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

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

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

Dr. Bailey, I’m 59 yrs outdated and vulnerable to milia.  I even have delicate pores and skin, rosacea, and lately seborrheic dermatitis (facial dandruff).  Would you please clarify what causes milia, and one of the best ways to stop them?

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

My greatest protection prior 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 really little pockets fashioned out of your prime skin-layer referred to as the dermis. They appear like pinpoint-hard white cysts, generally with a blackhead-like opening to the pores and skin floor.  When an individual has a number of 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 aren’t clogged pores. They’re only a pocket of regular pores and skin that by some means indented, sealed over, and the useless cells bought 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 fingers.
  • The adjustments in pores and skin that happen on account of years of continual solar harm 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.

One of the simplest ways to stop 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 energy Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Evening 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 getting old, and these may also result in milia.

How do you deal with and stop milia?

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

Skincare merchandise that assist to stop milia

What’s milia extraction?

Milia extraction is a process accomplished within the dermatology workplace that’s tremendously appreciated by anybody who has milia! Present milia that do not reply to exfoliating skincare might 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 stop 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 might be gently extracted utilizing a software referred to as a comedone extractor. A comedone extractor is similar software 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 danger of infections.
  • Additionally, the puncture and subsequent strain with the comedone extractor creates a small wound, and as with every wound, there’s a very small likelihood of leaving a mark or scar after phrases. The underside line is that you really want this accomplished 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 instances and I all the time do a recent 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 really suppose 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 most effective solar safety for the pores and skin and are subsequently necessary for stopping the pores and skin solar harm that may result in milia. – Dermatologist Dr. Bailey

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

Finest facial sunscreens for milia

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

The preferred facial sunscreens in my dermatology follow to stop facial solar harm that will result in milia:


best sunscreen for milia prone skin

Sheer Energy Pure Bodily Matte Tinted SPF 30+ Sunscreen. That is my private every 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 know-how gently blends into all pores and skin tones – from actually fare to melanin wealthy, this tinting know-how is a pleaser. Know that iron oxide serves an necessary function in uniquely additionally blocking seen and digital blue mild from getting into pores and skin the place it might probably 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 perfect for shiny complexions because of the matte base and it is an excellent base for make-up.    

best zinc oxide sunscreen for milia

Sheer Energy 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 Energy Pure Bodily SPF 50 Refresh Sunscreen is the perfect strategy 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 notice 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 basic 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 supposed to diagnose or deal with any particular medical downside (and isn’t an extension of the care Dr. Bailey has supplied in her workplace for present sufferers of her follow). By no means ignore your individual physician’s recommendation due to one thing you learn right here; this info is for basic informational goal solely.

Writer: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Licensed dermatologist working towards dermatology since 1987. She has accomplished properly 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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