Milia Seeds 101

13 May 2019

One of the most common reasons for “bumps” under the oil milia seeds. They are small harmless cysts that my patients commonly ask to remove so that their skin is smoother and the application of makeup is easier.

Milia seeds


Commonly referred to as “oil seeds”, milia seeds commonly present as small white or yellow cysts under the eyes and temples. They are fairly common and can occur in both children and adults

What are milia seeds?


When dead skin cells get trapped in the skin, they form keratin filled cysts. This can occur naturally when dead skin cells build up and get trapped in the pores of the skin. This can also occur when the sweat ducts are blocked for whatever reason- makeup particles, skincare, skin trauma, infection…etc.

How can be milia seeds be removed?


Unfortunately, there is no medication available to remove milia. Milia seeds also do not resolve spontaneously. These cysts lie below the skin surface and can be removed by the following ways

1. Laser 2. Electrocautery 3. Incision


Electrocautery and laser are the two most effective ways of removing milia seeds as the cyst wall can be removed at the same time. The procedure is very safe and is almost painless in the hands of a trained doctor. There is also very little downtime and recovery of the skin takes approximately one week.

How can I prevent the formation of milia seeds?


The key is to prevent the pores in the skin from being clogged and to reduce dead skin build up. Having clean skin by double cleansing to remove makeup particles and gentle exfoliation can prevent milia seeds from forming.

Skincare containing retinol and glycolic acid also helpful in preventing milia seed recurrence and have anti-aging properties. Avoid skincare that may be too rich for your skin as they have a tendency to cause clogged pores.




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