How you look on the outside has a direct impact on how you feel on the inside. We all know this is true. Which is why when you suffer from milia, those growths often referred to as milk spots, you will probably want to get rid of them. Linia Skin Clinic at Harley Street in London are more than happy to help.

Before you book an appointment with a medically trained dermatologist, it’s worth considering the information on this page. As well learning what milia is and what causes it, you will also learn about the various treatments, both at-home and in surgery that are out there to help you remove those annoying white bumps.

If you are already interested in treatment to remove milia and want a consultation, you can book now

What is Milia?

These are small white coloured bumps that generally appear on the surface of the skin of the face, either on the cheeks, chin or nose. They resemble cysts and are filled with keratin that are either solitary and referred to as milium or as clusters and called milia.

Although it is infants and newborn babies who most commonly suffer from milia, adults can also suffer from them.

For adults, it is the most delicate areas where they often experience milia developing, such as their eyelids or even their hands and arms.

Regardless of whether it is a younger child who has them or you, as an adult, have milia, they are completely benign and harmless and as they tend to disappear eventually on their own, removal treatment is not essential.

What is Milia Removal Treatment?

There are a variety of different forms of milia skin treatment. The most popular procedure used to remove milia involves a sterile needle.

This is used by one of our highly trained dermatologists to deroof the lesion and is a quick, easy and direct method for removing the contents of the milia until it is flat in appearance.

Other options we offer at Linia Skin Clinic include diathermy. This involves the use of heat to enhance your skin’s appearance and give it a much smoother texture.

woman with milia close up before removal

If neither of the above don’t suit your personal preference for whatever reason, we also offer cryotherapy (freezing milia with liquid nitrogen.) which is popular, but not recommended if you have milia around your eyes, whether on the eyelid itself or just below or to the side of your eyes, known as MEP.

Laser ablation (involves the use of a small laser focusing on and opening the milia in order to release the keratin that has built up inside it – which, according to a study, may work best for MEP removal), chemical peels, dermabrasion and topical retinoids to get rid of milia.

What Causes Milia in Adults?

The development of milia is generally the result of your skin’s inability to exfoliate itself naturally. This allows dead skin cells, those consisting mainly of keratin, the protein found in skin, nails and hair, to collect underneath. This in turn creates a noticeable bump.

Although they are often likened to acne and other kinds of spots, they are cysts and don’t originate from a pore. Milia are also not prone to swelling, reddening or otherwise becoming inflamed.

We have found that many adults who suffer from milia have prevailing skin conditions like dandruff or rosacea or their makeup and/or skin-care products build up on their skin.

There are also instances when the keratin is trapped below the skin’s surface if it’s been through a trauma like blisters, burns or something similar. Many other times, though, it is completely a mystery.

Can You Remove Milia Yourself?

As we have already noted, there is no real reason to go to the effort of removing milia yourself as this can be ineffective, or at worst, dangerous.

While, they are harmless and may eventually disappear on their own, many people choose to get them professionally treated as they have them in a less than inconspicuous place or they are having an impact on your daily life causing self-esteem and self-confidence issues.

Below are some of the methods we’ve seen discussed around removing them at home. They vary from ineffective to potentially being dangerous to attempt yourself. We’d always recommend coming to see us for an appointment where we can discuss your individaul case.

Manuka Honey or Rose Water – some people try giving themselves a face mask made from manuka honey or spritz the affected area with some rose water. Both these natural ingredients have potentially effective anti-inflammatory capabilities. It’s unlikely that they’ll remove milia though.

Steam – steam is known for opening the pores which is likely why it was suggested for milia. You can simply take some time out for yourself in your bathroom with the shower running and the door closed to create this environment that could help shift milia, but it’s unlikely. The danger is that if it gets too hot for your skin, you could end up with broken blood vessels which are also unsightly. Not recommended

Thorough Clean and Exfoliation – as the most common reason why milia forms is due to the skin’s inability in the affected areas to exfoliate itself, the at-home treatment that’s best is just a simple clean. Gently use a warm and damp washcloth to work over the problem area to remove dead skin cells and draw out any keratin that is trapped just below the surface. Again though, this is unlikely to remove stubborn cases.

When the above options don’t work, we’ve seen people turn to a variety of products available over the counter. We don’t recommend this but if you use any product, always remember to read the instructions and make sure the product you choose is safe to use on the affected area. This is particularly important when you are trying to remove milium cysts from around your eyes as the skin is very sensitive.

Skin peels (often known as chemical peels), masks, face toners and astringents can all be great options but should be done professionally. Products including lactic acid, glycolic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids come in varying strengths and should be applied by a qualified dermatologist to avoid the risk of burns.

Exfoliation cleansers and creams containing salicylic acid are also often used as they can help to peel away at the layers of dead skin cells that have built up and release keratin that may be trapped among those layers.

The success or lack of from these methods depends on the severity of each individual case.

How much does Milia Removal cost?

The cost of milia removal treatment will vary from person to person and is normally based on the severity in both quantity and size of milia.

This can only accurately be determined with a consultation where we can analyse your skin but the average costs for Milia Removal treatment are:

  • 1-5 Milia £80
  • 6-10 Milia £120
  • 11-20 Milia £180
  • 20+ Milia £250

Are there any side effects or down time to the milia removal procedure?

Risks are always minimised by our expert dermatologists here at Linia. You will find with this treatment that the area may look red or like you’ve suffered mosquito bites. The affected area may also feel irritating and uncomfortable during recovery as the milia has been squeezed out. Redness is not uncommon and can remain for a number of days following treatment.

It is important to note that despite our best efforts to ensure all procedures performed by a professional dermatologist at our clinic are safe and risk-free, there is always the chance of complications arising. Fortunately when it comes to the removal of milia, these are extremely rare.

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* Every patient is a unique individual and every surgery has unique aspects. Therefore, results may vary. To read our full disclaimer please click here.

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