Are you wondering about dots under the eyes? They might be something known as milia. Up to half of all US newborns have the skin condition, although it usually clears up in a couple of weeks. The small white bumps appear on the nose and cheeks, but can also show up in other areas. While the skin condition is more common among newborns, adults can also get the condition. As with other skin conditions, it’s important to know the symptoms, causes, and treatments for the white dots. This can help you deal with it as effectively as possible and even prevent it.
Milia is caused by various factors. Health experts aren’t sure why newborns get the condition although it’s often mistaken for baby acne. Meanwhile, in the case of adults, the main cause is usually a situation related to skin damage. Since these are two different situations it’s critical to know about the causes and treatments for newborns, older children, and adults. There are several kinds of milia so the first step is to diagnose the variety first so skin doctors can then determine which treatment is most effective. There are different types of treatments, including heat, freezing, and chemicals.
What Exactly Are Milia?
There are two main kinds. They include the small white bumps that affect newborns and those that affect older children and adults. It’s unknown why newborns get milia. In many cases, it’s misdiagnosed as acne. A mother’s hormones trigger that condition.
A big difference is milia doesn’t trigger inflammation/swelling. Another difference is baby acne typically doesn’t appear until 2-4 weeks following birth. Meanwhile, infant milia are usually in-born.
When older kids/adults get milia, it’s usually connected to various kinds of skin damage. This can be related to different skin conditions, including poison ivy, sun damage, burns, laser treatments, steroid creams, etc.
The skin also happens among older adults due to the body being unable to remove dead skin cells. When this happens milia can form.
There are several types of milia that people can experience. They’re based on various factors like the patient’s age and the bumps’ conditions. There are various kinds of milia that people can experience. So people must know the basic causes.
The main kinds of primary and secondary milia. Both types are quite similar. Primary milia result from trapped keratin. The cysts usually show up on infants/adult’s faces.
Meanwhile, secondary milia have a similar look but happen after the ducts going to the skin’s surface get clogged up. This can happen after an injury, blister, burn, and so on.
Various technical differences cause white bumps. This affects whether infants, kids, or adults get the milia. There are different symptoms and causes. They’re very technical issues although it’s good to know the basics so you’ll have a sense of what kind of milia you have and how to treat it.
This skin condition is diagnosed when the doctor examines the skin. This helps to determine if you have milia based on how the cysts look. Biopsies are usually not required.
White Dots Under Eyes: Symptoms, Diagnoses, and Treatment
White dots under eyes or primary milia on infants include 1mm to 2mm bumps around areas on the face like the eyes, nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead. They can also show up in other areas like arms and legs.
Meanwhile, other age groups can have milia that look like many other skin conditions. They include:
- Cancerous tumors
- Age-related warts
- Sweat duct tumors
- Fat buildup
If your skin doctor thinks you have milia he’ll do a checkup and order tests. This can help to determine if you have milia and if so what kind you have. The diagnosis is based on factors like how the cysts appear. In most cases, biopsies aren’t required.
There are various treatment options. In the case of infant milia, it usually goes away within a few weeks or so. No treatment is needed in this situation.
If babies have milia then regular skincare usually is suggested. This includes daily face washing using baby soap and warm water. It’s important to avoid using lotions/oils.
In most cases, it’s recommended that milia bump not be treated. It’s important to avoid scrubbing/pinching them to prevent infection.
Parents should talk to their baby’s doctor if they have any questions/concerns about the child’s skin. This is related to rashes or other issues.
Meanwhile, usually, milia go away within a couple of months among older kids and adults. If the cysts cause discomfort then various treatments can be helpful to get rid of them. They include:
- Deroofing (sterile needle)
- Chemical peels
- Surgical scraping
- Freezing (liquid nitrogen
- Heat treatments
- Retinoids (Vitamin A)
- Laser treatments
The main takeaway is that milia don’t cause long-term issues. The cysts usually disappear among newborns within a couple of weeks. The process might take longer among older kids/adults. However, the good news is milia aren’t considered to be dangerous or harmful. However, contact your doctor if it lasts 2+ weeks.
White Dots Under Eyes: Top Tips to Prevent Milia
Avoid strong chemicals
That includes options like chemical treatments. While these treatments can be effective they also involve strong chemicals. That, in turn, can cause various issues like skin breakouts. That’s a situation you’ll want to avoid. It’s better to go with over-the-counter (OTC) retinol instead of retinoids, for example.
Exfoliate 2x to 3X per week
This is an important step since it removes dead skin cells. The buildup of skin cells can cause various health issues you’ll want to avoid. You can reduce your risk of skin conditions like milia by exfoliating up to 3x per week. Make sure to avoid strong chemicals and harsh scrubbing since it could cause skin irritation.
This isn’t exactly related to prevention but is still a good approach to take. It’s important to get to the nitty-gritty of whatever is causing the milia whether it’s a skin condition or injury. This can help to treat milia effectively and help to prevent outbreaks.
Avoid thick creams
The key is to avoid thick products since you’ll be more likely to experience skin conditions that could trigger milia. Besides thick creams, you should also minimize the use of oil-based products. Both of these steps can help to reduce your risk of milia.
Minimize sun exposure
UV rays are one of the main causes of various skin conditions. So it’s important to minimize the condition as much as possible. There are various steps you can take including reducing how much sun exposure you get during the day. This is especially true during the hottest part of the day, which is from 11 AM to 2 PM.
If you’ll be spending lots of time outdoors you should consider wearing SPF 30+ sunscreen to reduce the risk of dots under the eyes.