WHAT IS MILIA?
The face is the most likely place you’ll see milia, which is made up of a collection of milium cysts.
Milium cysts are very small cysts that form beneath the surface of the skin, often referred to as ‘milk spots’. They’re usually white or yellow in colour and typically develop on the cheeks and around the eyes in groups – milia.
WHAT CAUSES MILIA?
Milium cysts develop as a result of keratin (a natural protein found in the skin, hair and nails) becoming trapped under the skin. When milia affects older children and adults it is linked to having some kind of skin trauma, such as: blistering injuries, sun damage, burns, regular use of topical steroids or from having undergone a resurfacing or dermabrasion treatment. Ageing is another factor to consider in the development of milia as the skin becomes less effective with natural exfoliation.
Although it often causes no discomfort on its own, it can become irritated and inflamed when clothing rubs against it.
HOW IS THIS TREATED?
Infant milia (affecting babies) often requires no treatment as it will disappear on its own. This is often the case with older children and adults, however, Dr Grace Kelly can offer some assistance when milium cysts have become red and sore.
Cryotherapy is a safe and effective method for treating milia and our clinic prefers to use the Cryopen for this treatment. Delivering ultra-low temperatures to the tissues of the milium cyst will freeze the intracellular fluid which ultimately turns to shards and breaks through the outer membrane, and destroys the cell. A smooth skin surface will be restored once any side effects have cleared, which may involve the healing of a post-treatment blister.