Have you noticed white, raised bumps on your skin that just don’t seem to go away and are neither pimples nor a rash? In such a case you probably have milia, or “milk spots” as they are colloquially known – small, white, raised bumps that usually appear on the nose and cheeks.
Usually found in babies, milia is not uncommon among grownups, either. Although you may feel alarmed if you don’t know what they are, they are actually not dangerous. Read up on how and why they appear, as well as how to easily get rid of them.
What causes milk spots?
Milk spots appear when keratin, a protein found in human skin, gets trapped underneath the outer layer of skin, resulting in visible white bumps.
In adults, milia might appear due to a pre-existing skin condition such as burns or blisters, long exposure to the sun, use of steroid creams, and repeated skincare procedures, like laser treatments for example.
Not only are milk spots not dangerous to your health, they are rarely even irritating or itchy at all. Many, however, find their presence discomforting and they might make people feel self-conscious.
While milia can be removed using lasers or surgical procedures, those aren’t the only options. Check out the simplest, cheapest, and most natural ways to get rid of it.
1. Fenugreek leaves
Fenugreek leaves are known for their antiseptic and antioxidant properties, and are used to prevent breakouts of acne in many cultures. Take a handful of fresh fenugreek leaves, grind them into a paste with some water before spreading the paste on the affected areas and letting it sit for 15 minutes before washing off.
You can apply raw honey onto your face to moisturize the afflicted areas and provide them with much-needed antioxidants. For optimal results, repeat every day for 15-20 minutes before washing the honey off.
3. Oatmeal scrub
Although it can be purchased in stores, you can easily make your own facial scrub at home, too! Take 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and honey and 3 tablespoons of oatmeal. Mix them up to make a face scrub that you can use daily to unclog pores and eradicate milk spots.
4. Sugar lemon juice scrub
For this homemade scrub, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Scrub your face and let the mixture sit on your skin for 20 minutes before washing off. This should go a long way in breaking up and unclogging pores that are trapping milia.
5. Cornstarch and apple cider vinegar
These two can be considered a dream team: cornstarch absorbs excess skin oils while apple cider vinegar gets into pores and cleans the face. Combined, they make a paste that you can spread, let it sit for 25 minutes before removing it.
6. Pomegranate peel powder
Source:THOR via Flickr
Pomegranate peel is a common ingredient in many skin remedies – when powdered, the peel helps exfoliate and has numerous antioxidant properties that help breakup milk spots. To make the powder, roast the peels until they’re brown, then mash them. Add lemon juice for extra skin benefits. Rub the powder on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes, three times a week.
Perhaps the simplest method of all, steaming your face is a straightforward process that you can do at home. It will unclog pores and get any debris or dead skin cells off your face. Soak a towel in hot water and squeeze out the excess, then set the towel across your face for several minutes. Repeat this a few times for optimal results.
8. Tea tree oil
This all-natural oil is a great solution for milia. You might not be able to make this at home, but it is quite affordable and its antibacterial properties make it well worth it. Coat any affected areas spots overnight and then give your face a good wash in the morning.
Source:Marc Wellekötter via Flickr
Perhaps it sounds unexpected or downright bizarre, but rubbing a tomato over your milk spots will truly help clear them up. Just sprinkle a tomato slice with sugar (this will make it more of an exfoliant) and rub it over the spots. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C which will make your skin glow and milia vanish. Keep up with this routine for at least a month.
10. Clay mask
Another one that you can’t make at home, but it’s not a large investment and it is well worth the buy. The mask removes the dead cells and helps reduce the milk spots on your face. It should also leave your skin soft, smooth, and glowing.
Toothpastes contain fluoride, which helps aleviate the symptoms associated with milia. Rub a dab of toothpaste on the affected area spots and let it sit for 25 minutes. If it burns slightly, this is natural!
In mind that in adults, it might take a month or two of following one of these routines for results to become visible. Find the remedy that works for you and your skincare routine, and then keep plugging away with it!
* This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.