If you do not know what to call the tiny white bumps on your face, they’re likely milia. They are most commonly on the skin around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. Milia are small cysts—they’re caused by keratin, a protein that makes up a large part of the outer layer of the skin, forming a hard outer layer called the stratum corneum. They’re usually a result of a blockage in the sebaceous glands or hair follicles.

Milia are caused when the pores of the skin become clogged. That can happen when the skin is too dry, and it can also occur if the person is sweating a lot. When the pores are clogged, a white layer of skin builds up. That is what causes the milia to appear.

Milia can also be caused by:

  • Tight clothing
  • Blocked nose
  • Skin products (such as creams and makeup)
  • Bug bites

Milia can cause:

  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity
  • Appearance of white bumps

Milia are harmless, and they do not require treatment unless they are causing problems.

How to Get Rid of Milia

Infantile milia can appear during the first few weeks of an infant's life. They are common, harmless, and usually disappear within a few weeks.

Meanwhile, adult milia can appear as a result of aging. They can also occur as a result of sun damage. They are not common in adults.

Treatment for infantile or adult milia is not necessary. It’s best to leave milia alone. They should heal on their own within a few weeks. If they don't heal within a few months, a doctor should be consulted.

However, if your milia concern you a lot, you can also do other ways to treat them. Here are some things you can explore:

1. Use Exfoliating Products

If you want to treat your milia, you can try getting over-the-counter exfoliating products with salicylic acid or glycolic acid to help loosen dead skin, unclog pores, and improve your skin texture.

You can apply these products to your face or use it to cleanse your skin. You can also use an exfoliating scrub, which can be even more effective.

2. Use the Right Facial Masks

Using facial masks can also help to treat milia. These should be used at least two to three times a week. It’s best to use natural ingredients like honey, brown sugar, or lemon juice.

3. Use Topical Retinoids Prescriptions

If you wonder how to get rid of milia with retinoids, you can talk to a dermatologist who will prescribe you a topical retinoid. These products can help speed up the process of removing milia by dissolving the keratin trapped beneath the skin's surface. You can use these products regularly.

4. Use Mild Chemical Peels

You can also try a mild chemical peel to help treat milia. These procedures can help speed up the healing process. You can talk to a dermatologist, and they will determine which type of chemical peel will be best for your needs.

5. Try Manual Extractions

You can also try manual milia extractions. It’s a procedure in which the milia are manually removed from under the skin's surface. The process can be quick, although it may be slightly painful. 


Milia can be annoying since they can appear in your most visible places. For some people, they are also embarrassing. They are not harmful, but they can be irritating and unsightly to look at. If you don't want them to be a permanent fixture on your face, you can follow these procedures to learn how to get rid of milia.

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