What are milia?

Milia are small, non-inflamed cysts that develop on the skin. They appear as tiny bumps with white heads, and develop when keratin gets trapped just below the surface of the skin. This condition is often confused with pimples (pustules) but it never becomes red or inflamed like acne. It is incredibly common and can occur at any age, from newborns to the elderly.

The causes of milia

Milia is caused when keratin, a plug of skin cells, gets trapped just beneath the surface of the skin. The visible white colour is the keratin plug showing through a thin layer of skin. It can occur when your skin doesn’t exfoliate or properly shed dead cells. Some people are more prone to developing them than others, and a vast majority of milia will just appear for no apparent reason. Sun exposure and sun damage can also make your skin more prone to developing this condition.

Although they are often included in the comedonal acne category, they aren’t technically acne breakouts. You can develop milia even if you don’t have common acne and your skin is relatively clear. Acne develops when pores become blocked; milia are tiny cysts that occur just under the top layer of skin, and not within the pore. The cysts can also stay on your skin much longer than acne as well, easily lasting weeks or months.

The symptoms

Milia can often look like zits that you cannot pop. These cysts can be white or yellowish, hard, raised bumps on the face. They are generally small (1 to 2 millimeters in diameter) and develop anywhere on the body. The most common areas where these cysts develop include: around the eyes, the cheeks, nose and forehead. Milia aren’t painful and they do not itch. While they can be annoying, these cysts are completely harmless.

Treatments in NW Calgary

At Fresh Laser Skin Studio in NW Calgary, our best treatment to address milia is the:

ThermoClear Pro RF
ThermoClear Pro RF

This is our number one treatment to combat milia and is available a an add-on treatment to any of our laser skin treatments. This precise technique allows safe treatment of milia especially around the eye area.
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Combination treatments
Combination Treatments

May be necessary for the best treatment of certain skin conditions.
Book a Consultation

Book a consultation at Fresh Laser Skin Studio

If one of your skin concerns is milia on your face, schedule a skin consultation at Fresh Laser Skin Studio in NW Calgary. To get clearer, healthier skin, fill out the form on our site or give us a call at (403) 264-4494. Get fresh; your skin will thank you!

* Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.


We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(403) 264-4494