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Milia Cysts in Adults

A milium cyst is a small, white bump that typically appears on the nose and cheeks. These cysts are often found in groups. Multiple cysts are called milia.

Milia occur when keratin becomes trapped beneath the surface of the skin. Keratin is a strong protein that’s typically found in skin tissues, hair, and nail cells.

Milia can occur in people of all ethnicities or ages. However, they’re most common in newborns.

What are the symptoms of milia?

Milia are small, dome-shaped bumps that are usually white or yellow. They’re usually not itchy or painful. However, they may cause discomfort for some people. Rough sheets or clothing may cause milia to appear irritated and red.

Cysts are typically found on the face, lips, eyelids, and cheeks. However, they can be found on other parts of the body as well, such as the torso or genitalia.

They’re often confused with a condition called Epstein pearls. This condition involves the appearance of harmless white-yellow cysts on a newborn’s gums and mouth. Milia are also often inaccurately referred to as “baby acne


How are milia treated?

If these cysts cause discomfort, there are treatments that can be effective in eliminating them.

They include:

  • Cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen freezes the milia. 
  • Deroofing. A sterile needle picks out the contents of the cyst.
  • Topical retinoids. These vitamin A-containing creams help exfoliate your skin.
  • Chemical peels. Chemical peels cause the first layer of skin to peel off, unearthing new skin.
  • Laser ablation. A small laser focuses on the affected areas to remove the cysts.
  • Diathermy. Extreme heat destroys the cysts.
  • Destruction curettage. The cysts are surgically scraped and cauterized.

All methods used may have their own side effects and scarring.

The best and safest way is Deroofing. By Deroofing, the aesthetician will use a sterile scalpel to pick on the milia itself and the contents of the cyst is gently removed.

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