Milia are commonly found on the skin of individuals of all ages. They are formed when keratin (a substance produced by the skin) becomes entrapped beneath the outer layer of the skin, forming a small cyst. An individual milium (the singular of milia) is made at the bottom of a follicle or sudoriferous gland .
Milia are often categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary milia are formed directly from entrapped keratin and are usually found on the faces of infants and adults. Secondary milia also are tiny cysts and appearance similar, but these develop after something clogs the ducts resulting in the skin surface, like after an injury, burn, or blistering of the skin.
Who's at risk?
Milia can occur in people of all ages, of any ethnicity, and of either sex. Milia are so common in newborn babies (occurring in up to 50% of them) that they're considered normal.
Secondary milia may appear in affected skin of individuals with the following:
Ø Blistering skin conditions, such as bullous pemphigoid, epidermolysis bullosa, and porphyria cutanea tarda
Ø Blistering injury to skin, such as poison ivy
Ø Following skin resurfacing procedures such as dermabrasion or laser resurfacing
Ø Following long-term use of steroid creams
Ø Chronic sun damage
Signs and Symptoms
Milia appear as 1–2 mm white-to-yellow, dome-shaped bumps that aren't painful or itchy.
The most common locations for primary milia include:
Ø Around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead in adults and infants
Ø On the gums and palate inside the mouth of infants; these milia are called Epstein's pearls, and they occur in up to 85% of infants
The most common locations for secondary milia include:
Ø Anywhere on the body where another skin condition exists, particularly on the backs of the hands
Ø On the faces of people who have had a lot of damage from sun exposure
Primary milia found in infants tend to heal on their own within several weeks, though the first milia found in adults tend to be long lasting.
Although milia are found within the outer layers of skin, they're difficult to get rid of without the right tools. Do not attempt to remove them reception , as you'll leave a scar.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
If the diagnosis from the doctor is primary milia in an infant, no treatment is important , because the bumps will get away on their own within a couple of weeks.
Primary or secondary milia in an adult may disappear on their own, but your doctor may treat you with one among the following:
Ø Piercing each milium with a sterile lancet or scalpel followed by removal of the cyst material with a tool called a comedone extractor
Ø Topical retinoid cream such as tretinoin, tazarotene, or adapalene
Ø A series of acid peels or microdermabrasion procedures at the dermatologist's office
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