Here’s everything to know about milia — those pesky, hard white bumps on your skin that never leave and are just begging you to pop them
Now if you’ve ever read any sort of “guide to spots” before, you’ll know that a dermatologist or expert is about to tell you that under no circumstances should you squeeze your spots or blackheads but if you must, do it with a tissue, be gentle, stop before you’ve drawn blood and put something antibacterial on top of it when you’ve finished. When it comes to milia, forget all that.
Milia are those perfectly formed, white, hard bumps on the skin. They last for ages and look temptingly poppable, but if you try to squeeze them, you’ll get nowhere — you’ll just be left with scarring and damage to the skin. The Wicklow Street Clinic have just introduced new milia removal treatment, so we asked then to explain what they are, how they’re treated and how to prevent them in the future.
What are milia?
Milia are hard pearl-like bumps under the skin. They sit below the skin surface. This is why you can’t classically extract them out of the skin. They form when skin flakes or keratin, a protein, become trapped under the skin. Milia most often appear on the face, commonly around the eyelids and cheeks, however, they can occur anywhere.
What causes them?
They occur due to the skin’s keratin building up and getting trapped near the surface of the skin. The build-up doesn’t get expelled naturally. Over time the protein becomes hard and this is what gives its hard bump appearance. You can also develop them if a product is too heavy and it can cause natural build-up in the skin, so they are preventable.
Should you ever attempt to remove them yourself?
You could try but you wouldn’t really get anywhere and you might actually damage your skin. All milia have a look about them that they will pop out of the skin when in reality, there is skin growing over them and they won’t budge. This is where you need a professional to step in and remove them in the correct manner.
How does the removal work?
A sterilised needle is used to slightly open the skin over the milia and then it can be extracted out of the skin. It’s a pretty painless procedure with minimum downtime afterwards. The treatment is €62 for a half-hour treatment. In most cases, all milia can be done in that timeframe.
How do you avoid milia in future?
Talk to your therapist about your skincare routine. It could be the use of the wrong product or lack of product that are causing the milia to develop. Make sure your cleansing routine is correct and carried out morning and night. You want to be sure all excess makeup, dirt and oil has been removed from the skin. Incorporate an exfoliate into your routine 2- 3 times a week. Eminence Organic skincare, Clear Skin Willow Bark Exfoliating Peel is packed with different types of AHA’s that will break down any build-up that is happening in the skin. Studies have also shown vitamin D and omegas can also help prevent them.
Photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.