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

what are milia and what causes themWhat are milia and what causes them? It is a frequent query in my dermatology workplace – as a result of milia are frequent. You will get milia at any age, although they turn out to be a extra frequent pores and skin downside as you become older. 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 easy methods to deal with them. 

Dr. Bailey, I’m 59 yrs outdated and susceptible to milia.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 stop them?

I believe 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 prior to now has been Retin-A, however my pores and skin has been extra delicate recently.

Thanks, Susan

Expensive Susan, 

what causes milia dermatologist explains

Milia are small cysts which are really little pockets shaped out of your high skin-layer known as the dermis. They seem like pinpoint-hard white cysts, generally with a blackhead-like opening to the pores and skin floor.  When an individual has a whole lot 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 lifeless pores and skin layer known as the stratum corneum. 

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

Milia should not clogged pores. They’re only a pocket of regular pores and skin that by some means indented, sealed over, and the lifeless cells received 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 because of years of continual solar injury appear to advertise milia-formation for predisposed folks. 
  • Milia additionally are inclined 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 lifeless cells in order that they do not get trapped and kind a milium. You want a powerful retinol evening cream to combat milia resembling my skilled power Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream. Sufferers discover that they really feel the small pre-milia ‘pill-up’ and roll off their pores and skin. Even established small milia could open and fall out. Retinol can be confirmed to combat 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 in the event you’re susceptible 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 enormously 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 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 lifeless pores and skin could be gently extracted utilizing a device known 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 stress with the comedone extractor creates a small wound, and as with every wound, there’s a very small probability 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 occasions and I at all times do a contemporary literature search. There may be nonetheless no scientific proof linking milia and sunscreen use. We all know that sun-damaged pores and skin is susceptible to milia and so I really assume that makes zinc oxide sunscreen useful for stopping them in some sense.

can sunscreen cause milia

For my part, mineral zinc oxide mineral sunscreens present the very best solar safety for the pores and skin and are due to this fact essential for stopping the pores and skin solar injury that may result in milia. – Dermatologist Dr. Bailey

Which means utilizing a zinc oxide sunscreen day-after-day could in the end cut back an individual’s lifetime threat of being a “milia former” since sun-damaged pores and skin is susceptible to milia.

Finest facial sunscreens for milia

Ensure that you put on a light-weight facial sunscreen each 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 each day as a part of your morning skincare routine.

The preferred facial sunscreens in my dermatology observe to stop facial solar injury which will result in milia:


best sunscreen for milia prone skin

Sheer Strength Pure Physical Matte Tinted SPF 30+ Sunscreen. That is my private each 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 essential function in uniquely additionally blocking seen and digital blue mild from coming into pores and skin the place it could possibly trigger damaging free radicals and darken pigment pores and skin issues resembling melasma and age spots. Each males and girl love this product, it is perfect for greasy complexions as a result of matte base and it is an important base for make-up.    

best zinc oxide sunscreen for milia

Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray SPF 50+ Sunscreen is good for these not wanting tinting. This product can be waterproof, making it good for sweaty actions and swimming.

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

Sheer Strength Pure Physical SPF 50 Refresh Sunscreen is the perfect approach 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 to acquiring medical recommendation out of your doctor and isn’t meant 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 observe). By no means ignore your individual physician’s recommendation due to one thing you learn right here; this info is for common informational goal solely.

Writer: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Licensed dermatologist training dermatology since 1987. She has accomplished nicely over 200,000 pores and skin exams throughout her profession and authors the longest working doctor written pores and skin well being weblog on the planet.


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