Many people believe them to be white heads or pimples and try to remove them with acne skin care, or by squeezing, without success. This is because they are not pimples they are Milia (Milium is the singular of Milia).
What is Milia
Milia are dead skin cells or keratine trapped beneath the skin's surface. Babies and infants tend to get Milia because their skins do not yet know how to exfoliate. Milia are harmless and in infants they disappear by themselves within a few weeks.
In adults, Milia can be primary or secondary. Primary Milia are caused by dead skin cells that did not exfoliate properly, they can also be caused by genetic disposition. Secondary Milia are caused by burns, skin infections, rashes and exposure to the sun.
How to treat MiliaMilia often go away by themselves, however in adults it can take months and even years for them to disappear. It is important that you do not try to extract them yourself because squeezing and poking can cause damage to the surrounding skin and leave a scar.
The dermatologist or skin specialist can use a lancet or needle to gently pierce the skin and push out the contents, it doesn't require anesthetic.
If the Milia is extensive the skin specialist may recommend chemical peels, Cryotherapy, Laser, topical Retinoid cream, or Dermabrasion.
How to prevent MiliaTo prevent Milia it is important to follow a skin care routine, use daily sunscreen, and exfoliate regularly.