What Are Milia on the Skin?

It’s always a good idea to regularly check your skin and take note of any physical changes, as this is the best way of spotting signs of serious conditions—like skin cancer—that can initially show up as strange-looking spots. However, there are other marks that may also appear on your skin that are actually harmless, aren’t linked to any long-term damage, and don’t require medical treatment. Many adults notice small white or yellowish bumps on the skin. These bumps typically have a hard texture and may be mistaken for whiteheads or small pimples. They usually occur on the forehead, around the eyes, or on the nose and cheeks. These bumps are sometimes called “baby acne,” as they are often seen on newborns, but this is incorrect as they aren’t a symptom of acne. Milia, also referred to as “milk cysts” or “milk spots,” don’t have the redness and inflammation associated with acne outbreaks. If you’re not sure whether you’re seeing milia on your own skin, our focus is on aesthetic and clinical dermatology at Los Angeles-based Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills, where we can diagnose your condition and help you find the best treatment for milia if you don’t like the way they look or they’re uncomfortable. The following are some of the most common treatments used for these bumps:

Topical Products

Milk spots occur when keratin, a rigid protein that is abundant in the skin and nails, gets stuck beneath the surface of the skin because dead cells aren’t being shed properly. Although they may eventually go away after weeks or months, you can speed up skin cell turnover by using topical retinoid creams or other exfoliates.

Manual Extractions

The fastest and most simple treatment may be going to a professional to have the milia extracted. It’s better to seek advice from board-certified dermatologists, as attempting to remove them yourself can be more difficult, painful, and may cause scarring or infections.

Laser Ablation

Laser skin resurfacing is also believed to be effective for milia. This treatment uses laser energy to get rid of the cysts without causing scarring or dyspigmentation.

Our Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills team provides aesthetic and medical dermatology care in the Los Angeles area. If you’re interested in having your skin assessed or would like to learn more about the procedures we offer, submit a contact form or give us a call at 310-246-0495 for further details.

Written by Dr. Derek Jones

Dr. Derek Jones is a renowned Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area dermatologist practicing in cosmetic and general dermatology.


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