WTF Are Those White Bumps on my Skin and How Do I Get Rid of Them?

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On top of all the skin problems I've ever had - acne in awkward places, seriously dark circles under my eyes, unmentionable hair growth - there was one, tiny thing I could never seem to figure out. WTF were those tiny white spots always popping up under my eyes, and should I be worried?

After realizing that no, they weren't acne and you definitely shouldn't try to pop them, I did some research on why these spots were appearing on my face and if I should go see my dermatologist. Turns out these pesky little spots that seem to stick around forever are called milia and they're extremely common. But why were they happening?

What Exactly Is Milia?

For my fellow white dot friends of the world, milia is a small, white cyst that form a bump on your skin and appears most often on your cheeks or your nose. According to Health Line, milia is a result of keratin, a strong protein we typically find in our hair, skin and nails, getting trapped underneath the skin and forming white bumps.

Milia happens a lot in babies, but there is no age-limit for when it can crop up. You can see it in your teens and even in late adulthood.
Acne in women

What Causes It?

Keratin gets trapped under your skin causing milia cysts for a variety of reasons. If you've experienced blistering because of a skin condition, you can see these bumps start to crop up. Burns, and skin procedures like dermabrasion or laser resurfacing also cause milia. If you're one to use a steroid cream, and you've been using it for a while, milia is common and it can also come from long-term sun damage.

Bet you wish you listened to your mom about that sunscreen now.

How You Get Rid of It

For the most part, milia will go away on its own though it takes a bit longer to disappear than a pimple. But if you're impatient to get those weird white spots off of your face, there are a few remedies to try.

Bustle says that natural products like honey can be used for milia. Because honey has antioxidants, it can help with retaining your skin's moisture and preventing keratin from building up on your face.
bowl of honeyRetinod creams which contain vitamin A are also a great way to get rid of skin irritations, milia included, but you will need a prescription from your dermatologist. While you're at your derm, you can also ask them to deroof the milia, which involves using a sterile needle to basically pop the cyst and get rid of the keratin build up. While you may be tempted to do this at home, it's much easier to contract an infection if you're not letting a professional do it.

If you've got white bumps popping up on your face every once and a while, just know you're not slowly morphing into some strange, radioactive creature. Milia happens to the best of us, which is why it's a great idea to make sure just about everything you use has SPF to help prevent it in the future.

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