Milia: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Milia?

Milium cysts are small, pearly-white or yellowish bumps (or milia when they occur in groups) that typically appear on the nose and cheeks. The cysts occur when keratin (a strong protein that is typically found in skin, hair, and nail cells) become trapped beneath the surface of the skin.
Milia are very common in newborn babies but can affect people of any age. Milia are often inaccurately referred to as baby acne. They are most often seen on the skin around the cheeks, nose, eyes and eyelids, forehead and chest but they can occur anywhere on the body.

Recovery Time

There is no treatment necessary for infant milia. The cysts will usually clear up within a few weeks. In older children and adults, milia will go away within a few months.


Your doctor will examine your skin and will be able to determine if you have the condition based on the appearance of the cysts.

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Milia?
Milia is a skin condition that can happen to anyone at any time in life. It is a type of tiny skin cyst filled with a protein called keratin. They are most often seen on the skin around the cheeks, nose, eyes and eyelids, forehead and chest but they can occur anywhere on the body. Mostly seen in children but can occur in anyone, regardless of age, sex, or race.

Q2.  What are the symptoms of Milia?
Milia appears to be like whitish, pearly bump in the skin across the cheeks, nose, and chin or whitish, pearly bump on gums or roof of the mouth. They mayÿlook like teeth coming through the gums.

Q3.  What are the causes of milia?
The cause of milium cysts in newborns is unknown. In older children and adults, the cause is typically associated with some type of damage to the skin.
skin conditions that cause blistering
  • burns
  • blistering injuries, such as poison ivy
  • skin resurfacing procedures, such as dermabrasion or laser resurfacing
  • long-term use of steroid creams
  • long-term sun damage
Q4.  When shall one consult a physician?
Usually, milia get recovered in 2-4 weeks. One should consult a doctor if it gets painful, irritating and red inflamed.

Q5.  How shall one prevent it?
  • The first step is to stop treating your skin with harsh chemicals and reduce sun exposure or use a sunscreen with SPF15 when you are going out
  • Use Vitamin A rich creams
  • Drink plenty of Juice daily which will flush out toxins from your body
  • Wash your face twice daily to remove dirt and pollution off the face.
  • Take well-balanced food. Avoid junk food

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