About Milia

When you have a newborn, you may expect diaper rash and cradle cap. But what about those tiny white bumps across your baby’s nose and chin? This complexion problem is known as milia.

Although milia can develop at any age, the tiny white bumps are most common among newborns. In fact, about half of all babies develop milia. There’s little you can do to prevent milia. If your baby has milia, the best treatment is usually none at all.

Symptoms

Milia are tiny white bumps on a baby’s nose, chin or cheeks. Many babies are born with milia.

Sometimes similar bumps appear on a baby’s gums or roof of the mouth. These are known as Epstein pearls. Some babies also develop baby acne, often characterized by small red bumps on the cheeks, chin and forehead.

Causes

Milia develop when tiny skin flakes become trapped in small pockets near the surface of a baby’s skin. Milia affect boys and girls equally.

Diagnosis

Milia are easily spotted on a baby’s skin. No specific testing is needed.

Treatment

Milia typically disappear on their own within several weeks.

In the meantime:

  • Keep your baby’s face clean. Wash your baby’s face with warm water two or three times a day.
  • Dry your baby’s face gently. Simply pat your baby’s skin dry.
  • Avoid any other type of treatment. Don’t pinch or scrub the tiny bumps, and don’t use any type of medicated cream or other treatment.

There’s little you can do to prevent milia. Simply wash your baby’s face with warm water and look forward to the clearer days ahead.