Elevate Magazine - July/August, 2014
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Elevate Magazine - July/August, 2014

What is Milia?

Milk spots, oil seeds, we define the skin condition.

A millium (plural: milia) is a keratin-filled cyst that sits just below the skin’s surface, typically on the face around the eyes and chin. Yellow-white in appearance, the small bumps can easily be mistaken for plain whiteheads. Babies often experience milia outbreaks on or around their eyelids, but new moms need not worry: The milia clear on their own. For adults, though, milia can be stubborn and penetrate deep into the skin, so they should be checked out by a dermatologist.

Dr. Lisa Kellett, of DLK on Avenue says that adults at any age can get milia, and she treats patients “anywhere from 20 to 100!” While men can also be susceptible, Dr. Kellett typically treats women with the condition: “The cause is usually makeup or a moisturizer that’s too dense for their skin,” she explains. There are many blogs and forums online that discuss the potential link between antidepressants and milia, as well as niacin supplementation to combat the condition, but no scientific claims currently exist to prove this. Dr. Kellett confirms that: “milia result from what is being applied to the skin.”

Because milia appear like whiteheads, it is nearly impossible to self-diagnose the condition. “It’s important to get a proper diagnosis,” explains Dr. Kellett, as “milia can be confused with sebaceous hyperplasia.” Dr. Kellett treats deep-rooted milia with electrodessication, starting at $30 per treatment. She recommends using Vaseline on the area post-treatment for effective healing.

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