Getting up and close to the magnifying mirror can reveal the little blemishes on the skin, like little, skin-colored bumps that are formed on and around the eyelids and lash line.
While they may appear like a whitehead or a pimple, actually these bumps are completely benign and harmless but can get in the way of getting a great cat’s-eye. Here’s why these bumps or milia keep popping up and how one can deal with them effectively.
Something is trapped under the skin
Sometimes getting confused with skin tags or whiteheads, these harmless bumps, also known as milia, are incredibly resilient and can stay for weeks, months or sometimes even longer.
Milia can appear from oil glands that have not properly formed, and instead of the skin shedding like it usually does, it gets trapped and subsequently becomes a bump.
According to New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD, small white bumps around the eyelid or lash line are normally milia cysts which develop when keratin proteins that form the external skin layer are trapped under the skin surface after some time.
The most commonly occurring little, skin-colored bumps located around the eyes are milia; syringomas, which result from sweat duct tumors; and xanthelasma, which are formed by cholesterol excretion from under the skin.
These are quite similar to each other in appearance and a skin care specialist can help to tell them apart.
Makeup might make it worse
Milia can also appear due to the pore-clogging cosmetics, skin products such as sunscreen, creams, or even exposure to sun.
According to the New York oculoplastic surgeon Irene Glastein, MD, while eyeliners, eye creams, or concealers could be the reason of their formation, milia can also form in people who don’t use cosmetics or skin care products at all.
It is best not to be too bummed about those weird white bumps because there is good news.
Stick to a proper skin care plan, including washing face regularly, to see the lessening of the appearance of milia and also improvement in quality, elasticity, and overall wellness of the skin.
Avoid heavy products
The skin on and around the eyelids is quite slender and more prone to develop milia because of pore-clogging lotions and creams that may hinder the natural shedding of the dead skin. Washing the face and exfoliating on regular basis may help thwart formation of bumps.
Because of the role of the entrapped oil residue in the formation of milia, it is best not to use oil-based cosmetic removers and creams. According to Dr. Gladstein, one might also choose transitioning from heavy makeup and skin products to the ones with thinner formulations such as lotions or gels.
Remove the makeup each night by washing with a soft cleanser with deep-cleansing properties.
Try steaming the face
Homemade treatments such as facial steaming with a facial tea that has a combination of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, exfoliating or oil-managing elements may be useful in treating milia and opening pores as it helps remove dead skin cells.
The mix of herbs can fight oiliness and further soften the skin. Things like pomegranate peel, aloe, sandalwood, castor oil and rose water can be helpful, according to Dr. Gladstein.
These may not be ideal remedy but they will maintain smooth skin, which helps to deal with milia.
A doctor can help
Milia will usually subside on their own, sometimes in weeks and sometimes longer. However, if the bumps on the eyelid or lash line stay for longer, consult with a doctor to diagnose the cause and to suggest a treatment plan.
Typically, doctors can simply extract the filling of the milia, which will result in shrinking down of milia. In case they keep popping up, remedies including topical application, lasers or chemical peels are an option.