Milia – what is it?
• Milia occur when keratin becomes trapped beneath the epidermis.
• Milia can occur in people of all ages, but they’re most common in newborns, affecting up to 50% of them. They’re typically found on the face, eyelids, and cheeks.
• Newborn milia are often confused with a condition called Epstein pearls, which involves the appearance of harmless white-yellow cysts on a newborn’s gums and mouth.
• Milia are also often inaccurately referred to as “baby acne.”
• Milia tend to go away within 1 month of appearing on a
• In adults, the use of steroid creams can lead to milia on the skin where the cream is applied. However, such side effects from topical medications are rare.
• The most common reason milia form is from using heavy skin care products or hair care items. Comedogenic creams and lotions may prevent the sloughing of dead epidermal skin cells.
• A common method that a dermatologist will use to remove a milium is to nick the skin with a #11 surgical blade and then use a comedone extractor to press the cyst out.
• Milia can also be associated with certain skin diseases, particularly blistering disorders such as Porphyria Cutanea Tarda. It manifests along with blisters on the backs of hands and knuckles.