Grains of milia: how to get rid of them?

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Milia grains are benign, but can be unsightly. What are they due to? And how to overcome it? We take stock with Catherine Gaucher, dermatologist.

Grains of milia: how to get rid of them?

Milia grains are small growths that pose no danger to your health. Nevertheless, they can cause discomfort for people who suffer from them, because they are considered unsightly. So, is it possible to get rid of it? Response elements.

Milia grains: what are they? 

Milia grains are characterized by small white dots, approximately 1 to 2 millimeters in diameter, located on the superficial layer of the skin. They are usually located around the eyes or on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. In some less common cases, the neck, décolleté and hands can be affected.


“These are kinds of cutaneous microcysts, which result from an accumulation of keratin and elastin (substances naturally produced by the skin) and poor elimination of dead cells . This accumulation then forms small bags, called grains of milia”, explains Catherine Gaucher, dermatologist. 

These growths are quite benign but they are often perceived as unsightly. 

What causes Grains of milia? 

Several causes can explain the appearance of milia grains on the skin. According to the expert, this is mainly due to trauma and attacks on the skin. “They appear on areas where there has been repeated inflammation or irritation of the skin, with abrasive products causing damage,” she says.

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Milia spots can be an indirect consequence of acne . Clearly, just because you have acne doesn’t automatically mean you will have milia. On the other hand, they can appear if you use very aggressive products to overcome your pimples. Same story for people suffering from eczema , dermatoses or other skin pathologies. 

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In short, here are all the known causes that can explain the appearance of milia grains: 

  • Excessive UV exposure
  • The use of occlusive cosmetics (such as creams that are too rich), which leads to clogging of hair follicles
  • Laser sessions
  • Scrubs or peelings that are too regular
  • Too abrasive treatments
  • Excess sebum that clogs the pores of the skin
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or tobacco

Note: some babies may have milia grains. These are then referred to as congenital milia grains . Do not hesitate to discuss it with your doctor or pediatrician.

How to get rid of milia grains?

“Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to get rid of milia grains”, concedes the specialist, “Some experts claim that they go away on their own after a certain time. So you have to be patient.”

If you still want to remove these pimples, you can make an appointment with a dermatologist for a specific procedure. The professional will pierce these growths with a needle to make them disappear. Depending on the affected areas, this may take longer or shorter. “It’s very easy to remove. The pain is bearable, but you can absolutely put on an anesthetic cream beforehand so you don’t feel anything”, continues Catherine Gaucher. 

Attention, it is imperative to entrust this mission to an expert! “You should never pierce a milia spot yourself, as this will scar your face or cause infection,” she warns. 

Other treatments, such as laser or local application of liquid nitrogen can be considered by the dermatologist. 

How to prevent the appearance of grains of milia?

A suitable beauty and skincare routine can help you prevent the appearance of milia spots . 

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Here are the right steps to follow: 

  • Go for a double cleanse to remove all impurities 
  • Choose gentle scrubs and exfoliants
  • Choose treatments adapted to your skin type
  • Avoid overly aggressive treatments
  • Protect your skin well from UV rays and avoid overexposure to the sun
  • Use non-comedogenic cosmetics

Of course, these gestures must be added to a healthy lifestyle

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