions to play.
When we are in the womb we receive our gut microbiome from our mother. As we age bacteria in the gut can come and go but the profile will always remain the same.
In the first years after birth, our gut is introduced to new kinds of bacteria that join the diversity in the gut, and studies show this plays an enormous part in how our immune system matures.
When this goes wrong and the immune system does not mature correctly, immune conditions such as food allergies and eczema develop in childhood.
In adult life, if the balance between the immune system and microbiome is destabilized such as through infection, stress or change in diet then this can act as a trigger for immune-associated conditions such as IBS, acne, eczema and food allergies.
This is known as gut dysbiosis and if the imbalance continues then a vicious cycle of gut and skin issues becomes established.
It is very important to understand that there must be an underlying genetic tendency to the skin condition and that the gut dysbiosis is a trigger instead of a cause.
Why is gut health important for acne prone skin?
If your gut microbiome is unbalanced this impacts the skin microbiome, which is why we see the effects of the gut on our skin. The health of our gut affects more than our skin, it also has a direct link to our brain.
Our gut microbiome has also been linked to behavior including anxiety, stress, depression and mood swings. This is because it has an impact on our hormones.
When we feel anxious or stressed, our gut feels it and reacts to the elevated hormone – cortisol – causing excess sebum oil production, excessive gut motility (cramps and diarrhea), and gas.
Anxiety produces the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn plays havoc with all your other hormones. Cortisol encourages your skin to release sebum oil, which can result in inflammation and then finally, dreaded breakouts.
Inflammation occurs when the pore is blocked with excess oils, dead skin and bacteria and this combination form a pimple. Keeping anxiety and stress under control can benefit the skin greatly.
How does gut health influence other skin conditions?
The immune system is regulated by pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. When gut health is poor the gut produces pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are made by the immune system to ward off infection.
However, if too many are present it inflames the gut. This throws you into a vicious cycle of gut imbalance, hormonal fluctuations, skin issues, weight gain or loss and underlying inflammation.
The inflamed response in the gut shows on the skin dependent on what skin condition you are living with.
Hormonal fluctuations show on the skin as acne and rosacea. Immune conditions show as lupus, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Various environmental factors, such as stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, diet, and pollutants, will affect the composition within the gut but also the skin microbiome.
Scientific research has found that the gut microbiome in early life is associated with age of onset, severity, remission, flares, and even types of conditions such as eczema, acne, food allergies and rosacea.
Building scientific evidence is indicating that the development of these immune skin and gut conditions appears to be a combination of the microbiome diversity, the immune system and the harmony between the gut and the body.
The Role of Genetics
It is important to appreciate that this microbiome imbalance is not the cause of the development of skin conditions, but instead maybe the trigger or aggravator of the condition. Every skin condition has either an underlying genetic or microbial infection cause.
How can gut health be restored?
Our microbiome is as unique as our fingerprints so what diet or treatment may work for someone does not necessarily mean it will work for you and your unique gut. Keeping a diary on your bowel habits, skin condition, daily wellbeing and what you have eaten will help to determine what is triggering your skin.
Probiotics are essentially us adding foreign bacteria into the gut system, which is a great way to enrich gut health.
It is important to note however that a probiotic that works for one person may not always work for another due to the uniqueness of the bacteria in the gut. An overactive immune system can decide the bacteria are the enemy and attack. It pays to try different probiotics but also to use diet and prebiotics (food for good bacteria) to restore your own natural gut microflora and stabilise your gut immune balance.
It is also important to listen to your body to find out what your body needs and what it does not like. Do not be pressured into thinking you have to give up chocolate, wine or dairy. We are all unique and so is your gut microbiome and immune system. Work out what your gut does and does not like while it is inflamed and remember this will also change with a maturing gut.
How to Enrich Your Gut Health
There’s no denying the gut is interlinked with our skin, brain, and mood. Treating skin conditions requires time and effort to determine the cause and triggers and then find the most suitable plan for yourself.
Here’s some easy tips to start you on the journey to sustainably clear skin and a healthy gut:
Eat an array of plants – a great excuse to try something new, head to the supermarket grab some wholefoods and mix things up! The more plant diversity you’re exposed to, the larger your internal variation of beneficial bacteria will be.
• Fibre is Key
Fibre is prebiotic ‘fuel’ for your friendly bacteria, helping it to flourish and multiply. Whole-grains are rich in fibre.
• Fermented Foods and Drinks
They are an easy way to add probiotics to your diet. Unlike prebiotics, which help pre-existing bacteria and microorganisms within you, probiotic foods actually contain live microorganisms that are able to be added to the gut.
Poor sleep can affect your gut, and bad gut health can affect your sleep. Studies show that a normal gut flora aids in a natural sleeping pattern (being tired at night and feeling awake during the day). For a good night’s sleep it is essential to take care of your gut, and if you want to boost your gut health then a solid night’s sleep will help. How great is that?!
Exercise has the power to alter the gut bacteria composition for the better. Exercise appears to generate butyrate which is known for reducing inflammation. Recent studies have found that those who have higher levels of fitness tend to be more likely to have a more diverse microbiome than the more ‘stationary variety’ of humans.
Atopis – Skin Care That Balances Your Skin From Inside-Out
Enhancing your gut doesn’t just work from the inside out. Since your skin is your biggest organ, it’s important to restore your skin’s natural function with natural skincare products and a routine designed to work in synergy with one another, offering layers of protection and benefits.
The Atopis range is scientifically designed to enhance and strengthen the body’s immune responses, reverse skin damage and promote skin cell repair on a surface and cellular level. Atopis manages and calms the skins’ reaction to environmental triggers, stress, and hormones rebalance and restore your skin’s microflora.
Learn About The Atopis Products Here