Milialar: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention


Have you ever noticed small, white bumps on your skin that seem to appear out of nowhere? If so, you may be dealing with a common skin condition known as Milialar. These tiny cysts can be a source of frustration for many, but understanding their causes, treatment options, and prevention strategies can help you manage and even prevent them.

What is Milialar?

Milialar, also referred to as milk spots or oil seeds, manifest as small white or yellowish bumps on the skin. These minute cysts emerge when dead skin cells become trapped just below the skin’s surface. Unlike acne, milialar lack an opening and can’t be squeezed out conventionally.

Generally painless and harmless, they can be a cosmetic concern. This disease affect people of all ages, with newborns often developing them on the face, which usually resolve without treatment. However, in some instances, they may persist for months. Several factors, including sun exposure and genetics, may contribute to their formation. In this article, we delve into the details of milialar and explore the various types you may encounter.

What Causes Milialar?

  • Dead Skin Cell Buildup: Itoften result from the accumulation of dead skin cells beneath the skin’s surface. This tends to happen in areas with thinner skin, such as the eyelids and cheeks.
  • Excessive Sun Exposure: UV rays from sunlight can damage the skin and disrupt its natural exfoliation process, contributing to milialar formation by causing dead skin cell buildup.
  • Skincare Products: Certain skincare products, particularly those containing heavy ingredients like mineral oil or petrolatum, can clog pores and create an environment conducive to milialar development.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions: In some cases, underlying medical conditions, including genetic disorders or autoimmune diseases, may be responsible for the appearance of milialar.
  • Newborn Vulnerability: Newborns are especially prone to milialar due to their underdeveloped sweat glands, making them more susceptible to this skin condition.

Types of Milialar

1. Primary Milialar: This is the most common type of milialar that affects people of all ages, including infants. These tiny white or yellowish bumps usually appear on the face, particularly around the eyes, nose, and cheeks.

2. Secondary Milialar: Unlike primary milialar which develops spontaneously, secondary milialar occurs as a result of skin damage or trauma such as burns, blistering disorders, or prolonged use of topical corticosteroids. They often occur at sites where sweat ducts are damaged.

3. Neonatal Milialar: As the name suggests, this type primarily affects newborn babies within a few weeks after birth. The small cysts typically appear on the baby’s face but tend to resolve without any treatment within a few weeks or months.

4. Multiple Eruptive Milialar: This form is characterized by clusters of small lesions that develop rapidly over a short period – sometimes appearing overnight! It commonly occurs on areas like chest, upper arms, and neck.

5. Traumatic Milialar: Results from surgical procedures or injuries to deeper layers of skin causing trapped keratin debris beneath scar tissue.

Common Locations

  • Face: The face is one of the most common locations for milialar. These tiny white bumps often appear around the eyes, cheeks, forehead, and nose. In newborns, they are sometimes referred to as baby acne or neonatal milialar.
  • Body: Milialar can also develop on other parts of the body, including the arms, hands, neck, and trunk. These areas may experience friction or sweat buildup, contributing to milialar formation.
  • Post-Procedure: Individuals who have undergone cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion or laser resurfacing may notice milialar forming at the treatment sites.
  • General Distribution: While milialar commonly occur in the mentioned areas, they can potentially develop anywhere on the skin’s surface.

Treatment Options for Milialar

The good news is that this disease is  generally harmless and often resolve on their own. However, if you’re eager to get rid of them or they persist, here are some treatment options to consider:

  1. Over-the-Counter Products: Certain skincare products containing ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or retinoids can help exfoliate the skin and promote the shedding of dead cells, potentially reducing milia over time.
  2. Professional Extraction: Dermatologists can safely and effectively extract milia using specialized tools. Attempting to pop or squeeze milia at home is not recommended, as it can lead to infection or scarring.
  3. Home Remedies: Some people have had success with home remedies like warm compresses or gentle exfoliation. However, these methods may not work for everyone, and caution is advised.

Prevention and Home Remedies for Milialar

Preventing milialar is often more manageable than treating them. Here are some preventive measures to consider:

  • Choose the Right Skincare Products: Opt for non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) skincare products, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Proper Cleansing and Exfoliation: Maintain a consistent skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing and exfoliation to prevent dead skin cell buildup.
  • Sun Protection: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen daily. Sun damage can contribute to milia formation.

Home Remedies for Existing Milialar

  • Warm Compresses: Apply warm washcloths gently over affected areas for a few minutes daily. This helps soften trapped keratin beneath the skin’s surface.
  • Retinoids: Consider over-the-counter creams or serums containing retinoids to speed up cell turnover and reduce the appearance of milialar.
  • Natural Remedies: Some individuals find success with natural ingredients like honey or tea tree oil applied topically on their milialar.

When to Seek Medical Attention

While milialar are generally harmless, there are instances when medical attention is warranted. Consult a dermatologist if you experience the following:

  • Persistent milialar that don’t go away.
  • Milialar that become red, swollen, or painful.
  • Milialar on a baby’s skin, especially if they are accompanied by other concerning symptoms.


understanding milialar, its causes, treatment options, and prevention is essential for skin health. Milialar, tiny white bumps caused by trapped keratin under the skin, can affect individuals of all ages. While they can resolve naturally, treatments exist to expedite their disappearance or prevent further development. If milialar persist or disrupt daily life, consulting a dermatologist is advised. Preventive measures include gentle exfoliation, non-comedogenic moisturization, sun protection, avoidance of pore-clogging makeup, and a vitamin-rich diet. Remember, skin responses vary, requiring patience and experimentation. By grasping milialar’s causes and employing suitable measures, clear and healthy skin can be achieved. Dedicate yourself to diligent skincare for a radiant complexion!

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