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Milia: The Little Pearly Spots You Shouldn’t Squeeze

Have you ever noticed small, pearl-like bumps that seemed to be trapped under the skin around your eyes, cheeks or forehead?

If you have, then you have probably already realised that no amount of squeezing, prodding or scrubbing has any effect on these tiny terrors, other than leaving your skin looking red and a little sorry for itself.

Annoying, but completely harmless, these insistent spots are called Milia (Plural for ‘Milium’) and are actually small, keratin cysts that form when skin cells that would normally shed, become trapped under the surface of the skin.

Keratin is an important protein predominantly found in skin, hair and nails but can also be found in our internal organs and glands. It's a super tough protective protein that gives our hair, nails and skin strength, but when mixed with the skin’s natural oils and secretions, keratin can form these hard, seed-like plugs known as milia.

Milia can happen to anyone regardless of age, sex or race and can be commonly seen in new born babies - in fact, about 50% of newborns will develop milia. Although no firm cause is known, it is believed to be caused by sweat glands that have not fully developed and will usually disappear over the first few weeks and months. This form of milia is called Neonatal Milia.

There are 4 other types of milia, including two very rare types called Milia en Plaque and Multiple Eruptive Milia (so we can skip discussing those in this blog). However, the other two are very common and can affect both children and adults:

Secondary Milia usually develop in an area of the skin (anywhere on the body) that has been previously damaged or injured - like after a bad sunburn or blistery rash. It is believed that damage to the sweat glands may be the cause.

Primary Milia is the most common and is often caused by various products, lifestyle or environmental influences, such as sun-damage on the skin or skincare and make-up products that are heavy and occlusive.

How To Safely Remove Milia

Unlike other types of skin blockages such as blackheads or whiteheads that sit inside your skin’s pores; milia have no opening. They are completely trapped beneath the skin, making any attempt to pop them by simply squeezing, a total disaster for your skin.

Mostly, milia will disappear on their own and if you only have one or two occasionally pop up on your skin, then leaving them alone is the best advice.

However if the milia is making you feel self-conscious or you have many, persistent milia that never seem to get any better - don’t stress. Removing them is actually pretty straight forward, BUT… this is one of those times when DIY is a total no-no!

That’s because milia removal will require a tiny incision to be made in the skin. Don’t worry - it’s not painful, but it needs to be done safely and precisely. Especially if the milia is located around your eyes or on your eyelids.

How to prevent Milia

Once your milia has been removed, follow these simple tips to prevent milia from reoccurring.

#1 Cleanse Daily
At home, keep your skin clean and build-up free by using an AHA based cleanser such as ASI’s Rejuvenating Foaming Cleanser. Full of restorative Vitamin C, calming Chamomile, and stimulating Citric Acid, this cleanser will lightly exfoliate as you wash, helping to remove the build up of dead skin and impurities that trap milia beneath the skin.

#2 Power Exfoliate Twice A week
Steps things up a notch by adding a power exfoliant to your skin care routine.

Try ASI’s AHA Power Exfoliant which delivers a high concentration of active AHA’s through a gentle and hydrating delivery system to thoroughly remove dead skin cells, encourage healthy skin cell formation and stimulate collagen and elastin.

#3 Step Things Up A Notch With Monthly Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is an effective way to achieve a deeper exfoliation of the skin and when combined with extractions (the removal of milia, blackheads and whiteheads) is the ultimate way to keep milia and clogged pores under control.

Brazilian Beauty’s exclusive Advanced Resurfacing Facial utilises a combination of Hydra-Microdermabrasion with a customised chemical Pro-Peel and anti-ageing peptide infusion to exfoliate, refresh and deeply hydrate the skin. Plus, it includes extractions of milia, blackheads and other skin congestion you may be experiencing - at no extra charge.

#4 Switch to Mineral Make-Up
Mineral Makeup is made of micronised minerals that are pulverised into a fine powder. Without the added oils, talcs and other nasties usually found in regular makeup.

Mineral Makeup is able to sit weightless on the surface of the skin without seeping down into the pores. It’s perfect for oily skin and skins that are prone to milia, acne or congestion because you can achieve great coverage while still allowing your skin to breath.

Check out ASI’s range of Mineral Foundations with SPF. Available in both loose powder or cream compact, this skin-loving mineral make-up comes in 5 matching shades and can be easily applied to perfection with ASI’s range of professional kabuki brushes.

Brazilian Beauty Is Here To Treat and Help You Manage Your Milia

If you suspect you may have milia but are not completely sure, simply visit Brazilian Beauty for a free skin consultation, Their team of qualified and experienced Dermal Technicians will be able to assess your skin and advise if milia are present as well as take care of removing them should it be necessary.

Simply book a complimentary consultation at one of our 9 South East Queensland locations to get started. Our friendly team of experienced Dermal Therapists will assess your skin and talk to you about all your treatment options as well as suggest the perfect home routine using ASI’s range of cosmeceutical skin care products.

You can also download the Brazilian Beauty App and instantly earn $20.00 in loyalty points to use towards your skin treatment or ASI product purchase the next time you visit a Brazilian Beauty clinic.