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Expert Advice | Milky Milia

Milia, also called milk spots, are harmless buy annoying tiny white keratin- filled cysts found on the face. They are very persistent and can sometimes stay for weeks, months or longer. Fortunately, there are several ways to remove or avoid milia.

How do you get milia?

These tiny, white lumps can occur in all skin types and ages and are often found around the eyes and cheeks. Milia can arise spontaneously and are small pockets of dead skin cells that get trapped underneath the skin’s surface. In some cases, milia can also develop when the skin has been damaged, for example due to sun damage, burns, abrasions or from using harsh skin care products.

How to remove Milia ?

Given enough time, milia will often go away by themselves, but sometimes more help is needed. These 3 tips will help you get smoother, milia-free skin:

  • A consistent skincare routine using gentle, well-formulated products is essential for clear skin. Choose  a mild cleanser to remove dirt and make-up, a toner to soothe skin and day cream with SPF 50 to protect skin from the sun.
  • Daily exfoliation with a BHA exfoliant with salicylic acid helps to remove dead skin cells from the skin, revealing the new, soft skin that lies beneath.
  • If skin care products do not help, you can also choose to have milia professionally removed by a skin therapist or beautician. They will remove milia by gently pricking them with a needle- do not attempt to do this yourself!

Milia are not spots

At first glance, its easy to confuse milia with whiteheads. However, they are very different. Unlike spots, milia are usually found around your eyelids and are on the drier parts of your sin. Also, as milia are not inflamed red or painful like spots. As they are solid lumps and set deeper than spots, they require a different treatment.

What should you not do?

As milia are not spots, spot treatment ( such as benzoyl peroxide) will be ineffective. Squeezing or puncturing milia is not recommended either, as the content of these lumps is not fluid, and the squeezing will actually damage the skin surrounding the milia and make them even more noticeable.

The importance of good skin care

A good skin care routine that includes a daily exfoliant will help prevent and reduce milia. If you don’t already have an exfoliant in your bathroom cabinet, try a BHA exfoliants. If after a few weeks you still suffer from milia, I would recommend that you make an appointment with a skin therapist or beautician.

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