12th July, 20211 min read

Milia: the causes and how to treat it

Medical reviewer:
Dr Adiele Hoffman
Dr Adiele Hoffman
Dr Ann Nainan
Dr Ann Nainan
Last reviewed: 13/07/2021
Medically reviewed

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In this article

What is milia?

Milia are tiny white or yellow bumps (cysts) on your skin that are filled with a protein called keratin. They are around 1 to 2 mm wide, and you can get them at any age – but they are most commonly seen on newborn babies.

What are the symptoms of milia?

Milia don’t usually cause any symptoms, but they can be itchy in some cases. They usually appear on the face, especially on the cheeks, nose, and eyes.

How are milia diagnosed and treated?

A doctor will usually be able to tell you have milia by looking at and feeling your skin. Most of the time, milia disappear on their own without needing any treatment.

But if they don’t go away on their own, or you have a lot of them, they can be treated. The type of treatment you’ll be given depends on the type of milia you have, but may include:

  • removal with a thin needle
  • cold therapy (cryotherapy)
  • creams like retinoids
  • chemical peels
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