What Causes Milia? | Dr. Cynthia Bailey Pores and skin Care

What are milia and what causes them? It is a frequent query in my dermatology workplace – as a result of milia are frequent. You may get milia at any age, although they develop into a extra frequent pores and skin drawback as you become old. I obtained a pleasant query about milia from a reader and thought everybody wish to see the reply.

Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey solutions your questions on what causes milia and the best way to deal with them. 

Dr. Bailey, I’m 59 yrs outdated and vulnerable to milia.  I even have delicate pores and skin, rosacea, and not too long ago seborrheic dermatitis (facial dandruff).  Would you please clarify what causes milia, and one of the best ways to forestall them?

I think that I get extra milia after I’ve been utilizing suncreens w/ zinc.  Is that this potential, or am I off-base?

My greatest protection up to now has been Retin-A, however my pores and skin has been extra delicate currently.

Thanks, Susan

Expensive Susan, 

what causes milia dermatologist explains

Milia are small cysts which can be truly little pockets shaped out of your prime skin-layer referred to as the dermis. They appear to be pinpoint-hard white cysts, typically with a blackhead-like opening to the pores and skin floor.  When an individual has numerous them, the pores and skin takes on a cobbled look.

The white materials in a milium (single for milia) is made up of cells from the useless pores and skin layer referred to as the stratum corneum. 

Do you know that milia don’t kind from a pore?

Milia are usually not clogged pores. They’re only a pocket of regular pores and skin that in some way indented, sealed over, and the useless cells obtained trapped.

  • Milia normally kind spontaneously, not for any motive that we ever determine. 
  • They normally happen on the face, however I’ve seen them on the neck, scalp, chest, again, and even the again of the palms.
  • The adjustments in pores and skin that happen resulting from years of power solar injury appear to advertise milia-formation for predisposed folks. 
  • Milia additionally are likely to happen after a rash or pores and skin harm. 
  • Rosacea and facial dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) are rashes that may trigger milia to kind. 
  • So are the rashes of allergic reactions and irritation from harsh merchandise.

The easiest way to forestall milia is through the use of a retinol cream

prevent milia with retinol

Retinol helps loosen useless cells in order that they do not get trapped and kind a milium. You want a robust retinol evening cream to battle milia reminiscent of my skilled power Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Night time Cream. Sufferers discover that they really feel the small pre-milia ‘pill-up’ and roll off their pores and skin. Even established small milia might open and fall out. Retinol can be confirmed to battle the mobile adjustments of pores and skin ageing, and these may result in milia.

How do you deal with and forestall milia?

Nothing completely prevents milia from forming in case you’re vulnerable to them.

Skincare merchandise that assist to forestall milia

What’s milia extraction?

Milia extraction is a process finished within the dermatology workplace that’s drastically appreciated by anybody who has milia! Current milia that do not reply to exfoliating skincare could be manually extracted in a medical workplace. As a result of the pores and skin over the milia is lanced, care must be taken to forestall a pores and skin an infection.

  • On this process, the pores and skin over the milia must be disinfected with rubbing alcohol and lanced with a sterile instrument. Then the small deposit of useless pores and skin could be gently extracted utilizing a device referred to as a comedone extractor. A comedone extractor is identical device used to extract blackheads. In my workplace, it is a medical process as a result of any puncture of the pores and skin creates the chance of infections.
  • Additionally, the puncture and subsequent strain with the comedone extractor creates a small wound, and as with all wound, there’s a very small probability of leaving a mark or scar after phrases. The underside line is that you really want this finished by somebody that is aware of what they’re doing!

Can sunscreen trigger milia?

Susan, I used to be not capable of finding any medical reference connecting milia formation with zinc oxide sunscreen. 

I have been requested this many occasions and I all the time do a contemporary literature search. There’s nonetheless no scientific proof linking milia and sunscreen use. We all know that sun-damaged pores and skin is vulnerable to milia and so I truly assume that makes zinc oxide sunscreen useful for stopping them in some sense.

can sunscreen cause milia

In my view, mineral zinc oxide mineral sunscreens present the very best solar safety for the pores and skin and are subsequently vital for stopping the pores and skin solar injury that may result in milia. – Dermatologist Dr. Bailey

Because of this utilizing a zinc oxide sunscreen daily might finally scale back an individual’s lifetime threat of being a “milia former” since sun-damaged pores and skin is vulnerable to milia.

Greatest facial sunscreens for milia

Ensure that you put on a light-weight facial sunscreen day by day. Choose one that will not clog your pores, that you simply love in your pores and skin and that you’re completely satisfied to use day by day as a part of your morning skincare routine.

The preferred facial sunscreens in my dermatology follow to forestall facial solar injury that will result in milia:


best sunscreen for milia prone skin

Sheer Power Pure Bodily Matte Tinted SPF 30+ Sunscreen. That is my private day by day facial sunscreen of all time! The bottom is light-weight and by no means feels heavy on the pores and skin. Iron oxide tinting expertise gently blends into all pores and skin tones – from actually fare to melanin wealthy, this tinting expertise is a pleaser. Know that iron oxide serves an vital function in uniquely additionally blocking seen and digital blue gentle from getting into pores and skin the place it may trigger damaging free radicals and darken pigment pores and skin issues reminiscent of melasma and age spots. Each males and girl love this product, it is preferrred for greasy complexions because of the matte base and it is an important base for make-up.    

best zinc oxide sunscreen for milia

Sheer Power Pure Bodily Spray SPF 50+ Sunscreen is right for these not wanting tinting. This product can be water-proof, making it excellent for sweaty actions and swimming.

Professional-tip for sunscreen reapplication for milia susceptible pores and skin:

Sheer Power Pure Bodily SPF 50 Refresh Sunscreen is the perfect option to reapply sunscreen all through the day with out including a layer of liquid product. It is a nice sunscreen tip for milia susceptible pores and skin!

can sunscreen cause milia

 All sunscreens are hypoallergenic, perfume free, cruelty free and made in the united statesA.

I hope this helps!

Heat Regards,

Cynthia Bailey MD, Dermatologist

Disclaimer: Please understand that availing your self of the chance to submit and obtain solutions to your questions from Dr. Bailey doesn’t confer a health care provider/affected person relationship with Dr. Bailey. The knowledge supplied by Dr. Bailey is common well being info impressed by your query. It shouldn’t be an alternative choice to acquiring medical recommendation out of your doctor and isn’t meant to diagnose or deal with any particular medical drawback (and isn’t an extension of the care Dr. Bailey has supplied in her workplace for current sufferers of her follow). By no means ignore your personal physician’s recommendation due to one thing you learn right here; this info is for common informational objective solely.

Creator: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Licensed dermatologist practising dermatology since 1987. She has finished effectively over 200,000 pores and skin exams throughout her profession and authors the longest operating doctor written pores and skin well being weblog on the earth.


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