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Milialar: A Comprehensive Guide to Causes and Removal


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Milia, often referred to as milialar, are minuscule cysts that form just below the skin’s surface, commonly found on the face. This article explores what milia are, their traits, causes, and provides insights into effective ways to get rid of them.

Unveiling Milia: Traits and Characteristics

Milia, singularly known as milium, manifest as tiny, white or yellow bumps on the skin. Unlike acne, they are not harmful and may appear individually or in groups. Typically measuring 1 to 3 millimeters, milia are benign cysts comprised of dead skin cells and, occasionally, hair follicles. Although they can appear anywhere on the body, they are most commonly found on the face, especially on the cheeks, nose, and eyelids. Interestingly, approximately 50% of newborns develop milia, often mistaken for baby acne.

Who Gets Milia and Why?

Milia can affect individuals of any age, skin tone, or gender. Newborns frequently experience congenital milia as their skin learns to shed old cells. For older individuals, factors such as inadequate skincare, use of oil-based products, skin conditions like dandruff or rosacea, lack of proper sleep, and long-term use of steroid medications may contribute to milia development.

Delving into the Causes of Milia

Our skin naturally undergoes exfoliation, shedding old cells to make room for new ones. However, milia occur when these old cells do not slough off and become trapped under the skin, hardening to form cysts. There are two main types of milia: primary and secondary. Primary milia spontaneously appear, while secondary milia result from skin injuries, medication use, or underlying skin diseases.

Types of Primary Milialar:

1. Congenital Milia: Spontaneous milia found on the face, particularly the nose.

2. Benign Primary Milia of Children and Adults: Develops spontaneously on the eyelids, cheeks, forehead, and genital area.

3. Milia en Plaque (MEP): A rare type affecting individuals between 40 to 70 years old, forming clusters on a patch of skin.

4. Multiple Eruptive Milia: Causes groups of itchy cysts on the face, upper arms, and upper abdomen.

5. Genodermatosis-Associated: Linked to genetic conditions like Brooke-Spiegler syndrome and basal cell nevus syndrome.

Types of Secondary Milialar:

1. Disease-Associated: Occurs with blistering skin diseases.

2. Medication-Associated: Forms due to long-term use of topical steroids or NSAIDs.

3. Trauma-Associated: Common after skin grafts, burns, or radiotherapy.

Managing and Removing Milia

Milia are generally harmless and may resolve on their own. However, removal may be desired for cosmetic reasons or if the cysts cause discomfort. Dermatologists offer various methods for removal, including extraction, chemical peels, and retinoids.

Removal Methods:

1. Extraction: Tiny cuts made with a needle or scalpel, followed by applying pressure to remove milia.

2. Chemical Peels: Exfoliating chemicals breaking down dead skin cells causing milia.

3. Retinoids: Derived from vitamin A, applied as prescribed by a dermatologist.

Can You Remove Milia at Home?

Attempting to remove milia at home by popping or squeezing is strongly discouraged. This may lead to bruising, scarring, or infection. Over-the-counter or prescription treatments should be discussed with a dermatologist, who can professionally remove milia in a safe manner.

Prevention Strategies

While complete prevention is not guaranteed, adopting specific skincare practices can reduce the likelihood of developing milia. These include daily face washing with gentle soap, avoiding adult skincare products on infants, sun protection, and maintaining proper skincare routines.


In summary, milia are harmless cysts that form when old skin cells become trapped under the skin. While they commonly occur in newborns, individuals of any age can develop milia. Attempting to remove milia at home is not recommended, and professional advice should be sought for safe removal. Understanding the causes and available removal methods empowers individuals to manage and prevent milia effectively.


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