[6 MINUTE READ]
Sometimes people just aren't talking about the very skin issues that seem to plague your everyday. For our contributor Amy, this is definitely the case.
Amy has suffered from milia on eye since she can remember and this week she decided to share her experience with all of our lovely readers; from what the condition actually is to what treatments are available, Amy has got you covered this week. Just keep reading!
Amy has eczema-prone, sensitive skin and suffers from milia on her eye, eyelids and face.
When I was about eleven, I was playing in the courtyard at school and suddenly a boy approached me and asked what all those “little white spots around my eyes” were. I vividly remember this because, firstly, I recall the embarrassment and acute awareness that somebody had taken notice of my appearance and, secondly, because I couldn’t believe he had the audacity to ask me about it so directly.
However, I think I knew then and definitely understand now, that no offence was intended by him. It was more genuine curiosity. Regardless, I very quickly (and probably rather bossily too) educated him, telling him that "those white spots" were called milia or known to others as milk spots. I told him that they were harmless and there was nothing I could do to get rid of them. The boy just stared at me, shrugged and moved on.
I have no idea how I knew this information at such a young age, but about a year later, I was at the beauticians with my mum when she was getting her eyebrows waxed and I noticed a poster. The poster showed different skin conditions with images and labels, including milia on eye. Later on, my mum enquired about the condition on my behalf. Before long, I was back at the beauticians receiving milia on eye treatment that would remove the milk spots from my face.
I remember a small machine that loosely resembled a handset with some sort of needle or metal tool at the end of the cord. The beautician very gently pierced each one of my milia by my eyes and nose – the nose ones being the ones that made me wince – I still remember being very proud that I didn’t cry!
The feeling was a stingy, sharp pinprick pain and I remember that the machine beeped a lot. Following the treatment, each milium went red, flaky and gradually fell off. Despite the treatment working at the time, many years later, at the age of 22 I still very much suffer from milia by my eyes and nose.
Whilst I have met other people who have experienced milia by their eyes, I am yet to meet someone who has experienced such a large amount. Whilst the milia on my face has decreased and become less noticeable over time, I am now at the age where-as I pay more attention to my skincare and beauty routine- they are bothering me more than ever.
So, what actually is milia on eye?
Milia by definition, are little cysts that typically form in clusters around your eyes, nose and cheeks and fill with keratin. The condition affects people of all ages and ethnicities. Milia occurs when keratin, which is a strong protein that aids your hair, skin and nails, gets trapped beneath the skin surface. Milia on the face can be genetic and is incredibly common in babies. Whilst for some they disappear after a few weeks, as I know firsthand they often don’t and can reoccur in adulthood.
Can I remove milia on my face?
Essentially, there are a couple of ways to remove milia on your face. The milia treatment I had is known as extracting or deroofing. It is a method of piercing the cysts and safely removing the keratin build up. However, it is not the only treatment available.
More and more, people are using chemical peels or cryotherapy to rid themselves of milia on eyelids and milia on the face. These peels use liquid nitrogen to freeze and take away the milium. However, these treatments should be considered carefully due to the hypersensitivity of the eye area and the potential for scarring in that region of the face.
If you are considering milia treatment it is important to note that none of these treatments ensures permanent distinction, meaning that having treatment does not guarantee the milia on your eyelids or face won’t return.
Overall, milia on the face are often not talked about as frequently as other skin conditions or sensitivities, perhaps because while they are incredibly annoying, milia tend to be pretty harmless... The most important thing to remember about the condition is that if you do suffer from milia on eye or milia on eyelids, do not remove them yourself! Squeezing or piercing them at home can leave you with permanent scars due to the hypersensitive skin area, so just leave it to the experts.
For now, if you’re a milia fighter like me, I’ll be keeping you posted as I continue my hunt for the perfect remedy, treatment, or products, so be sure to stay tuned!
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WHERE — London
PHOTOGRAPHY — Carolina G-M
THOUGHTS BY— Amy Arfi
EDITED BY— Gabriela Godinho-Moxon
AS ALWAYS ALL OPINIONS ARE OUR OWN