Q&A: Skincare: Milia

xopiink523 asks: What is Milia, and how do I get rid of it?  I’ve had it on my arms for the last few years.

Massagewallah answers: 

Milia is really common on the upper arms and shoulders. Primary milia can form due to improperly formed oil ducts that have not fully developed.

Exfoliating the skin, or removing the dead skin cells from your skin with an abrasive product or chemical, is beneficial. But brutally scrubbing your arms with soaps and chemicals too frequently may actually create milia. This gentle exfoliation helps make eventual removal of the milia easier because the skin layer around the milia becomes thinner, with frequent, yet gentle exfoliation. In short, Exfoliate your skin to prevent milia, not to cure them.

The best way to prevent milia is to avoid treating your skin with excessively harsh chemicals and to limit sun exposure.
Use a sunscreen with the least amount of ingredients. Extraneous ingredients like fragrances may irritate your skin. Additionally, purchase sunscreens that offer physical sun blockage that contain active ingredients like titanium oxide or zinc oxide.

The key to getting rid of milia is realizing that they have no escape route, those little bumps are trapped under the skin. So, to get them out, you’ll need to have a professional like a dermatologist or aesthetician extract them.

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