Milia: Concerns

What Is Milia?

Milia are small, raised white bumps that are typically white or yellow in colour and look like a whitehead but cannot be popped. While commonly found around the eyes and cheeks, they can also appear anywhere on the body.

Symptoms of Milia

Milia are usually small white or yellow coloured bumps that are firm to the touch. Unlike a pimple, they lack a head and cannot be popped. Typically not inflamed or red, they don’t tend to be painful or harmful, and are most commonly found around the cheeks and eyes. They sometimes resolve on their own after a few months, but can be removed by a professional easily. Self-removal is not encouraged as it can lead to infection or scarring.


Milia are caused by a build-up of a naturally occurring protein in the skin called keratin, which can become trapped under the skin and forms a hard, white lump. As we age, cell turnover slows, so dead skin cells from the surface of the skin can build up and lead to the formation of milia. Using thick, oil-based products can be comedogenic, which means they can sit in the pores and can contribute to the formation of milia. Poor removal of make-up or not cleansing the skin effectively can also increase the chances of experiencing milia.


Chemical peels – chemical peels can help remove the uppermost layer of the skin, break down the keratin and helps to ease congestion in the pores and reducing the chances of experiencing milia.


Extraction facial – after a deep cleanse, a tiny incision is made using a hypodermic needle, and the keratinised ball is carefully removed from the skin for immediate removal of milia.


Skincare – using AHA’s, BHA’s and retinoids can help reduce and exfoliate a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin that can lead to congestion in the pores and the appearance of milia. A consultation with our skin specialist can help determine the right products for your skin type.

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