Milk Spots (Milia)
What are milk spots? The official name for them is milia. Contrary to what many people think, milk spots (milia) have nothing to do with spots or acne. They are commonly confused with blackheads (comedones); through which the pores of the skin are blocked by sebum and dead skin. In milia the pores are not blocked by sebum, but by keratin. Keratin is a natural component of the skin. The hard capsule is embedded deep in the skin (under the epidermis), so squeezing won’t help.
Who does it affect?
Milia is quite common in babies. Around 50% of babies suffer from this in the first couple of months. This is known as primary milia; these arise due to the immature sebaceous glands inability to get rid of dead skin. Fortunately, in babies the milia disappear by themselves.
It is also common in adults. This is known as secondary milia. The hard capsules arise due to the keratin not being released from the skin. This can sometimes be seen when the skin has healed after cosmetic treatments such as peelings or dermabrasions, sun burn, wounding and blistering of the skin.
Creams containing corticosteroids can also cause milia. Milia are often found on the cheeks or around the nose. People with darker or sun damaged skin suffer more with this as their skin is thicker.
The treatment of milk spots?
A fresh milk spot is easier to get rid of than one that has been there for a while. Old spots become harder and more stubborn. A beauty therapist can remove them by pricking with a sterilised needle, after which the capsule can be taken out. Although milia can initially develop after a professional peeling with salicylic or glycolic acid (they do disappear in general by themselves), it also helps against milia in the long run. If you regularly exfoliate your skin using salicylic acid or glycolic acid or treat it with vitamin A acid, you can prevent new milia from developing.
(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)
You can also read the blogs: ‘An Exfoliant as Part of the Step By Step Plan’,
‘The Secret of Exfoliating: Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid’,
‘Myth: Spot Treatment for the Treatment of Spots’,
‘Perfume in (Too Many) Baby Products’,
‘Enlarged Pores Remain Enlarged Pores‘,
‘Spots from Chocolate?’,
or do the Skin Analysis.