Everything To Know About Milia & How To Treat It Properly | sheerluxe.com
Chances are you’re one of the hundreds of women who have experienced milia. Not to be mistaken for whiteheads, these little spots are actually keratin-filled cysts and are surprisingly easy to treat. To find out how, we spoke to skincare expert and cosmetic doctor, Dr Mervyn Patterson, for his do’s and don’ts of treating milia…
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Let’s Start With The Obvious: What Causes Milia?

Milia are compacted keratin and sebaceous material trapped underneath the skin and often look like a small portion of rice. The reason they can sometimes appear in adults is because of this dead skin building up and getting trapped in the pores near the surface of the skin. When they aren’t expelled naturally, or cleansed away, they start to appear like small white spots or bumps and occur at points where the skin cells have formed a roof over the pores, making it impossible for the content to drain to the surface. It’s also worth noting that they can often pop up without rhyme or reason, so don’t be alarmed if they do – there is a number of factors for milia’s appearance. 

Does It Affect Certain Skin Types More Than Others?

No, they can happen to just about anyone regardless of age or skin type, but they’re often more prevalent in those with sun-damaged skin, and new-born babies (hence their nickname milk spots). They’re commonly found on the cheeks, around the eyes and especially near the nose. 

Can You Ever Prevent Them From Forming?

The short answer is no, but luckily there is a hell of a lot you can to do get rid of them when they actually appear. Often mistaken for whiteheads, milia is simply keratin-filled cysts that can be either removed by an experienced skin professional, or by switching up your skincare routine, depending on how stubborn they are. One thing you must never do is confuse them with ordinary spots as they cannot be squeezed and any attempt to do so will cause the area to inflame and possibly worsen their appearance. 

So, Do I Need To Switch My Skincare? 

If you’re prone to them or find they regularly reoccur, look to using cleansers than contain salicylic acid and witch hazel, both of which will help to remove and break down some of the dead skin cells. Another good treatment I swear by is the Epionce Lytic Lotion which contains salicylic and azelaic acids to gently exfoliate surface skin cells and unblock pores. Don’t underestimate exfoliation either – it works wonders in preventing milia from reoccurring in the future, always look for ones with AHA’s to get the best benefits. 

And What Treatments Are On Offer?

For really stubborn milia, removal with a skincare professional usually requires an incision, especially when the cysts are deep below the skin’s surface. This will be done by carefully using a sterile needle to gently lift the contents out – it’s pretty painless as the milia itself is so small and thin, you can expect minimal pain, if any at all. An alternative to this is to break the skin with short wave diathermy but this can be more traumatic than just using a needle carefully. The results are instant too, you’ll notice they will have disappeared by the time your treatment is over, or at least significantly minimised. And if your milia is really small, it might be worth leaving it to its own devices as in most cases, it disappears on its own over time, and as they’re not infectious they cannot spread, it’s not, however, uncommon to get several in a specific area. 

Three SL-Approved Destinations To Treat Milia

  1. Sk:n Clinics, 28 Shepherd’s Bush Green, London, SknClinics.co.uk

  2. Sarah Chapman London, 259 Pavilion Rd, Chelsea, SarahChapman.com

  3. Harley Street, 6 Harley Street, London, HarleyMedical.co.uk

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