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what is milia?

All you need to know about Milia

These are some of the frequent questions about milia we are asked at the Skin to Love Clinic in St Albans, so, we thought it was time we discussed these irritating skin bumps. And no, do not be tempted to pop them!

What are Milia?

Milia are small bump-like cysts, around 1–2 mm in size, which form just under the skin, they are white and yellowish in appearance often referred to as milk spots and commonly appear on new-born babies. Unfortunately, they can affect anyone at any time in their life. They are mainly found around the eye, cheeks and forehead but can appear anywhere on the body.

What causes them?

So, what are they and what causes them?  Milia are usually caused when there is a build-up of dead skin flakes or keratin, a protein, which becomes trapped in the pores near the surface of the skin. If this is not expelled naturally it can form a small cyst or primary milia.  Lifestyle, lack of sleep, sun damage and smoking can also result in the appearance of secondary milia which occurs when the sweat ducts are blocked.

Is there any treatment?

Fortunately, milia carry few risks and may disappear naturally, however, this is usually unlikely and tend to need a professional to remove them. If, however, they are causing concerns there are several treatment options.  As with most things, prevention is key; ensure that the area affected is cleansed thoroughly daily and we also suggest gentle exfoliation.

Our key advice is, do not be tempted to squeeze! Squeezing may lead to infection and scarring. Instead try out a glycolic peel, which uses enzymes to exfoliate and refresh the skin and is ideal for treating the uppermost layer of the skin to reveal healthy new skin cells.  Do also take a look at our June offers as a course of 12 glycolic peels with an exclusive peptide-intensive Skin to Love Moisturising Rich Cleanser,  Anti-ageing Serum and Eye Cream to use at home may just be the treatment needed. You may also like to use a retinol product at home to maintain a regular skin cell turn over so that your skin doesn’t get blockages which can contribute to skin concerns such as milia; it is also a fabulous product for helping signs of ageing, such as fine lines, as well as helping to control breakouts. Retinol is a powerful product so if you are using it around your eyes, make sure you buy one that is specifically designed for this delicate area. Nurse Jane gives you the low-down on retinol, also known as vitamin A, in this quick 5-minute read.

The great news is that both glycolic peels, glycolic washes and retinol will not only help with milia they will also help to maintain and improve your skin for a smooth, glowing complexion!  If milia are particularly stubborn then they can be removed by a small incision undertaken by a medical practitioner.

As always, if you would like to have a chat with one of the team about your skin concerns then please call the clinic to book an appointment on 01727 837429 or click here to message us online.

This blog does not replace the guidance of a skincare or medical professional who may give you specific advice for you as an individual. Please seek professional advice before having a treatment or using a cosmeceutical.

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