Milia are a common skin concern among newborns, but the small white bumps can also affect children or adults. While not harmful, milia can in some cases persist for extended periods of time. Milia typically go away without requiring treatment, but a qualified dermatologist like Dr. Liz Damstetter can help confirm that the rash is milia, offer advice for at-home care, or remove milia as necessary. Parents and patients Glenview, Illinois and the surrounding areas can put their trust in Reserve Dermatology and Dr. Damstetter.

What are Milia?

Milia are small white bumps that occur on the face, specifically on the nose, cheeks, or chin. They are most common among newborns but can occur in patients of any age. Milia typically clear up without treatment, but can persist in some cases. If you notice milia that last for three months or longer, it is best to see a dermatologist.

What are the Symptoms of Milia?

Milia appear as small white bumps. Redness may also be present. Typically, milia are seen on the face and can occur on the eyelids, nose, or cheeks. In rarer cases, they may also be present on the chest, upper back, arms, or legs. These small bumps are caused by small flakes of dead skin cells become trapped in pockets just below the surface of the skin. Occasionally, bumps similar to milia will be seen on a baby’s gums or the roof of their mouth. These bumps are known as Epstein’s pearls. Finally, it is possible for babies to develop acne, which may occur with milia or be misdiagnosed as milia.

Liz Damstetter, MD

Board-Certified Dermatologist

Meet the Doctor

Milia Diagnosis and Treatment

Milia does not require testing for diagnosis outside of a simple visual examination. If Dr. Damstetter determines that milia are present, treatment can generally be completed at home without requiring prescriptions or other interventions.

To clear the skin from milia, it is recommended to wash the face or affected area daily with warm water and a mild soap. After washing the skin, gently pat it dry and avoid applying any moisturizers or oils. Avoid pinching, scrubbing, or scratching the bumps, as this can cause irritation. By following these steps, milia should disappear within about three weeks.

If milia persist and are cosmetically bothersome, it is possible to have them removed safely by a dermatologist. During milia extraction, Dr. Damstetter will carefully remove the small section of skin that is trapping the excess keratin flakes below the surface. This exposes the keratin which can then be removed as well. This process is typically completed using a sterilized needle and is sometimes referred to as “de-roofing.” Extracting milia in this way is not typically necessary but can be performed for more advanced or persistent cases. During an appointment, Dr. Damstetter will explain the most appropriate treatment option depending on your specific needs.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about milia and your best treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damstetter. Call Reserve Dermatology in Glenview, Illinois or contact us online to set up your appointment.

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