Not all of us have heard about milia. They are also known as milia cysts. These bumps are found in little groups, like clusters on the skin. You might even think they are whiteheads or pimples on your baby, but it’s not that. It’s called milia and they are tiny little white and firm papules on a baby’s skin. Papules is just the medical term for bumps. They’re just underneath the surface of Baby’s skin, a pretty common occurrence in newborn babies.
Milia occurs in people of all ages; not only in newborn babies. You will find them on the face, the cheeks and the eyelids. Don’t confuse milia with what is known as Epstein Pearls in a baby. That’s the little whitish-yellow cysts that you might notice on a baby’s mouth or his gums. Milia in baby’s though is often heard of and spoken of as baby acne. But they are also two different things. Even though milia is also found in adults, we are going to look at milia in a baby, find out more about it and your concerns about it if you have discovered that your baby has it. But first a little bit about baby acne so that you can realize that the two are different, that they look different, and yet the treatment is practically the same.
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Baby acne usually will show up on a baby’s cheeks, sometimes on their chin or foreheads, even their backs. You might notice that it becomes more pronounced when baby is fussing or is hot, sometimes when his skin gets irritated by saliva or his milk he has spat up. It could also be as a result of fabrics like when his clothes have been washed in non-baby too-strong laundry detergents. If a mother is taking certain medications whilst she is breastfeeding or if Baby himself is taking medications, these might be the triggers for baby acne. Sometimes even if the baby product you are using on Baby’s skin might be too oily; blocking his pores and also causing his baby acne. It has been proved that baby boys are more prone to the patches of red bumps called baby can. But this is no doubt because the baby boys will have lower estrogen levels in their bodies. Nevertheless, baby acne as it is called is similar to milia in that it is a painless but common condition. It is unlike milia which appears in a brand new baby; baby acne usually appears 2-3 weeks after birth, but it also will just disappear with time.
Let Milia Be
Right from the beginning though, it should be noted that you as a parent must not try and deal with milia spots on your baby. They might look like tiny little pimples but don’t even begin to try and apply any acne medicine on them or to squeeze them – Never! Milia is a totally normal occurrence in a newborn baby and it’s nothing to worry about – watch your little one and in a few weeks’ time, you will notice they are all gone.
How Is Milia Caused?
It’s actually unknown what causes milia to develop in a newborn baby. People often confuse it with baby acne. But baby acne is something different and something which is triggered off by hormones from mom. Acne can cause inflammation and even swelling, but not milia. The Stanford School of Medicine in California claims that newborns are born with mila whereas baby’s that get baby acne only show up with this quite a few weeks after birth.
One should realize that you get different types of milia too. They are neither itchy nor painful. They might cause a bit of discomfort for some, like for example anything rough against this area might cause the milia to become red or irritated. The various types of milia are classified based at which age in a person they occur or what is the injury to the person that caused the milia to develop.
Neonatal Milia is the one that develops in a brand newborn baby. It is expected to disappear within a few weeks. The milia on a newborn will be seen on the baby’s face, his scalp or his upper torso. The Stanford School of Medicine claims that about 40% of newborn babies will have milia. As we are dealing only with newborn baby milia, we will list the other types of milia for your information and interest if you should so desire. These are:
o Juvenile milia
o Primary milia (in children and adults)
o Milia en Plaque
o Multiple eruptive milia
o Traumatic milia
o Milia that is associated with drugs
You will recognize milia on your baby’s skin by the white colored little bumps. Look at his nose, his cheeks and anywhere on his face, even on his scalp, particularly if he does not have a lot of hair. Sometimes you might even see these bumps in his mouth or his palate. Never fear, this will all disappear by itself. If it has not cleared up by around 3 months of age, you could mention it to your pediatrician who might recommend some cream or ointment for Baby. But generally speaking, there is no particular or established treatment that goes around newborns and milia.
Just Continue Following A Normal Daily Routine with Baby
baby’s basic skin care should include washing his skin with the gentlest of cleansers and warm water. Look at tips on how to look after a baby’s sensitive skin.
Managing The Sign of Milia in Your Baby
There isn’t really any established treatment which is recommended for milia; just a daily skin care routine should be followed. Basic skin care includes washing the baby’s skin with a gentle cleanser and warm water. Don’t rub Baby’s delicate skin when you are drying him, just pat dry with a towel. Then you can moisturize his skin with something like a non-perfumed moisturizer that is oil-free to keep his skin moist.
Don’t worry about milia on baby’s body, it does not hurt him at all, nor does it cause him to want to scratch it. If it does so happen to get scratched, and for that matter if any of a baby’s skin becomes red with swelling, this should be examined by a doctor.
Sometimes it can be upsetting to see such beautiful fresh skin covered in these little bumps, but take comfort that they are not painful, nor contagious.
Does Milia Mean A Child Will Grow Up to Have Acne Later On?
The answer to this is no. A baby that has milia at birth is certainly not destined to get acne as they are growing up. It is genetics that can cause a young person to get acne. So if you as a mom or your partner has it, then it is possible that your baby could have it in his teenage years, when acne is more prevalent in young people.
Don’t Worry and Keep Baby Happy
Milia is definitely not anything serious; they are simply tiny little white pearly cysts on a newborn baby’s very young skin, approximately 1-2 mm in size. There are the two types of milia; primary milia which occurs on normal and healthy skin and secondary milia which is found on skin that is affected by some other skin condition already. You are not likely so see secondary milia in an infant. It generally would occur if there was any injury to the skin. Sometimes milia in a newborn might not only show up on the baby’s face but could even show up on his trunk, his limbs or his penis. But as mentioned above, milia will resolve itself in a couple of weeks and it could even persist until the baby is about 3 months, but nothing to worry about. No treatment is recommended from doctor. It if past 3 months and the milia is determined to be stubborn, the doctor might treat it by giving baby some topical retinoid cream or so to remove it with a sterilized lancet. But there is a rare chance of that happening. Just watch, in a couple of weeks to a couple of months, your baby’s skin is going to look just peachy – guaranteed!