* Milia are small, hard, white bumps commonly found under the eye
* They usually pose no medical threat but can look unsightly
* These 5 over-the-counter treatments can help get rid of them
Small white bumps on the surface of your skin? They’ve got to be pimples, right? Not always. Milia are common, small cysts, which develop on the skin, usually under the eye around the cheeks, nose and forehead. And even though they may share their white-headed appearance with the common pimple, milia aren’t pop-able (even though everyone’s tried).
Milia are nothing to worry about health wise. They are usually nothing more than a cosmetic issue, which will go away naturally over time. That process can take a few days or a few months. If your milia fall into the latter category, you may want to treat them rather than waiting for them to disappear on their own.
So, if the often lengthy time milia take to disappear from your skin sounds like a process you’d rather speed up, take a look at these 5 over-the-counter options for helping your skin heal.
It’s also important to note that if these at-home remedies don’t effectively reduce or eliminate your milia, you may also want to seek professional extraction at a doctor’s office.
1. Steam Your Face to Open Pores Prior to Cleansing
By steaming your face, you allow the pores on your skin’s surface to open fully, helping to release irritants, debris and skin flakes trapped under the surface. This cleansing prevents some of the known causes of milia and also gives you treatment-ready skin for effective milia removal. Devices like the Zenpy Nano Ionic Facial Steamer make this process super easy. This steamer provides a quick way to treat your face and can be used on a daily basis if required.
2. Use a Chemical Exfoliant
It’s important to understand that milia are caused when your skin doesn’t shed dead skin cells properly. This lack of exfoliation results in the build up of a keratin plug that gets trapped under the skin’s surface. But you can prevent that from happening by using an artificial exfoliant. The Ordinary Peeling Solution is a chemical exfoliant that can be safely applied to the under eye area. Just remember to only use this method once or twice a week in order to avoid irritation.
3. Use a Gentle Exfoliating Scrub
Like a chemical exfoliant, a gentle exfoliating scrub will also encourage cell turnover in the milia-prone skin surrounding your eyes. The Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub does that job with ease. Use the ginger, ginkgo and green tea scrub two to three times a week to unclog pores and enjoy skin that’s both clear of milia and incredibly radiant.
4. Use a Gentle Retinol Each Night
If you are prone to milia, you should probably avoid heavy eye creams. These tend to exacerbate the problem. However, using a gentle retinol each night will help keep your eyes wrinkle free and will also encourage faster turnover of the skin cells affected by milia. We recommend the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream as a fix for the little white bumps, especially if you find them popping up quite often.
As a last resort before going to the doctor for professional extraction, you could try at-home extraction using the Suvorna Skinpal. Remember that milia are small keratin plugs that occur just below the surface of the skin rather than in the pore. Therefore, you might be able to remove the plug using such a whitehead extractor. The needle side of the Skinpal can be used to pierce the skin and the loop side can be used to press out the irritant under the skin. This device also works on whiteheads and pimples, too.