14 Common Causes of Milia

Milia are tiny cysts or bumps that appear on the skin's surface. Usually, they are small, but there can be many, and they can stand close together. They're generally not painful or itchy but can be red or creamy white. They most often appear on the face but can also appear on the arms, legs, neck, and other areas. This usually happens when keratin becomes trapped under the skin and cannot escape.

The cause of milia is unknown, but certain skin conditions and other health problems can make milia more common or more severe. Knowing the underlying cause of milia can help doctors determine whether or not treatment works best. While milia are usually harmless, they can signify something much worse in the body. Here are 14 common causes of milia.


1. Burns

Milia can appear whenever the skin is damaged. B. Burns can cause milia to appear even after the burn has healed. There are many different types of burns; even mild burns can cause milia to appear. Many people become concerned when they see milia appear, thinking it may be a sign of an infection or other problem.

Milia cannot be treated. If milia develop during burn treatment, treatment may be the cause. In some cases, milia can also be mistaken for blisters. Milia do not require treatment and will disappear once the skin heals or treatment is stopped. Milia should not be painful or cause any burn complications. It may remain long after the burn has healed or disappear shortly after the burn occurs.

2. Blistering

There are many reasons for skin blisters. It can occur after burns, irritations, and infections. Or show up when a person has recently battled an illness. Blisters can be painful and appear as small, fluid-filled bumps on the skin's surface. They may be painful and crack when scratched or touched. Blisters look much like milia but are usually more extensive and more prone to injury.

Milia may appear next to the blisters or in the area after the blisters have disappeared. Milia look like small bumps on the skin's surface but are usually painless. They are also much smaller and appear closer together. Blisters typically go away on their own without any treatment. If the blister becomes painful and seems to be filled with cloudy fluid, antibiotics may be needed to prevent infection.

3. Poison ivy

Poison ivy is a plant that releases oils that can irritate the skin. People who are allergic to the oil may develop a rash if the oil gets on the skin or into the bloodstream. Poison ivy can be severe and spread quickly to other body parts. It can be challenging if it gets in your eyes or infects your bloodstream. Some people are more allergic to poison ivy than others, and some do not react.

Because poison ivy affects the skin, it can also cause milia to appear. In some cases, milia may co-occur with irritation from venom and be mistaken for malignancy. Poison ivy is usually itchy, so milia do not cause pain or itching. The milia will go away once the poison ivy dries up and is no longer a problem.

4. Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a procedure that removes the top layer of skin to help enhance healthy skin and its overall appearance. It is somewhat invasive and may cause some complications. Most people experience only redness and some pressure, but others may experience a more severe reaction. In some cases, milia may appear on the face or even other parts of the body. This is the body's response to the stress and damage caused by dermabrasion.

Once the effects wear off, the side effects of the surgery usually subside, and milia may also disappear. In some cases, milia may persist after other side effects have subsided. If milia appear on the skin during surgery, the esthetician may not want to perform it, fearing it could cause a severe reaction or damage to the skin. In some cases, dermabrasion is used to treat milia.

5. Sun damage

Sunscreen can easily damage the skin and lead to the appearance of milia. Anyone who has ever experienced a severe sunburn knows how bad it can be for the body. Not only is the skin surface of the burn affected, but many other problems can also arise. Some people become highly dehydrated and overheated from sunburn. Some people also develop blisters at the burn site.

If the burn is severe enough, a layer of skin may peel off. Another sunburned collection is Milia. It may appear suddenly when the burn is seen or after the burn has subsided and the skin has healed. Some people experience milia for a long time after a severe sunburn. People with milia may find a burning sensation where the milia are located, causing severe pain.


6. Epidermolysis Bullosa

Epidermolysis bullosa is a condition that affects the body's connective tissue and may leave blisters and open sores all over the body. This can be very painful and dangerous. Because the skin is easily injured, the blisters often burst, and the person is at risk of infection. This infection can be challenging to treat because it can co-occur in different body parts. Many people with this disease will suffer from it for life.

There are mild cases, but there are also many severe cases. It can run in families, and those affected are prone to other skin conditions, including milia. Epidermolysis bullosa cannot be cured, but it can be treated. If infection occurs, it is treated with antibiotics. In many cases, milia appear with other blisters and can often be confused with the overall condition.

7. Scarring Pemphigoid

Scarring pemphigoid is a rare but serious autoimmune disease. It causes blisters and erosions in the mucous membranes. It can be excruciating and dangerous, leaving the patient vulnerable to infection. While it can affect people of any age, it is more common in women and usually occurs later in life. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and people with this disorder may also have other skin problems or conditions.

Blisters are commonly found in or around the eyes and mouth but can also appear on other body parts. Milia may also occur with blisters and sores and even worsen the problem. Most people will need treatment for this condition and antibiotics to prevent or treat the infection. Since the disease is incurable, milia can also be chronic.

8. Porphyria cutanea tarda

Porphyria cutanea tarda is a common skin disorder that causes plaques to appear on the skin. In addition to lesions on the skin, muscle pain, weakness, and numbness in the arms and legs may also occur. Many people only think about sports or injuries when they arise once they become serious. If the condition is not treated, symptoms become more severe and can even be dangerous.

Treatment focuses on the symptoms and avoiding the things that trigger the condition. Since the disease also irritates the skin, milia may occur. Milia, like other spots, can be hard to see, and since they're not painful, they're usually not a problem. Once the condition is under control, the milia will also disappear. Many people have difficulty managing the disease and may develop milia as a side effect of treatment or as an underlying cause at some point in their life.

9. Long-term use of steroid creams

Many people use topical steroid creams to help treat common skin conditions. Steroid creams help strengthen the immune system and skin, making it easier to fight disease and infection, and are a standard treatment for many ailments. The problem with steroid treatment is that the longer it lasts, the more side effects it has. One of the most common side effects of topical steroid creams is milia.

Milia may appear on the area where the steroid cream was applied or elsewhere on the body. Sometimes it can be confused with the skin condition the cream treats, and many people think the correct choice is to use more cream on the bump. This can make things worse and create a cycle. If milia is severe, the doctor may advise the patient to stop using the cream, but most people do not consider milia to be a severe problem.

10. Hormones

Your hormones can significantly impact other areas of your health, including your skin. Your hormone levels can fluctuate for any number of reasons. They can fluctuate when you are sick, your diet changes, you experience puberty, menopause, and even old age. Hormone levels may drop sharply and fluctuate frequently. In many cases, it is easy to pinpoint the root cause of hormone fluctuations. However, in many cases, it takes a lot of time and testing to determine the cause of the hormonal changes.

When hormones change, the body can experience many physical reactions, including the appearance of milia. Once hormone levels return to normal, milia may change or disappear altogether. A doctor may see sudden milia as a sign of something wrong with the body and may consider checking hormone levels to see if the cause is related to hormonal changes.


11. Diet

What you eat is essential to how your body looks and feels. When you eat an unhealthy diet, your body responds in different ways. Eating certain foods can also cause milia to appear. Milia can also occur when your body lacks a specific vitamin or nutrient. Little is known about skin conditions and their relationship to diet, but a clear link does exist.

Some people notice that milia are more noticeable when they eat certain foods or go on a diet. Improving your diet can help reduce the incidence of milia and reduce the redness that may occur. The lump itself may still be there but may not be as severe or noticeable. People who think milia are caused by their diet can seek advice from a nutritionist.

12. Stress

Stress has a physical effect on the body. When you're stressed, your body responds in different ways. Many people experience milia during times of stress. Most people don't realize there is a link between the stress they experience and milia. Some people are so stressed that they don't even know they have milia. People with milia may notice that the condition has worsened, spread to a larger area, or appeared in different places.

Once the person can control the stress, the milia will go away. In most cases, it lasts for a while; in some people, it can last for many years. Some people only notice Milia when they are stressed. Many people recognize this connection and know to be on the lookout for milia outbreaks because it means they know they need to hire someone to relieve stress and take care of their mental health.

13. Genetics

Some people are just more prone to milia than others. Not only does this mean that people are more susceptible to the disease, but it also means that the disease can occur in the same place. This often makes diagnosing the underlying cause more difficult. Because milia may happen for no apparent reason, and if it runs in the family, it may occur for several reasons.

People who have milia and have seen other family members struggle with milia may feel even more insecure. Some people may take the opposite view, arguing that it poses no serious risk, is not harmful to their health, and can be dealt with more efficiently. Just because Milia runs in your family doesn't mean you shouldn't be evaluated and properly diagnosed. It can help doctors determine the underlying cause and rule out other severe skin conditions.

14. Skin problems

Many different skin problems can cause milia to appear. Although milia can appear for no reason, they tend to show up with certain skin conditions. Milia can occur when the skin becomes infected, injured, or irritated. This is a reaction to a skin problem and is not necessarily considered a problem. Some people don't even realize they have a skin problem and are likelier to notice milia than the underlying cause.

Many people seek treatment for milia and then are diagnosed with another skin condition. Sometimes milia go away when the underlying cause is treated, while in other cases, milia can persist for a long time. Milia does not require treatment, but it can be an irritating and embarrassing problem. Some people try different skin treatments to discover an underlying cause they don't know about and to see if the treatment can help clear up milia.