Milia is a common skin condition that causes small white bumps (cysts) under the surface of your skin.
What are milia?
Milia (milk spots) are small, white cysts on your skin. Cysts are filled pockets under the surface of your skin. The most common place to find milia are on your face. Milia are harmless and only affect your appearance.
It’s common to confuse the white bumps on your face with whiteheads, which are a type of acne. Milia aren’t a type of acne.
What’s the difference between milia and milium?
“Milia” is the plural word for the small cysts called milk spots. One cyst is called a “milium.” A milium is also known as a single milk spot or an oil seed.
What are the symptoms of milia?
Symptoms of milia include:
- White to yellow bumps (cysts) on your skin.
- Bumps can appear in groups or clusters.
- Bumps are asymptomatic and don’t cause pain or discomfort.
Depending on the type of milia, some can be itchy or form on a raised patch of skin.
Where will I have symptoms of milia?
Milia affects the skin on your body. They’re often located on your face. The most common places to find milia on your body include:
- On your eyelid or under your eyes.
- Arms or legs.
- Genitals such as your penis.
- Inside of your mouth.
What causes milia?
Trapped dead skin cells that form cysts below the surface of your skin cause milia. Your body naturally gets rid of dead skin cells by shedding them to make room for new cells to grow and take their place. When your old skin cells don’t fall off of your body, new skin grows on top of them and traps them underneath. Your dead skin cells harden and turn into cysts.
Additional causes of milia include:
- Damage to your skin from an injury or sun exposure.
- Long-term use of steroid creams or ointments.
- A symptom of a genetic condition.
- An autoimmune response.
Milia removal methods
At Persona Medical Aesthetics we offer the following methods of milia removal:
Once the skin with milia has been cleaned, a sterile needle is used to create a tiny incision and the contents of the milia are carefully extracted.
Cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen freezes the milia.
Diathermy. Extreme heat destroys the cysts.