Milium Cysts in Adults and Babies 

Milium cysts are reasonably frequent skin diseases that affect both adults and babies. Milium cysts are those little, pearly white pimples that form on the skin. Even though they are usually benign, it is important to know what causes them and how to treat them. We will discuss milium cysts in this blog, including their causes, symptoms, and available treatments for both adults and children.  

How Do Milium Cysts Occur?  

Milium cysts, sometimes called milia, are little white or yellowish-colored, dome-shaped lumps that usually develop on the cheekbones, nose, and area surrounding the eyes. Dead skin cells and sebum, or skin oil, get stuck in tiny pockets close to the skin’s surface, resulting in these cysts. Milia can afflict people of any age, including the elderly and newborns. 

Milium Cysts in Babies: 

Milium cysts in babies are quite common and are often referred to as “baby acne.” Here are some key points to consider: 

  • Neonatal Milia: Many newborns develop milia shortly after birth. These cysts are usually harmless and often disappear on their own within a few weeks. 
  • Eruption on the Face: Baby milia commonly appear on the nose, cheeks, and chin. They can be more pronounced if the baby’s parents have a history of milia. 
  • No Need for Treatment: Typically, no treatment is necessary for neonatal milia. Gently cleansing the baby’s face with warm water and mild baby soap is sufficient. 

Milium Cysts in Adults: 

While milia are more commonly associated with infants, they can also affect adults. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Different Types: In adults, milia can occur in various forms, such as primary milia (occurring spontaneously), secondary milia (resulting from injury or skin damage), and milia en plaque (larger, grouped cysts). 
  • Common Locations: Milia in adults often appear on the face, eyelids, and in some cases, on the genital area. They can also develop on other areas of the body. 
  • Causes: In adults, milium cysts can be triggered by factors like using heavy or greasy skincare products, damage to the skin (e.g., burns or blistering), or long-term sun exposure. 

Recognizing the Symptoms: 

The symptoms of milium cysts are relatively straightforward: 

  • Small Bumps: Milia are characterized by small, white or yellowish bumps on the skin’s surface. They are often painless. 
  • Hard Texture: Milia has a firm, raised texture and are usually not inflamed or red. 
  • Location: The location of milia can vary between adults and babies, but they are most found on the face in both cases. 

What Causes Milium Cysts? 

Understanding the causes of milia can help in prevention and management: 

  • Trapped Skin Cells: The primary cause of milia is the entrapment of dead skin cells just beneath the skin’s surface. In adults, this can be due to damage or injury. 
  • Sweating: Excessive sweating can lead to clogged pores and an increased risk of milia. 
  • Skincare Products: In adults, the use of heavy or oily skincare products can contribute to milium cysts by blocking the pores. 
  • Genetics: A family history of milia may increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing these cysts. 

Treatment Options: 

Both babies and adults can benefit from appropriate treatment of milia: 


Neonatal milia typically resolve on their own. Gently cleanse the baby’s face and avoid using creams or lotions. If they persist or worsen, consult a pediatrician. 


Treatment for milium cysts in adults may include: 

  • Extraction: A dermatologist can manually extract the cyst using a sterilized needle or scalpel. 
  • Topical Retinoids: Prescription creams containing retinoids can help prevent and treat milia. 
  • Chemical Peels: In some cases, chemical peels can aid in exfoliating the skin and preventing milia formation. 
  • Prevention: To prevent milia in adults, choose non-comedogenic skincare products, maintain good facial hygiene, and protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. 

When to Seek Medical Advice? 

In most cases, milia do not require immediate medical attention. However, you should consult a healthcare professional if: 

  • Milia cysts are causing discomfort or self-esteem issues. 
  • They are present in a child or infant for an extended period. 
  • They appear on sensitive areas like the eyes or genitals. 


Milia cysts are common, harmless skin conditions that can affect both babies and adults. While they typically resolve on their own, understanding their causes and available treatment options is essential. Remember that prevention and good skincare practices can go a long way in maintaining healthy, clear skin, whether you’re an infant or an adult. 



Dr Hafsa Ilyas

Onco-Radiologist & Medical Research Writer

Post a Comment