A milium cyst is small, white bump that typically appears on the nose and cheeks. These cysts are often found in groups, and in these cases are called milia. The cysts occur when keratin becomes trapped beneath the surface of the skin. Keratin is a strong protein that is typically found in skin tissues, hair, and nail cells.





  • blistering due to a skin condition
  • burns
  • blistering injuries, such as poison ivy
  • skin resurfacing procedures, such as dermabrasion or laser resurfacing
  • long-term use of steroid creams
  • long-term sun damage

How do I prevent milia?

  1. Skip rich creams and oil-based products
  2. Protect your skin from the sun
  3. Exfoliate your skin 2-3 times a week


The most common type of milia removal is performed using a needle.  Once the skin with milia has been cleaned, a sterile needle is then used to create a tiny incision in the skin covering the cyst. The contents of the milia are then carefully extracted so as not to cause any trauma to the skin.

Certain types of milia may not be suitable for this type of removal, and may need to be treated using chemical peels or laser. The best treatment for you will depend upon the type of milia you have as well as the location and number of milia that need removing.

Factors such as type of milia, location and number of milia will determine the best treatment plan. Often changes in lifestyle and skincare regiment can clear milia without any further treatment.

Recommended Treatments


Claire's PRO Tip

You can help prevent milia by exfoliating regularly. Slough away old cells by using a gentle exfoliating product 2-3 times a week. Take caution that the lotion or wash you use is not too harsh, and be extra careful around your eyes.