Milia, also called milk spots, are little white or yellowish bumps that commonly appear around and under the eyes. They can also appear on the nose, cheeks, forehead and chest.
Basically, milia are keratin-filled cysts that are considered unsightly but harmless. They are quite common in newborn babies (often disappear within a few weeks), but can affect people of all ages. In adults, the condition may persist for months, even years.
The problem occurs when the skin cannot remove dead skin cells, thereby causing clogged pores. It can be caused by factors like use of heavy, pore-clogging skin care products, sun damage, blistering injuries, and long-term use of steroid creams.
Though milia cysts are generally neither itchy nor painful, they tend to mar your beauty. Some simple, natural home remedies can help you get rid of them.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for milia.
1. Facial Sauna
A facial sauna is useful in treating milia and unclogging pores as it helps loosen and remove dead skin cells and debris.
- Soak a clean towel in hot water and wring out the excess water. Place the towel on your face for a few minutes and then remove it. Repeat a couple of times. Do this daily for about a week or a little more.
- Alternatively, you can steam your face for 10 to 15 minutes daily until the condition clears. You can apply apple cider vinegar or castor oil after this steam treatment.
Honey helps treat milia due to its antioxidant and humectant properties (retains moisture and avoids dryness). It also can be combined with other ingredients to make a facial scrub to exfoliate your skin and reduce milia.
- Simply spread honey, preferably raw honey, on your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off. Do this daily until you see improvement.
- Alternatively, mix two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of jojoba oil. Apply it on your face and wash it off after 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat daily or three or four times a week until you see improvement.
- You can also add one tablespoon of granulated sugar and three tablespoons of oatmeal to the above mixture to make a facial scrub. Use it to gently scrub your skin for several minutes and then rinse it off. Repeat once or twice a week, until the bumps are gone.
3. Sandalwood and Rose Water
A combination of sandalwood and rose water helps get rid of excess oil and removes dead skin cells, thereby reducing milia as well.
- Mix two tablespoons of sandalwood powder with sufficient rose water to make a smooth paste.
- Spread this paste evenly on your skin and leave it on for about 15 minutes.
- Wash it off with cool water and then pat dry your face.
- Do this daily for a few weeks.
4. Pomegranate Peel Powder
Using roasted pomegranate peel powder is another popular home remedy for milia due to its antioxidant and exfoliating properties. Being rich in vitamin C, it is also good for your skin. It will also help soothe acne and pimples.
- Roast some pomegranate peels until they become dark brown and brittle, and then crush them into a powder.
- Add a little lemon juice or rose water to two tablespoons of the powder to make a paste.
- Gently rub it on your face. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
- Follow this remedy a few times a week until the bumps disappear.
5. Castor Oil
Castor oil has natural healing and antibacterial properties and also helps control oil production, thereby curing a number of skin problems including acne and milia.
- Simply apply one-half teaspoon of castor oil on your face and leave it on until it is completely absorbed in the skin. Do this daily for several months.
- You can also use a mixture of equal parts of castor oil and olive oil in the same way.
- Alternatively, you can apply a paste of one teaspoon of castor oil and enough baking soda on the affected area. Leave it on for a few hours and then wash it off. Repeat daily for about two weeks.
6. Sugar Scrub
Using a simple sugar scrub can prove highly beneficial in getting rid of milia as it exfoliates the skin. Furthermore, this recipe includes lemon juice and olive oil that make your skin softer and brighter.
- Squeeze out the juice from one-quarter to one-half piece of lemon and mix it with two tablespoons of granulated sugar and one teaspoon of olive oil.
- Gently scrub this mixture onto your skin for a few minutes.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off.
- Do this twice a week for a few months.
7. Cornstarch and Vinegar
A combination of cornstarch and vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar, is another useful remedy to do away with whitehead-type milia. Cornstarch absorbs excess oil and vinegar works as an astringent.
- Add enough cornstarch to one teaspoon of vinegar to make a paste.
- Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the paste with a washcloth soaked in warm water and then rinse your skin.
- Do this daily until your bumps are gone. In most cases, it shows positive results within a few days.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Regular application of tea tree oil can help dry up the small white milia bumps. Moreover, it works as a natural disinfectant for your skin.
You just need to clean your face thoroughly and then dab a little tea tree essential oil on the affected area once daily, preferably at night before going to bed. Rinse your face in the morning. Continue this home treatment until you see improvement.
9. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has soothing, healing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help treat milia easily. It also helps open up the skin’s pores.
- Massage the affected area with fresh succulent gel extracted from an aloe vera leaf. Leave it on overnight and wash it off in the morning. Do this twice daily until the bumps disappear. It usually shows positive results within a few days.
- You can also apply a combination of equal parts of aloe vera gel and green tea. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and then rinse it off. It is particularly good for the area around the eyes as it helps fade dark circles, too.
10. Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek leaves are extensively used in Ayurveda as a beauty aid to get rid of acne breakouts, blackheads, milia, boils, and blemishes. They have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Grind a handful of fresh fenugreek leaves along with a little water.
- Spread the paste on your face.
- Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off.
- Repeat daily until the bumps are gone.
In addition to using these home remedies, follow certain measures like avoiding the use of harsh chemicals on your skin, reducing sun exposure, and cleaning your skin twice daily. Plus, drink plenty of water, fresh juices, and even herbal teas (green tea, in particular) to flush toxins from your body.
For milia on newborn babies, just wash the baby’s skin daily with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft, clean towel.