White spots under the eye area, also referred to as Milia or milium cysts are small white bumps which appear on the surface of the skin. Milia is very common under the eyes but can occur on the nose or cheeks and also on certain areas of the body. Nicknamed ‘milk spots’, white spots under the eyes are most common in newborn babies but can occur in children and adults too. These small cysts are not considered a medical risk, but most adults do prefer to have them removed.
What does Milia look like?
Located just below the epidermis, Milia can often be confused with whitehead spots and are 1-2mm in size. Unlike whiteheads, they do not contain pus and are not a sign of clogged pores and it is not advisable to scratch or squeeze them.
What causes Milia?
White spots under the eyes are caused when there is a build up of dead skin cells or keratin. Keratin is a protein that makes up your skin, hair and nails and can also be found in your organs and glands. This can get trapped under the surface of the skin forming a raised ‘pinhead’ bump. Unlike spots, this skin condition is not related to lifestyle, diet or health issues.
What treatments are available to remove Milia?
There are different types of Milia and a few different Milia treatment options. During your initial consultation a dermatologist will examine the area and recommend the best treatment. This could be the use of a sterile needle (the most common type of removal) which creates a small incision in the skin so that the contents of the Milia / cyst can carefully be extracted without causing damage to the skin. Another option is Hyfrecator, which uses tiny electrical pulses to cauterize the skin, covering the Milia allowing the contents to be extracted. Another option for certain types of Milia is to use a topical medication. Treatments can also be carried out by some nurses.
How does the treatment work?
You will have a consultation with one of our dermatologists and they will talk you through the process and treatment options. The treatment is pain free and will only cause a slight amount of redness which will fade quickly and you will see the benefits of the treatment immediately. Milia removal is completely safe if carried out by a trained professional.
At sk:n we work with the UK’s leading dermatologists to be able to offer you the best advice and the safest treatment available. Many of our dermatologists also work for the NHS, so you can rest assured you are in safe hands.