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 color 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, we provide a customized combination of treatments to address milia:

Combination treatments
Combination Treatments

May be necessary for the best treatment of certain skin conditions.
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Medical facial
Medical Facial

A multi-step skin treatment to take care of your skin. Includes steam, pore clarifying mask and extractions. All treatments are customized to your skin care needs
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ThermoClear Pro RF
ThermoClear Pro RF

A precise manual technique that may be used to treat pigment in areas that are not safe to treat with a laser, such as the eye area.
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Book a free consultation at Fresh Laser Skin Studio

Milia can be tough to treat and often there aren’t as many readily available treatments. If you do cysts on your face or body that you’d like to remove, schedule a free 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