Milia are cysts that are filled with keratin, found near the eyes, cheeks, forehead and the nose. They are caused by dead cells which build up and clog the pores.
Infants get milia at birth and they usually clear on its own. Milia usually do not cause any pain or discomfort, but for adults they can affect their self-image. And if adults get milia, treatments may be needed. Many natural home remedies for milia can help reduce its appearance. Read on to learn more about home remedies for milia.
How to Remove Milia
Though milia aren’t harmful in any way, getting rid of them can be tough. There’s a right way and a wrong way to remove them—and the wrong way can damage your skin. Following our recommendations should help you safely get rid of the bumps you have and possibly keep them from ever coming back!
Milia Removal at Home
Removing milia at home is not for the faint of heart, or for those who tend to be overly aggressive with their skin. It also isn’t something we typically encourage, especially when milia are present around the eyes. However, knowing that some of you will try it anyway, we figured we might as well explain how to do it the right way!
Removing milia yourself is not like “popping” a pimple. Milia are not pimples; in fact, in many ways, they are completely unrelated. Unlike pimples, which release somewhat easily on their own, milia actually need to be excised. Excising (sometimes referred to as “unroofing”) milia is riskier to your skin than popping a pimple, which is why doing it the right way is even more important.
There is an only minimal benefit to be gained from removing milia, other than the aesthetics, of course. If aesthetics is important to you, we understand why you want to remove milia, and, just as with pimples, it’s not always realistic to see a physician every time you get one. So, for those of you who aren’t going to spend the money to see a physician to remove milia and are determined to do it yourself, we list the steps you need to do it the right way and minimize the risk to skin.
Note: “Excise” means you need to make a tiny tear in the skin, directly on top of or near the milia, and then literally lift it out of the skin with tweezers or use comedones extractor with only slight pressure. Here are the steps to follow:
- Make sure you have on hand a sharp needle, very pointed tweezers (flat-ended tweezers will not work), and/or comedones extractor.
- Cleanse your face with a gentle, water-soluble cleanser and a soft washcloth or cleaning brush. Rinse.
- Dry skin gently and make sure skin is completely dry before trying to remove milia.
- Rub the needle, tweezers, and/or comedones extractor with alcohol to prevent infection.
- Gently, with either the needle or the tweezers, make the teeniest tear in the skin, either on top of the milia or right next to it. That should give you enough access to remove the milia.
- With very little pressure, use the comedones extractor to gently (and we mean really gently) coax the milia out through the small opening. If you’ve made the teeny tear on top of the milia, use the tweezers to lift it out.
- When you’re done with the removal attempt, finish with your usual skincare routine.
Do not repeat this process over the same bump or you will damage skin, especially the delicate skin around the eyes. Be extremely careful using sharp instruments near the eyes, too. If you don’t have a steady hand, don’t even think about removing milia around the eyes at home!