Milia is one of the most common skin conditions to affect people in the world. More commonly known as “milk spots,” these pesky little white raised bumps on the skin affect more than three million people in the U.S. each year! Though these bumps most typically affect newborns, people of all ages can develop milk spots — and struggle with getting rid of them.
In an exclusive guide below, we’ll break down the nature of this condition. You’ll also get a glimpse of the causes that are most commonly associated with milk spots, including pre-existing skin conditions and harsh skin damage, like burns and prolonged sun exposure.
But just like with other irritating skin conditions, there are certainly gentle, all-natural remedies that can be used to diminish the appearance of milk spots!
What Are Milk Spots?
Milia — or “milk spots,” as the skin condition is more commonly known — are small, white raised bumps that normally occur on the surface of the nose and cheeks. According to Healthline, the bumps occur when keratin, a key protein that makes up the outer layer of human skin, becomes trapped underneath the skin.
People of all ages can develop milk spots, but they are most often found in newborns. Little white bumps will typically cover their faces, eyelids, and cheeks, and the condition is sometimes referred to as “baby acne.”
To this day, doctors still aren’t 100 percent certain why milk spots appear in babies. It could have something to do with the mother’s hormones, but some dermatologists think it’s caused by the baby’s undeveloped skin glands.
What Are The Causes?
Adults may develop milk spots due to various reasons, typically caused by some sort of damage to the skin.
According to Healthline, it may appear due to some pre-existing skin condition, or may be a side effect of burns, blistering, longterm sun damage and use of steroid creams, and even repeated skincare procedures, like lasers and dermabrasion.
Though usually not itchy, painful, or inflamed, milk spots can cause some people discomfort, and raise their self-consciousness.
Unlike babies, older children and adults need a few months to clear up the spots. Some people opt to undergo more rigorous treatments that involve extreme heat, surgical incisions, peels, and lasers.
Below, we’ll go through a few all-natural remedies to help reduce the appearance of milk spots that are certainly less abrasive and less costly.
Remedy #1: Sugar Lemon Juice Scrub
Lemons have fantastic antibacterial, antiseptic, bleaching, and antioxidant properties. They’re pretty much always go-to’s when it comes to natural skincare remedies.
To make this easy scrub, combine 2 Tbsps. of sugar (which will act as the exfoliant agent), half of one lemon’s juice, and 1 tsp. of olive oil.
Gently scrub your face with this mixture, leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes, and wash it off.
Remedy #2: Raw Honey
Honey is a humectant, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the air. When applied onto the skin, it will help retain this moisture, and prevent dryness.
LIVESTRONG recommends using raw honey as an ideal moisturizing facial scrub to help exfoliate the top layer of the skin, and help remove the little bumps.
Try combining raw honey with sugar to make the scrub, or with jojoba oil.
Remedy #3: Castor Oil
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative medicine physician, castor oil is an effective, multipurpose ingredient that’s been known to treat conditions like constipation, asthma, and bladder infections.
Castor oil has natural healing and antibacterial properties, and helps to control oil production of the skin. This makes it an ideal natural ingredient to treat skin conditions like acne and milia.
To use, try mixing equal parts castor and olive oil, and apply the mask on your face. Leave it on until it is completely absorbed, then wash off.
Remedy #4: Steam Your Face
Steam is a great way to rid the skin of impurities.
According to LIVESTRONG, steaming the face can promote better blood circulation, and help unclog pores and remove all the nasty gunk and dead skin cells.
Simply rinse a towel in hot water, and squeeze out the excess water. Gently press the towel on your face for a couple of minutes and remove.
Remedy #5: Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can also provide a soothing solution for milk spots.
It works like a natural disinfectant for the skin, and has wonderful antibacterial and antifungal properties, which will help clear the skin of any infections, and help dry out the milk spots, according to EnkiVillage.
After washing your face, apply tea tree oil to the areas with milk spots. Leave it on overnight, and give it a good rinse in the morning.
Remedy #6: Pomegranate Peel Powder
Roasted pomegranate peel powder is an incredibly popular milk spot remedy, because it has strong antioxidant and exfoliating properties.
To use, take a couple of pomegranate peels, and roast them until they’re nice and brown. Crush into a fine powder, and, if you’d like, you can mix in some lemon juice.
Apply this mask to your face, and let it sit for about 15 minutes, before rinsing it off. Do this for a few weeks, until the bumps have disappeared.
Remedy #7: Cornstarch And Apple Cider Vinegar
Cornstarch is yet another fantastic natural ingredient that can help the skin absorb excess oil.
When combined with apple cider vinegar (which, as we know by now, has magical health benefits), it can become a great remedy to remove whitehead-type milk spots.
Combine the two ingredients to make an astringent paste, and apply it to the affected areas. Leave the mask on for about 25 minutes, then rinse off.
Remedy #8: Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek leaves are known for their antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, according to WebMD.
In many cultures, they are used to help soothe acne breakouts, blackheads, boils, milk spots, and other common blemishes.
To use, grab a handful of fresh fenugreek leaves, and grind it with water. Spread the paste on your face, and leave it on for 15 minutes, before rinsing off.
Remedy #9: Remove Makeup Before Bed
There are some general skincare tips that will help keep your skin clean and clear.
It’s crucial to wash your face twice a day, to moisturize your skin, and to sustain a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
In addition, remember to remove all of your makeup before going to bed. Sleeping in your makeup will expose your face to free radicals, which will harm the healthy collagen in your skin.
Dirty makeup can also clog up your pores while you sleep, which, as we all know, contributes to acne and other skin irregularities.
Remedy #10: Stay Away From Direct Sunlight
Lastly, there are some ways you can take precautions against a future milk spot breakout.
Try to stay away from using heavy cosmetics, don’t touch your face, never scratch or try to pop the spots, and, very importantly, try to stay away from harsh sunlight.
Prolonged sun exposure can aggravate milia and further damage the skin