If you ever looked in the mirror and noticed a few tiny white bumps resting just below the surface of your skin, you are not alone. Most adults and even newborns baby develop this skin condition, known as Milia. According to the Harvard Health Publications, when the skin fails to naturally exfoliate, the dead skin cells get trapped at the base of a hair follicle or sweat gland, mix with the skin’s natural oils and form tiny cysts. Milia is most noticeable on the face but may appear anywhere on the skin. Unlike pimples and blackheads, Milia has no openings and can not be extracted by squeezing and usually disappears on it’s own.
One of the essential reasons you should avoid squeezing Milia is pain and inflammation. Milia has no pores or infection and form beneath the top layer of the skin making squeezing difficult and painful. Torturing the skin will only cause redness, soreness and increased inflammation. When left to run it’s course, Milia will typically disappear within a few weeks after development.
Milia bumps are not pimples and squeezing them can break the skin. Bacteria from your hands can transfer to open sores and cause skin infections. Skin trauma is one of the most common reason that the body produces Milia. Skin infected with bacteria promotes the production of more Milia bumps, which is counter-productive and only complicates the issue. Topical medication used to treat Milia may actually encourage Milia in some people. You should always consult your doctor before and during treatment.
Occasionally you may see someone who has severe acne scars on their face and body. This is due to constant squeezing and picking of the skin. Digging in the skin in an attempt to remove Milia can cause permanent scarring. You can prevent acne scars by visiting a dermatologist and having the bumps removed my a licensed skin care professional. Gently exfoliating your skin can help reduce the spread of Milia without scarring the surface of the skin.
Inflammation, infection and scarring are all consequences of attempting to squeeze Milia from deep beneath the surface of the skin. The negative side effects caused by self-extraction are more traumatizing and noticeable than Milia itself. When scarring and inflammation occurs, especially on the face, some sufferers are too embarrassed to leave the house. Treating the Milia with over-the-counter medicines or professional treatments are much more effective.
References and ResourcesMedlinePlus: Milia
Naturalis: Milia treatment
Acne Precautions: Milia --- What It Is, How It Forms And The Treatments
Harvard Health Publications: What Can I Do About Meibomian Cysts?