ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Milia: White Pimple-Like Bumps That Grow on the Skin

Updated on February 2, 2015
Milia that grows on the eyelids
Milia that grows on the eyelids

Milia are small milky-white or light yellow bumps that appear around the eye, forehead, above the lips, and on the cheeks. Milia that grow on the genitalia are often mistakenly assumed to be STDs. Milia do not affect everybody, but they do affect men and women of all ages. They are somewhat mysterious, and not believed to be caused by poor hygeine. They form when dead skin cells do not completely slough off the skin and remain trapped in a pocket of skin.

In more scientific terms, milia are benign keratin-filled cysts that grow just under the epidermis. They are commonly found on newborn babies but, as mentioned above, they can also affect anyone of any age or race.

These white, pimple like spots called milia often appear on baby faces. Do not pop them!
These white, pimple like spots called milia often appear on baby faces. Do not pop them!

Milia on Babies' Faces

If your baby's face sprouts these mysterious white bumps, don't panic! They're very common; some babies even have them at birth. Milia that grow on babies usually don't last for more than six weeks. Milia may form because the oil gland—also known as the sebaceous gland—may not yet be fully developed. Milia occur in up to fifty percent of infants and are considered normal.

Whatever you do, don't try to break or pop them! This could lead to an infection. Normally, milia go away on their own. If they persist for more than a few weeks or seem to be infected, you should visit your baby's doctor.

Protect your baby from the sun to avoid milia.
Protect your baby from the sun to avoid milia. | Source

Cause and Prevention of Milia

Milia can be caused by a few things:

  • Certain hair or skin care products can prevent dead skin cells from shedding completely. Stick to non-comedogenic beauty products to prevent milia forming from trapped dead skin.
  • Milia can be caused by sun damage. Wear a light sunscreen or a sun hat when outdoors to prevent them.
  • To remove the dead skin cells that cause milia, exfoliate your skin regularly with a scrub or chemical exfoliant.
  • Genetics may play a role in making one prone to milia. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about this other than to take care of your skin to minimize their occurrence.
  • Some people experience fluoride irritation from toothpaste which may cause milia to grow around the mouth.

This is it for a brief introduction of milia. While they may be unsightly, they are ultimately harmless. Again, if you notice anything unusual about milia, such as redness, pain, or swelling, go to a doctor to make sure it's not something more serious.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love this accurate stuuf

    • profile image


      6 years ago


      You won't die from that, you probably brused/damaged the skin around the milia and it just hurts. My dermatologist said he could pierce them out or I could do it myself with a safety pin -- if I wasn't afraid of a little pain. Since then I've been removing them myself by carefully puncturing the milia with a sterilized safety pin, then gently squeezing the milia out. They're like small pearls, really gross and strange.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I took a small lance and poked the skin, then I squeezed and it came right out

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have one under my eye and I tried to squeeze it but nothing happaned so now it hurting me, can I die from that and what can happen to me?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

    • profile image

      Arun Thazhathuveetil 

      7 years ago


      Primary milia in infants does not need any treatment and will disappear over time. Primary or secondary milia in adults may go away on its own. If it does not, your doctor can use a retinoid cream, such as adapalene or tretinoin. Fruit acid peels or microdermabrasion is another option. According to Skinsight, your doctor may use a sterile lancet or scalpel to pierce each milia, then remove the milia with a comedone extractor.

      Read more:

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i get these around my temples, and actually do what you're probably not supposed to do. First off i get a really really sharp tiiiny needle, then i disinfect my hands the needle and my face, and then i just go wild and poke them til the white stuff comes out. be careful tho, you don't want any scars on your face. afterwars be sure to apply some sort of cream or toner that will keep dirt away so it doesn't become infected. this has worked wonders for me for atleast 3 years.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      these things are annoying. has anyone got a way to get rid of them

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      how to i get rid of these ugly things????

    • profile image

      heather whitney 

      8 years ago

      can you ever get rid of the millia?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)