Everything you need to know about Milia and how to prevent it

We are asked questions about the skin every single day, a really common question topic is about Milia – what are they and can they be removed.

 

Often mistaken for whiteheads, Milia are small cysts under the skin created by a build up of dead skin cells (keratin). These can be really common in babies but can also affect children and adults alike. The most common reason for milia in adults is trapped dead skin within the pores, if this isn’t exfoliated, we can end up with small hard cysts under the skin, usually around the eyes, but can be seen anywhere on the face.

If you do notice tiny, white bumps across the skin, do not try to squeeze them. Forget it! it won’t work and you may just damage your skin, the same goes for using any homemade tools, it won’t end well. Sometimes, these can disperse naturally and disappear in a few weeks, however, sometimes we need to have them removed.

This is not at all as scary as it sounds – milia removal can bring visions of all sorts, however its actually a very straight forward process when done by a professional. We offer a steam and extraction option on top of all of our facials. This means you can arrange for one of our well trained therapists to extract any pores whilst they treat your skin. This goes for difficult blackheads, spots and pesky milia.

Milia removal can be very quick and pain free when done properly. We use sterile needles to make a minuscule incision and lance the milia out. We have found this to be the most effective and easiest method for this treatment taking little time to heal.

This is the best method for removal, however with everything, prevention is better than cure. With a simple skincare routine you can minimise the risk. Here are a few tips we would suggest..

  1. Cleanse your face thoroughly! – The removal of makeup/ sweat or product residue is so important before you go to bed. You should cleanse your skin twice every evening to make sure you are really cleaning out the pores. The first cleanse will see all of your makeup removed and the second cleanse will make sure that your skin is actually being cleaned. If you think about it – makeup, SPF, products etc all create a barrier over the surface of the skin, once that is removed your skin underneath will also need to be cleaned. We suggest a cleanser suitable for your skin type – browse them here.
  2. Exfoliate – The act of regular exfoliation will really help prevent milia, this is your second step to making sure the pores have been well cleaned out and that all of the dead skin sitting on the surface will be removed. This reduces the chance of it building up and becoming trapped. Even if you have sensitive skin, a gentle daily exfoliation can still be done. Our favourite exfoliators.
  3. Think about your products – Very thick moisturisers or oil based products that just sit on the surface of the skin teamed with not cleansing your face correctly is a recipe for clogged pores. Make sure you are using the correct products for your skin or seek a professional opinion.
  4. Try a Retinol(always make sure you’ve asked professional advice before using a true retinol product) Retinol is a form of Vitamin A which is used for regulating skin cell turnover. This means that it will slough off all of the dead skin cells and make sure your skin is constantly regulating this which means no build up! Imagine a tube of tennis balls with the ball at the top being dead skin, if you place another tennis ball in the end of the tube the top one gets pushed out. This is exactly what retinol does, it helps to build a strong, healthy bottom layer of skin and pushes the old, dead skin off the top. Read more about Retinol here.

If you’re unsure about anything or have a few questions you’d like answering then please let us know! You can also take our skin type quiz to find out a little bit more about what your skin might be telling you.

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