Emma Wedgwood

What are milia and how are they treated?

Nov. 3, 2022

Skin imperfections are common, and conditions such as acne and pigmentation as well known. But milia, are one of the lesser known conditions that many of us suffer from.

Milia, or milium cysts, are small, hard, white bumps that typically appear in the facial area. They’re common in babies, but also often occur in adults and by people of all ages and skin types. Stubborn cases of milia can be distressing, but it’s reassuring to know that while the exact cause of milia is uncertain, there are various effective treatment options. In this article, I discuss what milia are, their potential causes and how to manage and treat milia.

What are milia?

Milia are small, hard, white or yellowish cysts that can appear on the surface of the skin, usually around the nose and beneath the eyes, although they can appear in other areas. They occur as a result of sebum and skin cells hardening beneath the skin’s surface, but no one is sure as to why this happens.Many confuse milia with whiteheads, but milia have a much harder texture. Milia in adults is almost always associated with some kind of skin damage, such as using harsh skincare products. Having a dedicated skincare routine which is tailored to your skin type and lifestyle can reduce the likelihood of milia. And if you’re already struggling with persistent milia, it may be time to explore some treatment options.

How to manage milia

The first thing to do when addressing stubborn milia is to consider the potential causes, as this helps you prevent reoccurrence of milia following treatment. If you’re using harsh skincare products, or using them too frequently, this can certainly be a factor. Equally, ensure your diet is rich in vitamin A and omega-3s, by eating lots of leafy veg and oily fish. A nutritionally balanced diet and personalised skincare routine can help prevent milia in the future.

For existing milia, consider these clinically proven treatments:


This is a quick and effective treatment option for milia that involves directing a current into their keratinised centre using a tiny hyfrecator tip. While this sounds a little intimidating, it’s an extremely safe procedure. The current causes the keratinised tissue to break down and re-enter the body, and the milia simply fall off after one or two days.


This technique involves carefully lancing the milia and removing their contents manually. A skin specialist (such as myself) must perform this treatment to ensure it’s carried out safely. The main benefit of this method is that the results are virtually instant, allowing you to walk out of the clinic looking your best and feeling even better the very same day.

Book a consultation

If you’re concerned about stubborn milia or any other skin condition, let’s have a chat today. I can design a bespoke skincare routine and suggest the right treatments to suit your skin situation and lifestyle for your ultimate skin.

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