A milium (single for milia) is a small superficial cyst formed in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. They appear as tiny, pearly-white bumps just under the surface of the skin. They contain keratin (skin protein) and are harmless. They are often seen on the face, in particular on the delicate skin around the eyes. They can be prevented or minimized with exfoliating like chemical peels, microdermabrasion or topical retinoids. However, they are sometimes difficult to remove without a physician’s help, since they cannot simply be squeezed out. Often, the surface of the skin has to be pierced first with a lancet, a sharp pointed blade, or a needle, in order to successfully remove the milium. Often a comedone extractor is used to express the milium.
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