Understanding Milia: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Milialar , often referred to as “miliae” in plural, are tiny, benign cysts that can appear on the skin. These small, pearly white or yellowish bumps may not be harmful, but they can be a source of concern for those who develop them. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of milia, exploring their causes, treatment options, and preventive measures.

  1. What Are Milialar ?

Milialar are small, round, and often hard cysts that form under the skin. They are typically 1-2 millimeters in size and may appear on various parts of the body, although they are most commonly found on the face. Milia are often confused with other skin conditions like whiteheads or acne, but they are distinct in several ways.

  1. Causes of Milialar

Understanding the causes of Milialar is essential in preventing their occurrence. Here are some common factors that contribute to the formation of milia:

a. Blocked Sweat Glands: Milia can develop when sweat glands are clogged, preventing the sweat from escaping onto the skin’s surface. This can happen due to the use of heavy skincare products or the presence of dead skin cells.

b. Skin Trauma: Injury to the skin, such as burns, blisters, or even excessive sun exposure, can lead to milia formation. These cysts can develop as the skin heals from such trauma.

c. Use of Heavy Skincare Products: Certain skincare products, like thick creams or lotions, can block the pores, causing milia to form. This is particularly common in individuals with sensitive skin.

d. Genetic Factors: Some people may be genetically predisposed to developing milia. If other family members have a history of milia, there may be a higher likelihood of its occurrence.

e. Neonatal Milialar : Babies can also develop Milialar , known as neonatal milia, which typically disappear on their own within a few weeks.

  1. Types of Milialar

Milialar can be classified into different types based on their causes and location. The most common types include:

a. Primary Milialar : These are the most common and appear spontaneously without any apparent cause.

b. Secondary Milialar : Secondary milia develop as a result of trauma to the skin or certain skin conditions, such as bullous pemphigoid or epidermolysis bullosa.

c. Neonatal Milialar : As mentioned earlier, neonatal milia appear in newborns and are typically found on the face, particularly the nose. They usually resolve on their own.

d. Milia en Plaque: This rare type of Milialar forms as part of a group of cysts on the skin, usually on the eyelids, ears, or jawline.

  1. Treatment Options

While Milialar are generally harmless, many people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons or if they become bothersome. Here are some common treatment options for milia:

a. Extraction: A dermatologist can manually extract milia using a sterile needle or scalpel. This should only be done by a trained professional to avoid scarring or infection.

b. Topical Retinoids: Prescription-strength topical retinoids, such as tretinoin, can help speed up the turnover of skin cells, preventing the formation of new milia.

c. Chemical Peels: Chemical peels containing ingredients like glycolic acid can help exfoliate the skin and prevent milia.

d. Cryotherapy: In some cases, cryotherapy, which involves freezing the milia with liquid nitrogen, may be recommended to remove them.

e. Laser Therapy: Laser treatments can effectively target and remove milia, especially when they are deeply embedded.

f. Microdermabrasion: This non-invasive procedure uses fine crystals to exfoliate the skin, potentially removing milia.

It’s essential to consult a dermatologist to determine the most suitable treatment option based on the type and location of Milialar .

  1. Prevention of Milia

Preventing Milialar from forming in the first place can save you the hassle of seeking treatment later. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

a. Choose the Right Skincare Products: Opt for non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) skincare products, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

b. Practice Gentle Exfoliation: Regular exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells that can contribute to milia. However, be gentle to avoid skin irritation.

c. Sun Protection: Protect your skin from excessive sun exposure by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, as sunburn can lead to milia formation.

d. Avoid Picking or Squeezing: Trying to pop milia at home can lead to infection and scarring. Leave extraction to a dermatologist.

e. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration helps maintain skin health and can reduce the risk of milia.

f. Consult a Dermatologist: If you have a family history of Milialar or are prone to developing them, consider consulting a dermatologist for preventive measures tailored to your skin.


Milialar may be a common and generally harmless skin condition, but they can be a source of frustration for those who develop them. Understanding their causes, types, treatment options, and preventive measures is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. If you find yourself dealing with milia, consult a dermatologist to explore the best approach for your specific situation. Remember, taking proactive steps to prevent milia can help you enjoy clear and radiant skin.

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