Cyst Removal (including milia)
There are a variety of different types of cysts that can develop on the skin. They can occur anywhere on the body but commonly occur on the scalp, face, neck, trunk (chest and back), axillae (underarms) and groin. They can occur on the extremities but they are less common.
Cysts are noncancerous growths and have a sac-like structure that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other materials. While cysts are generally not a serious problem, they can become inflamed, swollen, painful and disfiguring. Cysts that recur can result in permanent scarring.
Symptomatic or unsightly cysts be removed safely and effectively with a small surgical procedure completed using local anesthesia.
What is a Milium Cyst?
Milia are small white bumps, or cysts, that are formed when keratin (a substance produced by the skin) is trapped beneath the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Milia cysts are commonly found on the face and can appear in people of all ages. Milia are difficult to remove and you should seek the care of an accredited dermatologist for treatment, as improper removal can result in infection or leave a scar.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Milia Cysts
Milial cysts can mimic the appearance of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). For this reason, it is best to have them assessed by a dermatologist. Once confirmed that the cysts are benign, the concern then becomes cosmetic. The cysts can become quite large, persist for years, and can be unsightly. Once formed and present for more than a couple of months, they rarely resolve on their own.
To remove the cyst, a dermatologist will pierce the milium with a sterile lancet or a fine tipped electro-dessicator needle, then remove the cyst material within the cyst membrane with an extractor. Failure to remove the cyst membrane will result in the milia returning. In mild cases, they can be removed with microdermabrasion, chemical peels or topical retinoic acid application. In other cases, they are surgically removed, particularly if they are quite large (ie greater than 4-5 mm).
If you believe you have a milia cyst, call Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery for a consultation. We can examine your skin and determine the best approach to treat your milia cysts.