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Crying Over Milk Spots

Leading providers of affordable and high-quality healthcare, Affinity Health, look at milia and how they manifest as a common skin condition.


Have You Heard of Milia?

Milia are tiny white bumps that appear on your skin. They are pimples or cysts. Milia are especially common on the faces of infants. But they can affect people of all ages.


In adults, milia appear as tiny pimples on the eyelids, forehead, cheeks, chin, or nose. They can also appear on the genital area, chest area, and limbs. While milia can be frustrating, they do not usually cause irritation or discomfort. They are often easy to treat.


“Milia is an aesthetic concern, not a medical one. Unless they are bothering you, there is no reason to treat them,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health. Every 28 to 48 days, your body eliminates old skin cells. This happens to create room for new skin cells. Milia occur when dead skin cells do not peel away. Instead, they become trapped beneath the new skin. They then solidify and form a ‘milium’ (dome-shaped bump).

Milia can occur because of any of the following factors:
  • Sun exposure
  • Steroid drug use
  • Genetics
  • An autoimmune disorder
  • Skin disorders such as dandruff, rosacea, or eczema
  • Pore-clogging cosmetics or make-up
  • Insufficient sleep

3 Ways Take Care of Milia

The good news is that milia often goes away on its own within a few weeks or months. You might feel tempted to pick or pop the milia. Don’t. Because milia form beneath the skin’s thin layer rather than in a pore (like acne pimples).


There is no opening in the skin to press the clog out, making squeezing milia unsuccessful. This irritation may aggravate the situation even more. This could result in scars or infection, especially around the delicate eye area.


If the appearance of milia concerns you, you can take a few steps to aid in the treatment process. Over-the-counter exfoliating cosmetics can assist in the removal of dead skin cells. They must contain salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, or retinoid.


Sometimes, milia may not disappear on their own or with over-the-counter exfoliating treatments. In this case, your doctor can recommend a treatment plan for you. A dermatologist can perform a minor surgical procedure to remove the milia.


It is difficult to completely avoid milia. Adults can benefit from regular skincare to help prevent milia and other disorders.

Use Sunblock and Moisturiser

Excessive sun exposure is the most common cause of milia. Your skin becomes leathery, making it more difficult for dead cells to shed. Use sunscreen even in the winter and while you are indoors for extended amounts of time near windows.

Learn More: The Importance of Sunscreen for Healthy Skin

Avoid Heavy Creams or Ointments

These can irritate your skin and clog your pores, making natural exfoliation impossible.

Clean your Face Twice a Day

Dirt and sweat accumulate and clog your pores. This might result in acne and other skin issues. Keep your face clean to assist your skin in shedding dead cells.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance. We offer a wide range of cover options at affordable rates. Medical cover includes access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to always give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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