What Is Milialar? The Truth About This Mysterious Skin Condition

Ever notice those tiny white bumps on your face that just won’t go away? Chances are you have milialar, a common skin condition that’s often mistaken for acne. You’ve probably tried all the over-the-counter creams and washes to get rid of them, only to find the little bumps keep coming back. Milialar affects nearly everyone at some point, though some are more prone to frequent outbreaks. Don’t worry, those little white dots on your cheeks, nose, and forehead are typically harmless. But they can still be annoying and make you self-conscious about your skin. The good news is there are some effective ways to reduce milialar outbreaks and improve your skin’s appearance. Here’s everything you need to know about milialar, what causes it, and how to best treat it.

What Exactly Is Milialar?

Milialar is a mysterious skin condition characterized by small, hard bumps that typically appear on the face. Unlike acne, milia are not inflamed or painful. They form when dead skin cells get trapped under the skin’s surface.

The most common cause of milia is aging skin that produces excess keratin, a protein found in skin, hair and nails. As you get older, your skin has a harder time shedding dead cells, allowing keratin to build up and form milia. Certain skin care products and cosmetics may also trigger milia, especially if they’re greasy or heavy.

To get rid of milia, you’ll need to have them extracted by a dermatologist. Trying to pop them yourself often leads to scarring and infection. The procedure is quick and painless. Your dermatologist will use a sterile needle or blade to gently open the milium and extract the trapped keratin with a comedone extractor.

Once extracted, milia typically do not return. However, the best way to prevent future milia is to exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dead cells, use non-comedogenic skincare products, moisturize daily, and wear sun protection. Sun damage is a major contributor to aging skin and milia formation.

The good news is, milia themselves are harmless. They may be annoying, but they won’t cause any long-term damage. With extraction and proper skincare, you can bid farewell to your milia and keep your skin bump-free.

Identifying Milialar: Symptoms and Appearance

If you notice small, hard bumps forming under your skin, especially on your face, you may be dealing with milialar. Milialar, also known as milia, are tiny cysts that form when dead skin cells get trapped under the skin.


Milia typically appear as small, white or yellowish bumps on the face, especially around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. They are often mistaken for whiteheads, but unlike pimples, milia are hard, dome-shaped cysts that do not pop or drain. Milia are usually about 1 to 2 millimeters in size.


Milia are generally painless and asymptomatic, meaning they do not cause any discomfort or irritation. They are simply small bumps under the skin. However, some people may experience:

  • Mild sensitivity or tenderness around the milia
  • A desire to pop or pick at the milia, which should be avoided to prevent infection and scarring


The most common causes of milia include:

  1. Blocked sweat glands or hair follicles. Dead skin cells and keratin become trapped under the skin, forming small cysts.
  2. Genetics. Milia tend to run in families and some people are just prone to developing them.
  3. Skin damage or trauma. Damage to the skin from sun exposure, burns, or dermabrasion can trigger milia formation.
  4. Certain skin care products. Heavy creams, ointments, and cosmetics that clog pores may lead to milia, especially around the eyes.

The good news is milia are typically harmless and often clear up on their own within a few weeks. However, if they persist or bother you, a dermatologist can remove them through extraction or minor procedures. With regular exfoliation and non-comedogenic skin care, you may be able to prevent milia from coming back.

What Causes Milialar to Develop?

Milialar develops for several reasons, often due to a combination of factors. The primary causes of this skin condition include:

Hormone fluctuations

Changes in hormone levels, especially during pregnancy or menopause, can stimulate excess oil production in the skin and hair follicles. This oil buildup blocks pores and traps dead skin cells, creating the small cysts known as milia. Taking hormone-balancing medication or using topical retinoids may help prevent milialar in these cases.


Some people are simply born with a higher tendency to develop milia due to genetics. If your parents or siblings also struggle with this condition, you may be prone to getting milialar. The best way to manage milialar caused by genetics is through consistent skin care and extraction procedures to remove existing milia.

Skin dryness

When your skin lacks moisture, dead skin cells don’t slough off as easily and can get trapped in pores. Using a daily moisturizer suited for your skin type can hydrate skin and prevent milialar. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and dimethicone.

Sun damage

Too much sun exposure over time can damage the skin and cause milialar. The sun’s UV rays break down collagen and elastin in the skin, causing pores to enlarge and skin to lose firmness. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, especially on your face, chest, and hands, is key to avoiding sun-related milialar.

Certain skin care products

Heavy skin care products that block pores or irritate the skin may lead to milialar. If you’ve recently started using a new product and notice milia popping up, stop using it. Give your skin time to clear itself and adjust your skin care routine to use non-comedogenic, lightweight products free of pore-clogging ingredients.

In summary, keeping your skin balanced and pores clear is the key to preventing and managing milialar. Paying attention to hormone changes, genetics, skin health, sun protection and the products you use can all help reduce your chances of developing this unsightly skin condition.

Milialar vs Milia: What’s the Difference?

Milialar and milia are two distinct skin conditions that are often confused. While milia are small, hard cysts that form under the skin, milialar refers to a rare autoimmune disorder. Knowing the difference between these conditions can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment.


Milia are tiny cysts that contain keratin, a protein found in skin, hair and nails. They appear as small, white bumps and often affect newborns, though they can occur at any age. Milia usually clear up on their own within a few weeks as the skin naturally exfoliates. If they persist, a dermatologist may need to extract them. Milia are typically harmless, painless and not contagious. They are caused by skin cells that get trapped under the skin during healing and form tiny cysts.


Milialar, on the other hand, is an uncommon autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the sweat glands and oil-producing glands in the skin. It results in painful, itchy rashes and the formation of small blisters and cysts. Milialar requires treatment to manage symptoms and prevent complications. The exact cause of milialar is unknown but believed to involve a genetic component.

Unlike milia which are typically limited to the face, milialar can appear anywhere on the body, including the mouth, eyes, and genitals. The blisters may burst and crust over, causing scarring. Milialar also tends to flare up and subside, though it can persist long-term without treatment. Diagnosing milialar requires a skin biopsy and blood tests to rule out other potential causes. Treatment options include steroids, immunosuppressants and other medications to control inflammation and regulate the immune system.

In summary, while milia and milialar can both cause small bumps and cysts on the skin, they have very different causes and treatments. Getting properly diagnosed is key to managing your symptoms and avoiding long-term problems. If you notice any unusual skin changes, see your doctor right away for an accurate diagnosis and advice on the best course of treatment.

Treating and Removing Milialar: Professional Options

If milialar bothers you cosmetically or is causing discomfort, you have options for professional treatment and removal. Your dermatologist can determine the best approach based on the size, location, and number of milialar spots.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy uses targeted light pulses to destroy the milialar cysts without damaging the surrounding skin. It requires multiple treatments but has a high success rate with minimal scarring. The most common types for milialar removal are ablative and non-ablative lasers like CO2 and erbium lasers. The laser heats up and pops the milialar cyst, causing it to drain and flatten.


Dermabrasion sands away the outer layer of skin to expose the milialar cyst so it can be drained. The dermatologist uses a wire brush or diamond-tipped fraise to gently sand the area. It causes minor wounding of the skin that heals over the course of days or weeks. Dermabrasion typically requires a local anesthetic and may lead to temporary redness, swelling, and scabbing.

Steroid Injections

For stubborn or inflamed milialar spots, steroid injections can help shrink the cysts. The dermatologist injects corticosteroids directly into the milialar cysts, which reduces inflammation and causes them to get smaller over the course of weeks. Steroid injections may require repeat treatments to completely clear the milialar.


Excision is a minor surgical procedure where the dermatologist cuts out or removes the entire milialar cyst. After numbing the area with local anesthetic, the dermatologist uses a scalpel to cut around and beneath the cyst to remove it completely. Excision typically leaves minimal scarring when performed by an experienced dermatologist. It has the highest cure and lowest recurrence rates of all treatment options.

The approach your dermatologist recommends will depend on the specifics of your condition and skin type. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to determine the option you’re most comfortable with to eliminate your milialar spots for good.


So there you have it, the truth behind milialar. While medical experts are still unsure of the exact cause, the good news is that this condition seems to be completely benign. The tiny white spots on your skin may be annoying, but try not to worry too much about them. Focus instead on the more important things in life and practice self-care. Keep your skin hydrated, limit sun exposure, eat healthy, reduce stress, and try to accept yourself as you are – spots and all. Remember that true beauty comes from within. If the spots really bother you, talk to your doctor about possible treatments. But also consider learning to embrace this quirk that makes you uniquely you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *