Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do I stop milia from forming?"
I have some milia under my right eye that won?t go away, and now I think I have the same thing under the other eye. How can I make them stop forming?
Milia, as you probably know, are small cysts that form under the skin. The cysts are full of a large amount of keratin, giving them a round, white, translucent quality. Milia are not blocked pores (in other words they are not like acne), but rather occur when cysts form directly in the skin.
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Most of the time milia form spontaneously, and they are not related to skin trauma or anything else you can prevent. Some people are more predisposed to develop milia than others. This is a good subject to discuss with your dermatologist. There are some prescription creams that are used to help slough off the upper layers of the skin, which can sometimes help to unroof the milia and allow them to drain. Similarly, gentle exfoliation at home may be helpful. Finally, if the milia are very large or are very cosmetically bothersome to you and they do not respond to exfoliation or prescription creams, the last thing that can be done is that they can be individually lanced and drained by your dermatologist. This obviously works best if there are just a few large milia and is less logistically feasible if there are many small milia.
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