What are Milia?

Also known as a milk spots, this is a skin condition in which you develop white bump-like cysts on the outer layer of the skin. Milia can occur when skin forms a white and/or yellowish cyst on the surface of the skin. They occur most frequently in newborn children but can crop up at any age – and particularly in adults who use excessive amounts of rich skincare creams or heavy products. The cysts here will appear round and underneath the eyes.

The most common affected areas besides the eyes are in the creases of your nose, but Milia can appear anywhere on the skin. There are two different types: Primary and Secondary. Primary can be understood as dead skin that gets trapped in pockets of the skin. Secondary can be caused by trauma to the skin which include sun damage, long term use of steroid creams, burns, and other forms of physical damage to the skin. There are normally no symptoms of this condition aside from the physical appearance of the cysts.


Treatment for this skin condition can vary based on skin type, condition type and age. Milia often require a medical diagnosis from a doctor or dermatologist. The cysts can most commonly be mistaken for acne, especially in newborn babies. Often, the cysts can reduce on its own or go away completely.

Some treatments include deroofing the cysts from the skin, topical medications, exposure to heating or cooling of the skin and laser treatments. These treatments are minimally invasive and relatively painless. Be sure not to squeeze these cysts as it will only further damage your skin. Unlike occurrences of spots and acne, it is hard to spread milia, but care should still be taken not to squeeze them.


Following a skincare regimen that is right for you is a great way to prevent this skin condition. First and foremost, it is incredibly important to keep your skin clean. Thorough cleansing of your skin will help prevent these cysts from forming. Use gentle, unscented and colour free products. Instances of milia can be helped by not using creams or skincare serums that are too heavy and rich, especially under the eyes.

Further, using an exfoliator to remove dead skin frequently can help reduce the chance of this skin condition. Lastly, protect your skin from trauma, whether it be sun damage or physical damage. That means use retinol creams and sunscreens to protect your skin. Milia are a relatively harmless condition that normally forms due to dead skin clogging your pores that causes cysts to form. They can reduce or disappear on their own but can also be treated with invasive procedures or topical creams. There are ways to prevent this condition with proper skincare regimes. It is important to speak with a doctor or dermatologist if you believe you have this condition to see what treatment works best for you.