Many people across the country are living with milia but they don’t know why they have them or how to treat the condition appropriately.
This is a dermatological condition and it can be treated by a dermatologist but it’s important to understand what it is and why it happens,
What Is Milia?
This condition is classified by small yellow-white spots or bumps that are very small (almost the size of pinhead). These bumps will form when keratin is trapped under the skin, and that gives the bumps the white appearance you see.
Dermatologists will often say that this condition is just what happens when pores are clogged. The bumps are usually found under the eyes or on the face, but can really be found anywhere on the body as every part of the skin has pores.
This condition is usually painless, but it’s mostly just for cosmetic reasons that people want to get rid of them as they don’t like the appearance they give on their face.
For adults, there is a cosmetic procedure to have them removed. However, if children have this condition they may not need a procedure as the condition in children can resolve on its own.
What Causes Milia To Happen?
In short, no one really knows exactly what causes this condition to happen. For some people, they are just more prone to having it due to extra keratin building up on their skin and clogging their pores.
For other people, the heavy use of makeup and other beauty products can cause the little bumps to develop. There may be some medications people take to treat certain conditions where one of the side effects of the medication is milia developing.
In some cases, trauma to the skin (like burns or rashes) can cause milia to develop as the skin heals but these are known as secondary milia and may only be temporary and not recurring.
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How Much Does It Cost To Have Milia Removed?
The cost to have these small bumps removed will vary, depending on the doctor you see and the severity of your condition.
When paying out of pocket, the cost is usually between $100 and $200 for treatment. It may be treated with microdermabrasion or topical retinoids, depending what type of treatment your dermatologist deems best.
Difference In Choice Of Treatment
You may end up paying a little more than the $200, depending on the choice of treatment you go with and the effectiveness of it.
For example, the topical retinoids may be an effective long-term solution for treating this condition but it will likely be about $150 for a six month supply of the medication, and you may need to be on it indefinitely.
If you decide to go with microdermabrasion, it can be about $100 per session but you may need several sessions over a 30 or 60 day time period.
It will also depend on where you receive the treatment. If you go to a spa to get the treatment done as opposed to going to a medical clinic you may find the costs are different.
Does Insurance Cover Milia Removal?
The procedures needed to remove milia and treat it effectively are often considered to be cosmetic. For this reason, it’s very unlike that insurance (even private insurance) will cover the cost to do it.
Having this condition doesn’t cause the person to be in any pain nor is it life threatening or life changing, so insurance doesn’t deem it to be something they need to covered.
Some insurance companies may offer cosmetic coverage, but it’s very rare to see that.
Unless you have a doctor that can prove having the treatment and procedure is medically necessary, it is most likely you will need to pay for the procedures out of pocket.
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Milia Removal At Your Doctor’s Office
If you decide that you want to go through with having the treatment at your doctor’s office, you may be wondering exactly what is going to happen and what to expect when going to the office.
When at your doctor’s office, the skin in the affected area will be disinfected with an antiseptic. Then your doctor will gently open the milia with a small needle. Next there will be pressure applied – either with fingers or an extractor tool – to have the milia pop out.
Typically, you will be at your doctor’s office for about 30 to 45 minutes per session, and you may need multiple sessions to clear up the condition.
Immediately following the procedure, you may notice there are small red bumps around the extraction site(s). This is very normal and they will likely be on the skin for a couple days. After that, they will start to diminish on the skin.
Patients will not feel much discomfort, if any while having the procedure done. Afterwards, they can return to their normal daily activities without issue.
Tips For Preventing Milia From Returning
If you have had a couple treatment sessions for milia then you probably want to make sure you do everything you can to stop it from coming back. There are a few things you can do to stop it from coming back so that you don’t have to continually have treatments.
Look At Your Make Up And Skin Care Products
Some of the products that are on the market can cause severe irritation to the pores on your face. These products can cause blackheads and even milia to form because of the reaction your skin has to the products.
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Wash Your Face At Night
If you wear makeup during the day, it’s especially important you wash your face at night to remove all the product from your skin.
Milia happens when the pores are clogged, and if you aren’t washing the makeup off of your face then you have an even bigger chance of developing the milia that needs to be removed.
At Home Treatments
If you have had this condition for a while, or you’re prone to it recurring, then you may be looking for a way to treat it on your own instead of having to go to your doctors every few months.
Some cases of this condition will be severe enough to warrant ongoing prescriptions for topical retinoids, but other cases may be minor enough that you can treat it without a prescription.
There are treatment creams you can buy at a drugstore, but you will want to make sure that you are asking your dermatologist for the right ones to buy and which ones to avoid.
If this is a condition you are prone to getting, and it keeps recurring, you may need to see your dermatologist once a year or so to have the milia removed via medical procedure and make sure to take good care of your skin in-between.
Some people believe that using exfoliants or chemical peels are helpful for skin care, but for someone who has milia it can actually make the condition worse.
Proper skin care will not completely treat milia, but after you have the treatment at your doctor’s office it can significantly help prevent it from coming back or delay how quickly the bumps form again.
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Do You Need To See A Doctor For Milia?
For most people, they decide to see a dermatologist when the bumps become severe and they are impacting their self-esteem. These bumps will not hurt someone who has them, but they could still be negatively impacting their life.
The good news is that anyone with these bumps doesn’t have to have them removed, it’s really a personal choice. So if it comes to the point where the bumps are really bothering someone, they may then decide to go to the doctor to talk about treatment.
Your doctor will also be able to assess what type of treatment will be best and how often they believe it will be needed.
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Is Wart Removal Covered?
Like milia, many people with warts wish to have them removed because they negatively impact their self-image and they don’t want to have them on their bodies.
Since warts are not harming the person with them, it’s not deemed medically necessary that they are removed.
There are many over the counter options people can purchase to effectively treat and remove warts, no matter where they are on a person’s body.
You may need to apply the treatment a few times to make sure it’s effective and the wart is removed completely.
If you have tried over the counter options, you doctor may suggest an alternative form of treatment for removing a wart. Many doctors have the option to freeze the wart and cut it off. This treatment plan may be slightly uncomfortable at first, with the freezing, but there will be minimal discomfort going forward.
You may wish to contact your doctor first, though, if you don’t want to wait for the options at the drug store to work.
Paying for medical procedures out of pocket can seem expensive, but if you want to take good care of your skin and have it looking its best then this investment may be the best option for your health in the long run.