What Causes Milia?

Most commonly for women they are formed when dead skin don’t slough off normally but instead remains trapped in a tiny, round pocket on the surface of the skin, pores get blocked and Milia turn up.

An individual Milium (the singular of Milia) is formed at the base of a hair follicle or sweat gland.

Milia can be categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary Milia are formed when sloughed-off skin cells get trapped and this causes the fluid-filled cysts to appear, Secondary Milia are also tiny fluid-filled cysts and look similar, but are caused by something more damaging to the skin like a burn or blister that blocks the skin’s ducts.

Milia don’t appear to be related to different lifestyles or diets and can happen at any time to anyone – the luck of the draw. They are certainly not infectious and are not caused by poor hygiene.

Blackheads and other pore related conditions like chronic sun damage can cause the skin to thicken exacerbating enlarged pores and can then cause Milia.

Ultimately anything that clogs skin ducts and stops things escaping to the surface and interferes with natural exfoliation of the skin can cause Milia.