Complements What are those tiny white bumps?


Quite frequently I get asked, “What are those tiny white bumps on my face that I cannot get rid of?” Commonly, people think they are stubborn white heads, but they actually are milia.

Milia are small white bumps that appear when keratin is trapped under the surface of the skin—rather than exfoliating naturally. These tiny cysts have no openings to the skin’s surface, which is why extracting them can be so difficult.

So, how and why do we get milia? Sometimes we just don’t know; genetics can play a role as well as what you’re putting on your skin. If you’re using too thick of a cream and it’s clogging your skin, then you should look for something non-comedogenic, oil-free and not so heavy. I recommend Gentle Exfoliant from PCA (available in our office). It is a light and creamy cleansing scrub that contains smooth beads to exfoliate and polish the skin. It gently removes cellular buildup, revealing healthy, younger looking skin. Best of all, it’s great for all skin types.

Sometimes, milia can go away on their own, or an expert can help remove them. The removal process usually involves a lancet (surgical instrument) to prick the milia, followed by an extraction tool to squeeze out the keratin (the white part).

The best way to prevent milia is to keep cell renewal and turnover at its optimum. This can be done by using a retinol at night and exfoliating a couple times a week (again, PCA’s Gentle Exfoliant works great).

Milia can be annoying, and sometimes you can’t prevent them at all, but if you’ve tried everything to get rid of them and nothing is working, then I would advise seeing a professional.