Ask and you Shall Receive: How to get rid of milia

Irene is looking for information on how to get rid of milia and wonders can we help?

For the benefit of the un-initiated, milia are hard little white dots that often appear around the eyes. You can be prone to them or they can be aggravated by too much sun exposure. What they actually are is keratin-filled cysts. Lovely! They differ from whiteheads in that whiteheads form in a pore, and can be squeezed, whereas milia form under the surface of the skin, and have no pore to escape from.

I get these occasionally round my eyes and I will confess - I dig them out myself. You're not really supposed to do that as you may damage your skin but if you're careful and follow this method, you'll minimise the risk:

  1. Clean your hands and face thoroughly
  2. Wet a face cloth with warm water and hold it to your face for a few minutes to soften the skin
  3. Using a sterile needle, poke it gently into the centre of the milia to create an opening so that the lump can escape
  4. Now you're ready to squeeze - wrap your thumbs in a clean tissue and gently squeeze the contents of the little white bump out
  5. Finally, gently wipe the area where you took the bump out with something like savlon spray

To prevent them from re-forming, use products with the mimimum ingredients possible to help prevent build up on your skin, and avoid excessive touching of the face and eye area. Regular exfoliation can help prevent them from forming too. If you're squeamish about extracting them yourself, ask a beautician or make an appointment with a dermatologist. And never try to squeeze milia on your eyelids - leave that to a professional!

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