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White tiny bumps on the skin

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I have white tiny bumps on my skin, I want to know whether it is serious or not. I have never seen these kinds of bumps on anyone, I have even searched the Internet but I have not found anything that is similar to what I have. It seems to be increasing as the years go by. I used to have only 1 bump but now I have bumps (within 9 years)

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Hello, the white tiny bumps that you have described are probably suggestive of a condition known as Milia. These are keratin filled cysts or balls of proteins under the skin. There are two varieties such as:

a)Primary Milia occurs from oil glands that are not fully or properly developed.

b)Secondary Milia appears as a result of injury to the skin. Milia do not have a pore or hole in the skin through which it can escape.

White heads or comedones are excess fat and wastes trapped in a hair follicle and clog up the pore. So milia are proteins trapped within the skin, whereas comedones are fats and skin debris trapped within the pore. Frequent using of soaps and chemicals and scrubbing the face actively create milia. Hence gentle exfoliation helps in removal of the milia .It can also be inherited. Sometimes exposure to the sun also develops milia.It may also appear due to fluoride irritation from tooth paste and that us why you should not keep the foam too long in your mouth. You can apply a wet cloth onto the face for a few minutes, gently apply a sterile needle to the center of the white bump and squeeze it till the white bump comes out and clean the area with an astringent. I would suggest you to consult your dermatologist for further management. Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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