Have you tried acne treatment after acne treatment only to find that stubborn bumps are persisting? You might not be dealing with acne. Milia cysts are small, stubborn bumps that can appear anywhere on the face, but typically make their homes on the nose and cheeks. They appear when keratin, the same protein that makes up our skin, hair, and nails, becomes trapped under the skin and within the pores.  They are usually not itchy or painful.  Milia can occur in people of all ethnicities and age.

If you’ve ever been around a newborn, you may have noticed milia cysts on their noses. It’s quite typical for newborns, but it can be a source of frustration for adults seeking smooth, blemish-free skin.

Adult Milia

Some skincare products, such as those containing paraffin wax and petroleum, can cause milia “breakouts.” If you’re prone to milia cysts, check your products and ensure that they don’t contain these chemicals. That would include products like petroleum jelly and skin softening treatments.

Treating Milia Cysts

Only your dermatologist or primary care physician will be able to tell you for sure if your blemishes are a case of milia cysts. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, there are several  options that could prove beneficial.

  • Deroofing extracts the milia using a sterile needle to remove the contents.
  • Regularly scheduled chemical peels can reveal a fresh layer of skin free of milia cysts.
  • Exfoliants including Vitamin A (retinols) are applied to clear the skin of excess debris.
  • Cryotherapy, like that in wart removal, freezes the milia and they easily fall off.

Working with a licensed care provider is the best way to create a treatment plan. Avoid at-home procedures, like¬† “popping” the cysts, as this can quickly become a dangerous infection, lead to scarring and more cysts in the future.