What is Milia and how do you prevent and get rid of Milia?

Milia are tiny hard white bumps which show up mostly on the face, especially around the eyes.  They are filled with Keratin and dead cells. Unlike white heads and black heads they can’t be popped and are very difficult to get rid of but, fortunately, are easier to prevent.

So what causes these persistent bumps that can last a long time on the skin?

  • One of the key reasons for their formation is under, or lack of, exfoliation which causes the accumulation of dead skin cells. Slow cell turnover goes hand in hand with not exfoliating.
  • Heavy moisturizers or eye creams.
  • Sleeping with make up on.
  • Heavy corticosteroids creams.
  • Sun Damage; UV in hot areas can pre-dispose the skin to milia.

There are other forms of milia (example secondary burns etc) but those are mostly medical related and we won’t cover them here.

So how do we get rid of them?  Well the best way to get rid of them is to prevent them from forming in the first place! Regular exfoliation is the key. A combination of AHAs/BHAs and an exfoliant like BOA is the best way to prevent their formation and to get rid of them. Use of Retinoids on a daily basis is also an effective way of preventing as well as treating them but some skins can be sensitive to retinoids over a period of time.

The next alternative for prevention and treatment is micro dermal abrasion and derma planning. They are both harsher methods but can work for persistent milia. These processes can cause irritability for sensitive skin and need to be done by professionals.

Chemical peels and extraction can treat Milia if none of the above solve the problem but extraction can leave scars unless done by professionals.

This is why when you ask us, does BOA help with Milia? We say yes but it depends on what else you are using. If you continue to use heavy moisturisers that cause Milia, as much as we can help you with maintaining your skin, you will still be forming new Milia on your skin. If Milia is heavy or is in areas such as eye lids, you need to see a professional.

But if you maintain a healthy exfoliation step in your daily skin care routine you wont see them on your face. If you do then you know something in your skin care range is causing the problem (eg heavy moisturisers).


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The BOA Skin Academy Blog hopes to bring you educational, insightful and interesting reading material on the topics of skincare, beauty, rituals, self-care and wellness. All topics are chosen and written by the BOA team, with credits where credit is due. If you have a suggestion for a topic or a question about what we have written, we would love for you to get in touch. Please email us at info@boaskincare.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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