Do you have small white raised bumps on your face, near eyes, cheeks, or anywhere else, just like whiteheads and pimples? If yes and if you think these are pimples, look at them once more, they might be milia and not pimples.
What is Milia?
Milium cyst is a white bump appearing on face, particularly around nose and on cheek. They usually appear in groups and thus called milia. Sometimes also called milk spots, milia can be understood as the medical name of the small white bumps on your face. These cysts are, in fact, little pockets that get formed from the top skin layer or the epidermis. The white color of milia is given by the cells from the dead skin layer known as stratum corneum. You may sometimes confuse milia with sebaceous cyst that form from a pore. Milia, however, is neither a sebaceous cyst nor a pimple or acne. It is just a pocket of skin that traps dead cells inside itself.
What are the Causes of Milia?
Although there are no specific reasons known for occurrence of milia, some people are prone to these cysts and they get it often and sometimes for longer periods. The following can be taken as possible causes for milia but in most of the cases, the cause remains a mystery.
- Changes in skin due to prolonged exposure to sun
- Skin rashes such as Rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis
- Injuries such as poison ivy
- Allergic reactions
- Blistering of skin such as when it burns
- Irritation due to usage of harsh facial products like steroid creams
- Skin resurfacing treatments like dermabrasion and laser resurfacing
Where do Milia occur?
Milia usually occur on face but can be found on many other body parts
- Back of the hands
Those who are prone to milia may find it difficult to prevent these cysts from occurring. Exfoliating the skin can, to an extent, help treat milia and most of the home remedies for milia revolve around this technique only. While exfoliating your skin to get rid of milia, be careful not to irritate your skin otherwise you might end up getting more of these milia.
How to get rid of Milia with Home Remedies
Milia cysts are harmless and they are so tiny that not everyone will notice it on your face. So, it doesn’t matter if you leave them as they are. However, if you want a silky smooth skin without any bumps, even the tiny bumps of milia, you can go ahead and use the following home remedies to get rid of Milia.
Exfoliate skin with facial sauna
Facial exfoliation is the best way to remove dead skin cells. As you now know, milia cysts are actually pockets of skin that trap dead skin cells, facial sauna can help you clear your skin. It also prevents clogged pores and the skin issues related to clogging of pores. This will also kill bacteria and wipe away oil and dirt from underneath your skin so that you may also prevent acne, pimples etc.
- Facial steamer or a bowl filled with hot water
- Exfoliating facial scrub (you can even use homemade scrubs given later in this article)
- Mild soap or face wash
- Cool water
- wash your face with mild soap or face wash
- Pat it dry
- Place the steamer or bowl of hot water on table top and sit on a chair
- Steam your face for 3-5 minutes
- Pat dry using towel
- Now apply the scrub on your face and gently rub in circular motion for only about half a minute (your skin pores are already open and thus you don’t need too much scrubbing)
- Now wash face with warm water and remove the scrub that you had applied
- Wipe with a soft face cloth.
- Wash your face with cool water to close the pores again
- Pat dry and apply some moisturizer if needed.
Use Honey for Milia
Dryness of skin gives rise to various skin conditions that can cause milia. you may get irritated skin or allergies etc. due to dirty skin and this may ultimately lead to milia. Honey is an effective humectant. It absorbs moisture from the air and helps keep your skin moist and supple. Fighting dryness of skin can be your key to get rid of milia too. So, use honey to make the following scrub and get rid of milia.
- Honey- 1 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Jojoba oil- 1-2 tsp
- Oatmeal- 1 tbsp
- Mix all the ingredients well to get a paste
- Now apply this scrub to your washed and dried face.
- Gently rub it on your face in circular motion for about 3-5 minutes
- Wash off the face with warm water
- If needed, wash your face the second time with mild soap.
- Pat it dry and moisturize
Sandalwood Remedy for Milia
Sandalwood is a very effective ingredient for skin. It makes your skin flawless and smooth. Its toning properties help shrink pores of your skin. It is also an effective remedy for sun damaged skin due to its anti-tanning properties. The cool sandalwood powder or oil helps you get rid of itching and skin infections. It is also anti-bacterial and helps remove acne and pimples. Make this sandalwood scrub to get rid of milia too.
- Sandalwood powder- 1 tbsp
- Chickpea powder- 1 tbsp
- Rose water- 1-2 tbsp
- Mix sandalwood powder and chickpea powder (also known as gram flour)
- Add required quantity of rose water to this to get a paste
- Apply the sandalwood paste to your face or skin having milia
- Rub it gently in circular motion for 3-5 minutes.
- Now leave this on your skin for another 10-30 minutes
- Wash off with water and pat dry
Pomegranate Peel for Milia
Pomegranate is a super tasty fruit and if you didn’t know, its peel too has super benefits for skin. It amazingly hydrates your skin by locking the moisture inside, thanks to its ellagic acid. It also regulates the pH balance of your skin so that no unwanted things like acne, pimples, blackheads and milia happens to it. Pomegranate peel makes great scrub for your skin and thus it can help you get rid of milia easily.
- Pomegranate powder- 2 tsp
- Brown sugar- 1 tsp
- Honey- 1 tsp
- Jojoba oil- 1 tsp
- Mix all the ingredients well to get a paste
- Now apply this to your face
- Rub gently in circular motion for 5-7 minutes
- Wash off with warm water and pat dry before moisturizing your skin.
Castor Oil for Milia Remedy
Castor oil is a boon for dry skin which is prone to dead skin cells and at a higher risk of milia. It is an emollient and can keep dry skin moist for longer. Not only does it acts as an emollient, castor oils also helps in detoxifying and cleansing your skin. This oil has undercylenic acid that acts as a disinfectant for the skin. It also has anti-bacterial effects and thus good for even acne prone skin. When you rub castor oil on your milia affected skin, you exfoliate it effectively so that all the dead skin cells slough off and you get rid of milia.
How to use castor Oil for Milia?
It’s really simple.
Just rub some castor oil on your skin and leave it to get absorbed by your skin. You don’t need to rub and scrub to get rid of milia when you use castor oil. It works internally. When you apply castor oil to your skin, it breaks down all the impurities including dead skin cells. When you wash your face after hours, you get a cleansed even toned skin. However, you need to apply this oil regularly for few days before you can see its effects on your skin.
Baking soda for Milia
When talking about exfoliating your skin, baking soda cannot be left out from the list of ingredients that can help you remove milia. It not only regulates the pH balance of your skin but also removes dead skin cells that are in the root of milia.
- Baking soda- 1 tbsp
- Add water to the baking soda to get a paste.
- Apply this to your skin and leave it for some time, preferably until it dries out.
- Now wash off with water and pat dry
- Don’t forget to apply moisturizer if you have a dry skin.
Lemon Salt Mixture for Milia removal
The citric acid present in lemon juice is good for opening the clogged pores and also the pockets of skin(milia) which has trapped dead skin cells inside it. When you add salt to lemon juice, it increase the effectiveness of this remedy. Not only does the coarse salt exfoliates your skin but it also pulls out all the impurities from within the skin.
- Lemon juice- of one lemon
- Salt- a pinch of it
- Cotton ball
- Add a pinch of salt to the lemon juice
- Soak the cotton ball in this mixture
- Now apply this lemon juice-salt mixture to your skin having milia.
- Leave it for about 15-20 minutes
- Wash off with water
- If you have ultra sensitive skin that can’t stand the stingy feeling given by lemon juice as well as salt, dilute the solution using some water.
Never step out in sun after using lemon juice on your skin. It makes your skin photo sensitive. You’ll end up getting sunburn and will damage your skin even more. So, try using this remedy preferably in the evening or at night.
Rice scrub for Milia
Rice is not only a delicious dish loved in more than half of the world but it can also be used to clean your facial skin to make it spotless. Milia needs exfoliation as the main technique for its removal. Rice powder can help you exfoliate your skin effectively. Add some other beneficial ingredients with rice powder and get rid of milia.
- Rice powder (you can make it at home too by grinding rice) – 1-2 tbsp
- Baking soda- 1 tsp
- Honey- 1 tsp
- Take the rice powder in a bowl and add baking soda and honey to this.
- Use water to make the paste out of these ingredients
- Now apply this to your face and rub in circular motion for 2-3 minutes
- Wash off with water and pat dry
Almonds Scrub for Milia
Almonds are a treasure house of nutrients. Not only are they rich in skin friendly vitamins A and E but also have excellent moisturizing and emollient properties. All these properties can make your skin flawless by removing milia.
- Almonds- 5-6
- Honey- 1 tsp
- Soak the almonds overnight
- In the morning, peel and grind them to get a coarse powder. Don’t make it fine powder
- Now add the honey to this and mix to get a paste. If needed, use few drops of water.
- Apply this scrub to your face and leave for 5-10 minutes
- Gently rub in circular motion for another minute. As the scrub will dry out, you may use water to wet it a little and then rub all over your face but gently, only for a minute.
- Wash off with water and pat dry.
Clay Mask for Milia
Many people have got good results by using clay mask for milia removal. Bentonite clay effectively absorbs toxins, including dead cells that help you get rid of milia. When you apply this clay mask to your skin, the clay swells up and acts like a sponge and absorbs all that is not wanted on your skin. Bentonite clay is also rich in such minerals as silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium. All these go to make your skin clean, clear and glowing.
- Bentonite clay- 1-2 tbsp
- Add water to the clay and make a smooth paste
- Apply this to your face or skin having milia.
- Leave it till the time it dries on its own
- Wash it off
Argan Oil for Milia
Sometimes called liquid gold, Argan oil is native to Morocco and comes from the kernels of Argan tree. A very rich source of fatty acids and vitamin E, this oil has extremely good moisturizing properties for skin. The anti-oxidants in argan oil makes your skin spotless by fighting off the free radicals. The vitamin E and other fatty acids in this oil makes it beneficial for such dry skin conditions as eczema etc. It repairs your skin beyond your expectations. It also reduces inflammation and thus is a good remedy for not only milia but also acne and pimples.
- Argan oil- few drops
- Apply few drops of Argan oil to your skin having milia. You can even apply it on delicate skin under eyes where milia appear frequently.
- Do this every night before going to sleep
- In few days, you will see the milia shrinking and in another few days, they will go away
Apple Cider Vinegar for Milia
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best things that your body and skin can get for healing purpose. It amazingly regulates the pH balance of your skin when applied topically and of your body when consumed internally. You can hope to treat your milia using apple cider vinegar. If interested in consuming, mix 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and have it every morning. If you intend to use it topically on milia affected skin, do the following.
Equal amounts of:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Combine apple cider vinegar and water
- Soak a cotton ball in this solution
- Apply this to your milia
- Do this several times a day
Green Coffee beans for Milia
The regular coffee that you use are the roasted coffee beans. The green coffee beans are not roasted and thus all the wonderful antioxidants of coffee are present in these beans. These antioxidants can fight off free radicals to give you a flawless skin. You can use these coffee beans to make a scrub and get rid of milia.
- Green coffee beans ground- 1 tbsp
- Brown sugar- 1 tsp
- Jojoba oil- 1 tbsp
- Mix all the ingredients and make a paste
- Apply to your skin
- Rub gently for 1-2 minutes
- Wash off with warm water and pat dry
- Apply moisturizer
Tips to Prevent Milia
People who are prone to have milia need extra care for their skin. They should adopt a healthy skin care routine so that they do not get milia once they are gone. Here are some tips for such people.
- Keep your skin clean- Your skin needs to remain clean so that no dead skin cells get a chance to deposit on your skin. For this, wash your face daily, at least twice, with a mild soap or cleanser.
- Moisturize your skin properly- Dry skin is more prone to skin problems like itching and irritation. These give rise to milia. So, take steps to keep your skin well moisturized. Use a suitable moisturizer for your face and other skin.
- Exfoliate regularly- The only way to get rid of milia without using surgical or invasive treatments is to exfoliate your skin. This helps remove dead cells from your skin and they do not get deposited in the skin pockets to form milia. Make it a habit to gently exfoliate your skin using natural ingredients. If using commercial products, go for mild exfoliating agents and always test it before using it regularly on your skin.
- Protect your skin from sun- Prolonged exposure to sun also give rise to milia in some people. So, take proper measures to protect yourself against the harmful sun rays before you step out of your home. Use sunscreen, cover your skin with clothes, use umbrella, hats, goggles etc.
- Don’t use heavy cosmetics- Many people who get milia frequently have experienced that these tiny bumps appear on their skin right after using heavy cosmetics, especially those that they use under eyes. So, if you are prone to get milia, try not using such cosmetic products and see the results. If you don’t get milia once you stop using such products, there’s nothing like that. You don’t even need to use remedies to get rid of milia. Just not using unfriendly cosmetics on skin will prevent milia forever.
- Don’t squeeze, scrape, or poke milia- Also do not try to remove milia with needle or something like that. If you need doing this, take help of a professional, a dermatologist. Milia are hard and they lie under your skin’s surface. If you try to physically remove them, you may end up damaging your skin further. You can get permanent scars. Remember, milia are harmless and they go away on their own or with little effort on your part but scars may remain there on your skin forever!
Daily exfoliation, protection against sun rays, proper skin care and a lot of patience can help you get rid of milia soon!