While mostly occurring on a baby’s face, milia may also occur on the upper trunk, limbs, penis, or mucus membranes.
The tiny papules on the facial skin of newborns are visible with any normal physical examination. And doctors can easily diagnose the condition on clinical findings alone.
Milia normally disappears within the first few weeks of a newborn’s life, but the condition sometimes lasts and spreads throughout the whole body.
Some babies develop baby acne, seen as small red bumps and pustules on the cheeks, chin, and forehead. This can happen with or without milia.
Treating Milia in Newborn Babies
Milia disappears on its own, usually within the first month of life. Some cases may persist into the second or third month. While sometimes a cause of concern for parents, milia in newborn babies is benign. Parents need reassurance of that fact. No systemic complications have been documented regarding milia. Aside from being benign, these lesions are also asymptomatic.
Milia can be treated with simple surgical intervention although this is generally not done. Doctors can surgically treat milia adults by creating a tiny incision using a scalpel blade and a little pressure applied with a comedone extractor or curette.
Some home remedies to make a baby’s skin look its best can help. Wash your baby’s face daily with warm water and mild/hypoallergenic baby soap or cleanser. To gently dry their face, simply pat their skin dry. Pinching and scrubbing the bumps should be avoided. That may cause more irritation or infection. Avoid using lotions or oils on your baby’s face.
The phenomenon known as milia happens in up to 50% of newborn babies worldwide. The tiny white bumps that appear on a baby’s cheeks, forehead, nose, or cheeks can occur at any age, but are more common in newborns. Milia occurs because of keratin retention in the baby’s skin.
Because milia is benign (having no harmful effects), it is usually not treated. The skin condition usually resolves within a month after a baby is born.
It is usually the parents who worry about milia in newborn babies, but the condition requires no treatment. If parents wish, they can gently wash their baby’s face with mild baby soap and gently pat the skin dry after. Any pinching or scrubbing can lead to further skin irritation or infection. Despite the best intentions of worried parents, it is best to leave milia to dissipate on their own.
Click here for more on baby’s first year.
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