Causes of milia

Milia are tiny white lumps that sometimes come up on babies’ faces soon after birth.

Milia are caused by a collection of dead cells (keratin) from the top layer of skin getting trapped just below the skin’s surface.

Symptoms of milia

Milia show up primarily on babies’ noses and cheeks, but they can appear anywhere on their faces. The lumps are usually less than 1 mm across, but they can measure up to 3 mm.

Milia don’t hurt or itch.

When to see a doctor about milia

If you notice redness, swelling or crusting around the lumps, take your child to see your GP.

Treatment for milia

You don’t need to treat milia with creams or ointments, because they’ll go away by themselves without any treatment. They usually go away within weeks to months after birth.

They don’t leave scars so don’t try to burst them. Be patient and wait for them to go away naturally.

Milia prevention

Milia are hard to prevent, but it can help to gently wash your baby’s face every day and pat dry. Avoid pinching, squeezing or scrubbing the lumps.