Hi Ladies! Jeanasina here! Here is my hopefully informative follow-up on milias! (I have been spelling it incorrectly – sorry (not melia). I had never even heard of the word milia until a few years ago when my favorite Esthetician told me about the little whitehead looking things on my face. I said “I CAN’T GET THESE SUCKERS OUT!! WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY?” and that began my new-found knowledge of milia. These are also known as milia seeds.
I personally did not even have any for years, but my mom, when she was alive ,had these enormous white head looking things all over her face – truth – she probably had at least 50 or more of them! She was very tolerant of me squeezing any blackheads I’d see on her face. I was a blackhead/whitehead/pimple zealot! Probably a zillion times in my lifetime when she was alive and around, I’d also ask her if I could get all those presumed ‘whiteheads’ off of her too! She was always indifferent so I’d just be chomping at the bit to get my squeezing started! I’d squeeze with all my might (I can only imagine how much this hurt) and never, ever, would I be able to get them out! My mom only looked worse, now her melia face was full of nail indents which were beet red! Sigh. I figured out these must not be ordinary whiteheads but I had no clue of what they actually were until years later when I had my own version of these bumps.
Eventually I developed my own little white bumps (they never got as large as my mom’s) but apparently they could! Mine showed up around my eyes (the first ones) and I, not knowing what they were also tried to extract them with my death grip squeeze methods and they NEVER came out! I hated them though – every time I’d run my finger over them and feel them it would get under my skin literally and figuratively! How could they have the audacity to stay under my skin when I didn’t want them there! The little bastards! They were really tiny and nobody probably even noticed them…but to me…they were the enemy.
I got them removed the first time at my expert skin doctor (dermatologist) and after my first experience of his method of removal, as much as I hated it, I LOVED when he’d show me the hard little white pebble of sand he just took off of my face! I got a lesson from him on milias and I did my research and so ladies…here’s the scoop on milias!
Little white bumps, or milia, are keratin-filled cysts, little balls of protein beneath the skin that do not have a pore, or hole in the skin through which to escape. There are generally two types of milia. Primary milia may result from oil glands that have not fully or properly developed. Secondary milia result from trauma to the skin.
The best way to prevent milia is to avoid treating your skin with excessively harsh chemicals and to limit sun exposure. To reduce creating milia around the eyes, use eye creams with the least amount of ingredients possible to avoid irritating the delicately thin eye area. Also, gently touch the eyes and avoid rubbing the eyes vigorously so as not to damage the skin.
When you were a baby, you were probably covered with milia that disappear after a few days. Or, you may have inherited milia from your parents.
On the other hand, you may develop milia after excessive exposure to the sun. The reasons for developing milia after sun exposure are debatable. According to some studies, the active ingredients sunscreens like Parsol 1789 may cause sun allergies and later lead to a milia breakout. Other studies blame the sun itself for “damaging” the skin can thus causing little white bumps.
Just because you have little white bumps on your face does not necessarily mean that you have acne. Comedones or whiteheads are excess fats and wastes that are trapped in a hair follicle and so they clog up the pore. In short, milia are proteins trapped within the skin, while comedones are fats and skin debris trapped within the pore.
Exfoliating the skin, or removing the dead skin cells from your skin with an abrasive product or chemical, is beneficial. But brutally scrubbing your face with soaps and chemicals too frequently may actually create milia. To avoid this, remember that gentle exfoliation helps prevent excess dead skin cell build-up that could clog your pores and cause whiteheads, not milia.
This gentle exfoliation helps make eventual removal of the milia easier because the skin layer around the milia becomes thinner, with frequent, yet gentle exfoliation. In short, Exfoliate your skin to prevent milia, not to cure them .Milia are deep seeded white bumps that form when skin cells become trapped rather than exfoliate naturally. The trapped cells become walled off into tiny cysts that appear like white beads below the surface of the skin. Milia can occur on the skin or even on mucous membranes such as the inner surface of the cheek or the border of the lips.
If you already have milia seeds, you should go to a dermatologist to have them removed. Some people get rid of them at home with the help of a needle, but because they appear in such sensitive areas, like around the eyes, it’s not recommend to do that, unless you’re absolutely certain and confident you can do it. And even then, make sure the milia seeds haven’t hardened. If so, don’t attempt to do anything on your own and consult a dermatologist.
Alright my friends, hopefully this has helped you become more informed! I did ask my dermatologist if my milias could get as large as my mom’s and he said they definitely could! Yikes! You have to know I won’t be letting THAT happen especially if I’m predisposed since it can be a hereditary thing! I’m thinking of having “There Ain’t No Milias On Me and I Like It!” teeshirts made up and selling them on Craig’s list!
Any other ladies out there that get these suckers?