Have you ever even heard of milia? Probably not, although it is a very common skin condition that effects everyone from infants to the elderly. Basically it is tiny white bumps on the skin. Just like any other skin condition there are several different types and treatments available to help you banish the bumps from sight!

Milia are asymptomatic and usually occur around the eyes in children and adults. Up to half of infants in the United States develop milia at some point. In appearance they are small skin lesions (bumps) that range from pearly white to pale yellow in appearance.

Primary milia are most typically seen in infants but may occur in adults. This type typically forms around the nose and eye region. Secondary milia are seen in different blistering disorders or following dermabrasion. Milia are tiny epideremoid cysts that may be may be derived from the pilosebaceous follicle.

Causes

Primary milia may be the result of sebaceous glands that are not fully developed (thus explaining its massive occurrence during infancy). Secondary milia form following blistering or trauma and disruption to the sweat glands. This type can also develop following skin treatments such as dermabrasion or radiotherapy.

Treatment

The most important thing to remember about milia is that they are completely harmless. As a parent it may be tempting to seek treatment for your child’s skin but left alone it will treat itself over time. Basically it is tiny pockets of dead skin cells on the surface and through the natural exfoliation process and building of new skin cells, skin will heal itself and the tiny bumps will disappear.

It is important to remember that milia is not like acne and should not be “pinched” or “popped”. This could lead to significant scarring when done, especially at home. If you are very concerned over the bumps on your skin or wish to seek treatment, consult with your dermatologist.

Prevention

The best way to treat milia is to prevent it from ever developing. This is not true in the case of infant milia – an infants skin is very delicate and should not be exposed to excess cleansers or treatments. Consult with your child’s physician before taking any action.

For teens and adults a gentle exfoliation can help in the prevention of milia but will not clear up the condition once it has developed. A gentle exfoliant will help soften the skin and ease the natural exfoliation process and prevent the build up of more dead skin cells. Remember that your skin is sensitive and should not be exposed to harsh chemicals or rough scrubbing as this will only cause more damage and trauma. (Over exfoliation may actually increase the occurrence of milia on the skin so use good judgment when developing a skin care routine).

Want to learn more about proper skin care? Find us online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com.

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