The little white bumps under the skin came back. Called milia, they develop when keratin gets trapped under the skin and form at the base of sweat glands or hair follicles. They look somewhat like pimples but do not have the oil and bacteria found in true acne. And unlike acne breakouts which have a lifespan of a week or so, milia can last for years. They are painless and don’t itch, but please don’t try to remove them yourself. Milia go very deep and can scar if improperly treated.
Dr Marmur started by numbing the area with a bit of lidocaine. She used an electric needle to nick the top and pressed a comedone extractor over the area. Thanks to the lidocaine, I felt nothing. Next day I had tiny red dots but no bruises. WIthin two days, my skin looked smooth and even. Nice.
This is the second time I developed milia and I wanted to learn how to stop new ones from developing. Some experts have suggested that excessive use of heavy creams and moisturizers can provoke production of milia. Others like Dr Marmur believe that its a genetic thing and some skin is just more likely to develop milia. Regular exfoliation with scrubbong grains, home microdermabrasion devices, glycolic peels and even Retin A all can keep pores from developing milia. But like many other people, my milia seem to pop up in the eye area where exfoliation is difficult. This delicate eye area cannot use traditional exfoliation leaving it open to milia development.
To keep my skin milia free I need to faithfully take off my eye make-up with a non-oily remover pad and follow up with a warm water rinse. Once a week, I will treat the area with warm wet compresses to keep the pores clean and unclogged.