< Q&A < A17469
by Naweko San-Joyz
Are you making these mistakes each time you spot a little white little bump on your face? Fixing those little white bumps starts with a small dose of education and ends with a big dose of prevention. After understanding the five reasons below, your little bumps should give way to clearer skin.
Reason #1: You have no clue what those little white bumps are anyway.
Little white bumps, or milia, are keratin-filled cysts, or simply little globs of protein under the skin. There are generally two types of milia. Primary milia may result from oil glands that have not fully or properly developed. Secondary milia result from trauma to the skin.
Reason #2: You think all little white bumps are acne, and treat them that way.
Just because you have little white bumps on your face does not necessarily mean that you have acne. Milia, are little balls of protein beneath the skin that do not have a pore, or hole in the skin through which to escape.
Comedones or whiteheads are excess fats and wastes that are trapped in a hair follicle and so they clog up the pore. In short, milia are proteins trapped within the skin, while comedones are fats and skin debris trapped within the pore.
Exfoliating the skin, or removing the dead skin cells from your skin with an abrasive product or chemical, is beneficial. But brutally scrubbing your face with soaps and chemicals too frequently may actually create milia. To avoid this, remember that gentle exfoliation helps prevent excess dead skin cell build-up that could clog your pores and cause whiteheads, not milia.
This gentle exfoliation helps make eventual removal of the milia easier because the skin layer around the milia becomes thinner, with frequent, yet gentle exfoliation. In short, Exfoliate your skin to prevent milia, not to cure them.
Reason # 3 You have no idea what causes those little white bumps anyway.
When you were a baby, you were probably covered with milia that disappear after a few days. Or, you may have inherited milia from your parents.
On the other hand, you may develop milia after excessive exposure to the sun. The reasons for developing milia after sun exposure are debatable. According to some studies, the active ingredients sunscreens like Parsol 1789 may cause sun allergies and later lead to a milia breakout. Other studies blame the sun itself for “damaging” the skin can thus causing little white bumps.
Some people experience milia around the mouth. This could be the result of fluoride irritation from toothpaste.
Reason # 4: No one ever told you how to prevent milia.
The best way to prevent milia is to avoid treating your skin with excessively harsh chemicals and to limit sun exposure.
To reduce creating milia around the eyes, use eye creams with the least amount of ingredients possible to avoid irritating the delicately thin eye area. Also, gently touch the eyes and avoid rubbing the eyes vigorously so as not to damage the skin.
When brushing you teeth, try to keep the pasty foam from staying around your mouth too long. This limits possible fluoride irritation to the skin.
Use a sunscreen with the least amount of ingredients. Extraneous ingredients like fragrances may irritate your skin. Additionally, purchase sunscreens that offer physical sun blockage that contain active ingredients like titanium oxide or zinc oxide.
Reason #5: You still want to know what you can do right now to get rid of milia.
The key to getting rid of milia is realizing that they have no escape route, those little bumps are trapped under the skin. So, to get them out, you’ll need to have a professional like a dermatologist or aesthetician extract them. You can extract the milia yourself, but this involves risks.
Precautions You need to ensure that you milia are not symptoms of some underlying disease or illness. Also, if you extract the milia yourself, you may have trouble completely pulling out the cysts, as the removable process may prove too painful.
Otherwise, if you are confident with your health and courage, you can cleanse your hands and face. Then wet a cloth with warm water and apply it to your face for a few minutes. Gently apply a sterile needle to the center of the little white bump to create a tiny opening in the skin.
Wrap your thumbs in a clean tissue and, using your thumbs, proceed to gently squeeze the contents of the little white bump out. Finally, cleanse the area of the extracted little white bump with an astringent.
Now, you have no reason to walk around with little white bumps on your face. If you still think you do, please consider the possibility that you’re just telling yourself little white bumpy lies.