Milia are small white bumps that appear on the skin. They are usually grouped together on the nose, cheeks, and chin, though they may appear elsewhere.

They develop when skin flakes become trapped under the surface of the skin, according to studies by expert, or when keratin builds up and gets trapped.

Milia occur most often in newborn babies. In fact, 40 to 50 percent of newborn babies have milia on their skin within a month of being born, according to research. But milia can also affect children, adolescents, and adults.

Milia almost always resolve on their own without treatment. However, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the healing process and prevent more milia from forming. Below are ways to get rid of milia;

Don’t pick, poke, or try to remove them

If milia on your face or your child’s face are irritating you, don’t pick at the affected area. Trying to remove milia can cause the bumps to bleed, scab, and scar. Scraping the skin can also introduce germs to the area. This can cause infection.

In the case of babies under 6 months old, the best thing to do for milia is to leave the bumps alone. If the bumps are concerning you, see your child’s pediatrician.

Cleanse the area

Make sure you’re washing your face with a gentle, paraben-free soap each day. Any soap that isn’t mild will strip your face of the oils it needs to stay balanced and healthy.

After washing, pat your skin dry instead of letting it air dry. This will help prevent your skin from chafing or drying out.

Steam open your pores

After cleansing, you may find it beneficial to steam open your pores to further remove irritants.

One way to do this is to:

  1. Start by sitting in your bathroom with the shower running on a hot setting. The room will fill slowly with warm steam.
  2. Sit in the steam for 5 to 8 minutes. The steam will gently open up your pores, releasing skin flakes or other irritants that may be trapped underneath.
  3. After sitting in the steam, turn off the shower and wait a few minutes. Pat your face dry, and rinse with lukewarm water to wash away any irritants before you step out of the steamy room.

Gently exfoliate the area

Gentle skin exfoliation might help keep your skin free of irritants that cause milia. Some exfoliating agents  keep the keratin in your skin from overproducing. Look for exfoliating cleansers that contain salicylic acid, citric acid, or glycolic acid.

Exfoliating too much can irritate the skin, so you don’t do it every day. Start by using an exfoliating cleanser once a week and see if it improves your milia.

Try a facial peel

Facial peels that contain exfoliating ingredients may also help, but be careful. Using a facial peel that’s too strong for your skin can cause more milia to appear.

If you’ve already been using facial peels as part of your self-care routine, it’s probably safe to continue doing so. It might even help clear up milia. If you can, stick to peels that have salicylic acid or glycolic acid.

But if you are new to facial peels, don’t use them just to get rid of milia bumps. Your skin might be sensitive to the ingredients in a facial peel. This can worsen milia.

Use a retinoid cream

Some researchers recommend topical retinoid creams to get rid of milia. Retinoid creams contain vitamin A. This vitamin is essential to the health of your skin.

Use any product that contains retinol just once per day. Put it on when your face is scrubbed clean and dry. When using a retinoid cream, it’s essential to use a sunscreen daily. Retinoid creams make your skin more susceptible to skin damage caused by sun exposure.

Most milia bumps really will resolve on their own after a few weeks. If you have recurring milia outbreaks, or if your milia don’t go away, you may need to see a dermatologist.

Sometimes a dermatologist will use a tiny needle to remove the milia manually. This will quickly heal the affected area.