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Bumps Outside of the Eye

Bumps Outside of the Eye Bumps Outside of the Eye Bumps Outside of the Eye

Overview

If you have bumps outside of your eye, you may have milia. These tiny white bumps commonly appear on infants' faces, but they can develop in anyone at any time, according to MayoClinic.com. Fortunately, milia aren't usually a sign of a serious health problem and they tend to dissipate without any need for medical treatment.

Cause

Milia form when dead skin remains in small, round pockets at the skin's surface. Miliar come in two forms: primary and secondary. Primary milia come from sloughed-off skin and commonly appear as tiny cysts on the face, while secondary milia develop when an external factor like an injury or burn clogs the ducts that lead to the surface of the skin.

Risk Factors

Milia affect up to 50 percent of newborns, making them so common in babies that they are considered normal. Others at high risk for milia are those who use heavy skin or hair care products, such as oil-based creams, according to DERMAdoctor.com. Another risk factor for milia is overexposure to the sun; skin cells have more trouble escaping the glands when the skin is aged and thick. Additionally, those with skin diseases, such as blistering disorders, are at risk for secondary milia, and some people inherit the tendency to form milia.

Signs and Symptoms

Milia are white to yellow in color and domed bumps that are generally between 1 and 2 mm in size. Primary milia most commonly appear on the face around the forehead, eyes, cheeks and nose in adults and newborns and also inside the mouth in babies. Secondary milia can appear anywhere on the body based on the location of the underlying skin damage.

Treatment

Milia often disappear without any help, but adults may get assistance from a doctor or dermatologist for stubborn bumps. Your doctor may prescribe a retinoid cream or recommend a series of exfoliating procedures, such as microdermabrasion. Alternately, she may use a piercing tool such as a scalpel or lancet to get through the surface of each milium and then remove the inner material with a comedone extractor.

Prevention

Milia aren't entirely preventable, but you can follow some skin care techniques that will reduce your risk of developing primary milia. Apply oil-free sunscreen to exposed skin about 30 minutes before you go outside to reduce your risk of sun damage and skin blistering. Also, exfoliate your skin with a peel or scrub to slough off dead skin cells and keep your outer skin layer smooth.

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