Milia is a fairly common skin ailment and should not be a cause for alarm. It is characterized by small cysts on the skin running along the eyelids, below the eyes and sometimes even the cheeks. Although dubbed as “cysts”, these tiny white bumps are benign and are basically just accumulated skin cells trapped in pores.
Milia are often found in babies and usually disappear on their own. Adults are also prone to this problem and may suffer through the problem longer depending on their skin regimen. If you are having chronic problems with the ailment though, then there are some things you can try out.
Over the Counter Products
There are currently numerous products dedicated to removing milia. Most of these are in the form of creams, peels, exfoliants and even over the counter dermabrasion. These information are based on products recommended by people from forums and blog posts.
• Glycolic Acid – this over the counter product is actually a fruit acid so it’s relatively safe. For first time users however, it would be best to purchase milder dosages for their skin. Basically, the product works as a peeler, effectively removing a layer of the dermis and taking the accumulated skin cells with it.
Creams – There’s actually a product called Naturalis today that is specially created for milia problems. So far, this has been the most touted product as it’s getting a lot of recommendations from people suffering from milia. If you intend to try it, the best approach would be buying a small batch at first. Observe how the product works for you before eventually making a large purchase.
• Exfoliants – Exfoliants and facial scrubs work by removing the top layer of the skin and exposing the younger ones underneath. This basically opens up the pores, removing the dead skin cells causing milia. So far, this has been one of the best methods for removing milia but usually takes several days or even weeks to take effect. If you have a favorite exfoliant or facial scrub, then start using that regularly and observe the results.
• Baby Shampoo – now this might seem a bit unreal, but there have been reports that milia can also be removed by baby shampoo. Specifically, those that is odorless and colorless. This actually makes sense as the primary individuals who develop milia are babies and later on, these same problems disappear naturally.
Other over the counter treatments that people recommended are includes salicylic acid, Proactiv and Rose Hip Oil.
Visit Your Dermatologist
If you are having chronic problems with your milia, then the next best thing would be going to your dermatologist. They could either prescribe you with a better-acting product or recommend procedures that would remove the milia. Some of the most common solutions your dermatologist could prescribe include:
• Cauterization – As the name suggests, cauterization is the process of burning milia in order to remove it. The process basically allows the faster removal of the outer layer of the skin cells by burning. Most people find this method scarier but the truth is that it is no less harmful but would require some time for healing. In term of price, the process could cost you around $500 or more depending on the area you wanted covered.
• Laser Treatment – laser treatment is one of the most common methods your dermatologist might suggest for milia removal. This involves the use of laser to gently remove the top layer of the skin. Note that this might necessitate several treatments, costing you roughly $300 to $600. Laser treatment is not risky as long as you go to a trusted professional.
• Dermabrasion – this process is the “wearing away” of the skin using different materials to slowly but systematically remove the top layer of the skin. It is typically used for milia since the procedure can clear away about 25 micrometers of skin depth, which is practically where the problem is located. The only reason why some people don’t like this is because it leaves the skin raw, necessitating months of regrowth. The procedure can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 depending on the area you want covered.
• Chemical Peel – as the name suggests, these peels are triggered by specific chemicals designed to gently remove a layer of the skin. Some of the known chemicals used for this include TCA and AHA, both are powerful enough to deal with milia cases. Chemical peels could cost anything from $100 to $900 depending on the chemical you choose to use. As for safety concerns, risks with chemicals peel rarely happen especially if you are getting the from a professional.
• Extraction – extraction is basically when the milia is physically pricked by your dermatologist. This requires a steady hand and the right materials to pull off and is not something that you can simply do at home. These whitish bumps will be forcibly popped, removing all the dead skins cells and allowing your pores to breathe. Extraction could take a long time to do but could provide excellent results.
Of course, there are always natural treatments that you could try out. In most cases, individuals are advised to do this first before proceeding to the more complicated methods. Some of the most common natural milia treatment tips are:
• Extensive Skin Regimen – the most repeated tip when it comes to milia is simple enough – a thorough cleansing of the skin. The use of exfoliants is the most quoted since milia are basically trapped dead skin cells. With exfoliating, you will be removing all these unnecessary blockages in your pores, paving the way for clearer and better skin.
• Healthy Diet – having a good diet could also help in managing milia. Try drinking lots of water and eating more fruits and vegetables rather than processed food products. This would make it easier for the body to flush out toxins, therefore allowing the skin to operate better.
• Less Makeup – for women, the problem could be the repeated use of make up or specific brands. If you notice your skin developing milia after using specific make up, then it would be a good idea to stop immediately. Properly removing make up at the end of the day and washing your face before sleeping could also help largely.
Of course, the methods to remove milia aren’t confined to those mentioned above. There are numerous techniques you could try out depending on how light or severe the problem seems to be. Ideally though, you should start off with natural methods first before consulting your dermatologist in the event that over-the-counter methods do not work.
A video with a doctor’s advice on how to get rid of milia.