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International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology

MILIAL CYST

A milial cyst (milium s, milia p) is a small keratin-filled cyst, often found on the face.  It represents hardened keratin that distinguishes a whitehead from an epidermal inclusions cyst. The milium is associated with a vellus hair follicle or eccrine sweat duct.  This lesion is quite common in women who apply moisturizers and are also found in one out of 12 newborns. Milial formation can also be a complication of facial cosmetic dermatology; i.e. Dermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing.

Such cysts are easily treated in a variety of ways:
  1. Incision with a sharp object (#11 blade) with subsequent expression with a comedo extractor.
  2. Enucleation with a disposable hypodermic needle.
  3. Cryosurgery or electrodessication.
  4. Application of a keratolytic agent.

Noah Scheinfeld, MD, JD
New York, NY, USA

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