under eye milia seeds

Milia Seeds: Everything You Need To Know

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    Milia seeds often appear unexpectedly and are challenging to remove. Find out how you can combat them effectively through this article!

    Do you have any small, white bumps on your face? If you do, keep in mind that not all are acne. The small, white bumps are sometimes cysts of milia seeds.

    People frequently confuse milia seeds with whiteheads. They may also try to squeeze the milia, which results in irritation or scabbing. As a result, you must understand the characteristics of milia to avoid mistaking it for acne and pinching it.

    This article will go over everything you need to know about milia – its definition, moving on to how it develops and various methods for removing it. 

    Continue reading to learn about milia seeds’ common characteristics and causes and which treatment is ideal for you!

    What are milia seeds?

    Milia seeds refer to the small, white bumps on the skin. They frequently appear in the facial skin, such as under-eye, forehead, and lips areas.

    Many people mistake milia seeds for whiteheads and attempt to squeeze them. You should avoid pressing your milia seeds, as doing so can cause scabbing and scarring.

    Unlike whiteheads, which have pits, milia often appear completely closed. Milia seeds, unlike whiteheads, do not contain pus. Milia seeds are keratin-containing cysts, similar to your nails and hairs.

    Furthermore, we can classify milia seeds as primary and secondary types. Typically, primary milia develop naturally from trapped keratin beneath the skin, occurring in newborns and adults. 

    On the other hand, secondary milia develop due to dead skin cells accumulation from several factors, including blister, burnt wounds, and trauma.

    How do milia look like?

    Milia under eye

    Milia Under Eye

    This is how milia appear on the skin around the eyes. It may develop due to using thick eye creams or other skincare products that are not appropriate for your skin type.

    Milia forehead

    Milia Forehead

    Milia often appears on the forehead. It’s a more frequent condition in newborns. On the other hand, adults can develop milia on the forehead due to excessive sun exposure or the use of unsuitable skincare products.

    Milia on lips

    milia seeds

    It is natural for milia to form when there is a buildup of dead skin cells in the lips area. To combat this condition, make sure you clean your face from makeup regularly and use skincare suitable for your skin type.

    Type of Milia Seeds

    Now that you know what milia seeds are and how they look, it’s time to identify the different types of milia seeds. According to Healthline, milia seeds typically classified into the following categories:

    Neonatal milia

    Neonatal milium is a type of primary milia that appears on the skin surface of newborn babies. People commonly refer to it as “baby acne.”

    Neonatal milium is a common condition in newborn babies. According to Seattle Children’s Hospital Research, approximately 40% of newborns have milia on their facial skin. So, if you notice small, white bumps on your baby’s skin, let’s not be worried; this condition typically does not require medication and will resolve within a few weeks.

    Milia en plaque

    Some autoimmune disorders can form milia en plaque, such as discoid lupus and lichen planus. This skin condition frequently manifests as a cluster of bumps around the eyelids, cheeks, ears, and jaw.

    Middle-aged women are more likely to develop milia en plaque. However, people of any age or gender can develop this condition under certain conditions.

    Juvenile milia

    Similar to milia en plaque, the formation of juvenile milia is a genetic factor. People with Gardner’s syndrome, nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, pachyonychia congenital, and Bazex-Dupré-Christol syndrome are more likely to develop juvenile milia.

    Multiple eruptive milia

    Multiple eruptive milia or MEM refers to the sudden occurrence of multiple milia around the face, neck, and upper torso. Additionally, this second type of milia can be challenging to remove and disturb people’s appearance as it often stays for a few weeks to a few months.

    Traumatic milia

    Traumatic milia develop due to skin trauma such as burns, rashes, or other types of irritation. You can identify traumatic milia through its small and white bumps that appear in the centre of reddish wounds.

    Causes of Milia Seeds

    We previously discussed primary and secondary milia seeds, in which the former occurs naturally and is unpreventable. On the other hand, the latter often arise due to the following factors:

    Blistering injuries

    Blistering injuries can trigger milia formation. In many cases, blistering injuries can damage the sweat glands and hair follicles. As a result, when the skin surface heals from the wounds, it often leaves tiny and white bumps or milia seeds.

    Long term UV damages

    Long-term UV ray exposure can cause the skin’s surface to become rough. It is typically tricky for rough skin to shed its dead cells naturally. As a result, the dead skin cells build up may develop into milia seeds.

    Long term use of steroid cream

    Long-term use of steroid cream may result in the formation of milia seeds. However, it will depend on the individual’s skin sensitivity. You might want to consult your medical aesthetics doctor to see if using the steroid cream is safe.

    Skin resurfacing procedures

    Skin resurfacing procedures used to reduce the appearance of acne scars, such as boxcar scars, icepick scars, and rolling scars, may result in the formation of milia seeds. Due to dermabrasion and laser therapy treatments, some people are more likely to develop milia.

    Therefore, if you want to undergo skin resurfacing procedures but are wary about developing milia seeds, you should first speak with your medical aesthetics doctor. That way, you’ll know what to expect and how to treat your skin if milia seeds appear.

    Milia Seeds Home Removal

    Although milia seeds can appear unexpectedly, you should not feel overwhelmed! Milia seeds usually resolve on their own, but it can take months. As a result, you may feel like trying the following home remedies to speed up the removal process:

    Try skin exfoliation

    Dead skin cells buildup frequently cause milia seeds. Therefore, exfoliating your skin twice to three times a week with skincare products that entail using lactic acid, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid can be a solution for reducing your milia seeds.

    Try a facial peel

    Facial peels are popular as a clinical treatment. However, several skincare products may deliver similar results to facial peel with more gentle ingredients.

    If you wish to do a facial peel at home, you may want to try products that entail using AHA, BHA, papaya enzyme, and other mild exfoliating properties. These ingredients are gentle and safe to use at home, unlike chemical peels.

    Use Suitable Skincare

    Milia seeds can form due to incompatibility with existing skincare ingredients in some cases. As a result, according to Healthline, if you have milia-prone skin, you should avoid using these ingredients:

    • Liquid paraffin
    • Liquid petroleum
    • Paraffin oil
    • Paraffinum liquidum
    • Petrolatum liquid
    • Petroleum oil

    Opt for paraben-free soap or face wash

    Aside from avoiding the previously mentioned ingredients, paraben-free soap or facial wash can help prevent milia formation on sensitive skin. Parabens, or preservatives, can cause your skin to dry out and cause rashes. On the other hand, these rashes can develop into milia.


    Retinol-based skincare is another alternative to eradicate milia from your skin. You can start by applying a thin layer of low percentage retinol every night to get your skin used to it. Using high percentages of retinol directly can cause irritation or breakouts.

    In most cases, people may notice an improvement in their milia seeds after applying retinol. However, if you struggle with stubborn milia, you might want to try prescribed retinol that comes with a higher percentage.

    Light sunscreen

    Not using sunscreen can damage your skin and cause milia seeds to form on the skin surface. On the other hand, using inappropriate sunscreen may also lead to milia development.

    It’s often for milia seeds to form due to using thick and heavy sunscreen. The thick and heavy consistency may clog your pores and cause milia seeds to develop.

    To avoid this problem, you might want to switch to light sunscreen. Light sunscreen is generally more comfortable to use as the skin easily absorbs it without clogging the pores.

    Milia Seeds Removal Treatment

    Milia on your skin may persist even after you have tried home remedies. If you feel that the stubborn milia disturbed your appearance, you should try clinical treatments.

    Furthermore, there are several clinical milia seeds removal treatments that you can try. We’ll help you by covering the options to determine which one is the most suitable for you.

    Here is the list of clinical treatments to eradicate your milia seeds:

    Sciton Broadband Light (BBL)

    Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) works by radiating pulsed light with measurable wavelengths. Later, the pulsed light will generate heat, absorbed by the skin and regenerate new collagen.

    Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) makes a decent choice for eliminating milia. The light and heat generated from the machine will help reduce the accumulation of dead cells on the skin, which is one of the causes of milia formation.

    Furthermore, Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) has advanced cooling technology, allowing patients to undergo the procedure with as little discomfort as possible. As a result, patients can get rid of their milia without experiencing any significant pain.

    Milia extractions

    An expert will insert a sterile needle into the milia seeds during the extraction procedure. The goal is to get rid of stubborn keratin-contained milia.

    Although this procedure only involves a sterile needle, it is not advisable to perform it at home. This procedure requires extreme cautions; any errors during the procedure may result in skin wounds and infections. 

    Agnes RF

    Agnes RF is a laser therapy that employs radiofrequency (RF) technology. This treatment effectively treats various skin problems, including milia seeds, which are notoriously difficult to remove.

    Patients who struggle from stubborn milia on their skin may benefit from Agnes RF. Radiofrequency (RF) technology can remove piles of dead skin cells while also stimulating the formation of new cells. As a result, the milia seeds deflate gradually, and the skin appears smoother.

    Fractional CO2 Laser

    Fractional CO2 Laser is a non-invasive procedure that uses fractional photo thermolysis technology that infiltrates beneath the skin, stimulating collagen production and giving smoother skin.

    Fractional CO2 Laser makes a decent alternative to eliminate milia seeds effectively. The energy waves will remove dead skin cells and regenerate new skin cells, resulting in smoother and youthful skin.

    Dermal Peels

    Since a buildup of dead skin cells can cause the formation of milia, peeling is one method for removing these tiny white bumps. We previously discussed how there are skincare products that contain peeling active ingredients.

    However, patients can opt for Dermal Peels treatment to remove their milia seeds more effectively. Our medical aesthetics doctor will apply peeling solutions such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid to the patient’s skin during this treatment.

    Furthermore, the peeling solutions will exfoliate the dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production. As a result, patients can see improvements in their skin, which appears smoother and more youthful.


    We previously discussed that there are primary and secondary types of milia seeds. The primary type of milia is pretty much unavoidable. On the other hand, the secondary type is still preventable.

    According to the Medical News Today, you can try the following instructions to avoid the secondary type of milia seeds formation:

    • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun
    • Avoid using thick creams or oil-based skincare; opt for light sunscreen instead
    • Exfoliate between 2 – 3 times a week; try using gentle peeling solutions


    After reading this article, we hope you have a better understanding of what milia seeds are and how to deal with them!

    Overcoming milia seeds can be tricky, especially if the cause is genetic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of it or make it less noticeable.

    You can use skincare containing active ingredients that claim to reduce milia. However, if you feel dissatisfied with the results of your home treatments, you can surely seek clinical treatment.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to further treat your milia seeds. Our medical aesthetics doctor will be delighted to welcome you and determine the best solutions to provide you with smooth, milia-free skin!

    About Celevenus Wellness & Aesthetic Clinic

    Celevenus is an aesthetic clinic in Singapore that offers a variety of signature treatments to rejuvenate the body and skin. Our series of treatments use non-surgical methods, so they are suitable for anyone unsure about going under the knife.

    Led by Dr Dylan Chau, who is an expert in blending science and artistry, we are here to provide several face enhancement methods, such as Sculptra, dermal fillers, HIKO nose threadlift, and acne scar treatments, that are safe and provide optimal results for our patients.

    What’s more, we also perform non-surgical body contouring using the Venus Legacy method. This treatment makes an ideal choice for anyone who dreams of having a slimmer body silhouette but fear undergoing an invasive procedure that takes longer to heal.

    Overall, we strive to be a trustworthy aesthetic clinic that prioritises the right solutions for our patients through the variety of face and body enhancements we offer.

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