White Bumps on Your Face

White Bumps (Skyn Stories by Dr Meenu Sethi)
White Bumps (Skyn Stories by Dr Meenu Sethi)

Got a bump on your face that won't pop and isn't a zit, and won't even go away? What the heck is this thing?

It's milia! Now, what is that?

A milium, type of a cyst is a white bump, small in size that typically appears on the cheeks and nose, but these can pop up anywhere. Often found in groups, these are also known as milia. These aren't itchy or painful and are harmless.

Milia occur when dead skin cells get trapped beneath the skin's surface. Unlike a pimple, milia are neither inflamed nor red. Milia also tends to stay for a longer time period, than a pimple. Milia can take a few weeks or months also, to heal, unlike a pimple that heals within a few days.

What causes milia?

A milium is so common that you're going to get a milium every now and then. It can develop even if you don't have common acne or if you have relatively clear skin. When your skin isn't exfoliated properly or when the skin doesn't shed dead cells, milia take place. The white bump that you see is actually a plug of oil and skin cells. It can occur at any age and some people may be more prone to developing milia, more than others.

Apparently, there's no reason for milia to appear. It may be triggered by an injury to the skin such as:

- Burns

- Blistering injuries

- Blistering due to a skin condition

- Procedures such as laser resurfacing or dermabrasion

- Long-term sun damage

- Long-term use of steroid creams

In rare cases, medication might also cause milia.

Types of Milia

There are different types of milia, classified on the basis of at what age do they occur or the injury due to which these cysts develop.

-Neonatal Milia

This type of milia develops in newborns and heals within a few weeks. You can find these cysts on the face, upper torso, and scalp.

- Juvenile Milia

Genetic disorders such as pachyonychia syndrome, Gardner syndrome, nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome and Bazex-Dupré-Christol syndrome can cause juvenile milia.

- Primary Milia

When keratin is trapped under the surface of the skin, this type of milia occurs. It can occur in children as well as adults. It may disappear in a few weeks or it may even last for a few months. You can find cysts on the genitalia, eyelids and the forehead.

- Multiple Eruptive Milia

Itchy areas that can appear on the upper arms, torso and the face are called multiple eruptive milia.

- Milia en Plaque

Commonly associated with autoimmune or genetic skin disorders, such as lichen planus or discoid lupus, Milia en plaque can affect the ears, jaws, cheeks or eyelids. These are of several centimeters in diameter and are most commonly seen in middle-aged women. Although, it can occur in children and adults of all genders and ages.

- Milia associated with Drugs

Sometimes, the use of steroid creams can lead to milia on the skin, where the cream has been applied, but such a side effect is rare.

- Traumatic Milia

This type of Milia occurs when the skin is injured. Severe burns and rashes may cause milia, and if these cysts are irritated, then they turn red along the edges with a white center.

How are milia diagnosed?

If you have Milia, your doctor will examine your skin and determine so, based on how the cysts appear.

What should you do about milia?

There's not really anything you can do to prevent milia completely, but following these few tips can minimize your chances of developing them.

- If you've noticed that you're prone to milia, then see what products you're using on your skin. Too heavy