Close
New

Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.

 

Milia

  • Author: Susan Cooper, MB, ChB, MD, FRCP; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
 
Updated: Aug 18, 2015
 

Background

Milia are very common, benign, keratin-filled cysts (see the image below).

Milia in a week-old infant. Milia in a week-old infant.

Primary milia are typically seen in infants but also may occur in children and adults. Secondary milia develop after trauma to the skin, such as after burns (eg, sunburns), dermabrasion, or in blistering disorders. Milia en plaque is a rare inflammatory condition characterized by plaques of milia in the periauricular area. Multiple eruptive milia is a condition characterized by the sudden development of crops of milia over the course of weeks to months.

Next

Pathophysiology

Milia are tiny epidermoid cysts. The cysts may be derived from the pilosebaceous follicle. Primary milia arise on facial skin bearing vellus hair follicles. Secondary milia result from damage to the pilosebaceous unit.

Previous
Next

Epidemiology

Frequency

Primary milia in newborns are so common that they can be considered normal (occurring in approximately half of all infants). Multiple eruptive milia and milia en plaque are rare entities.

Race

No racial predilection is recognized for milia.

Sex

Sexual prevalence is equal for primary and secondary milia. Eruptive milia and milia en plaque occur more frequently in women.

Age

Milia occur in persons of all ages but are typically found in infants.

Previous
 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Susan Cooper, MB, ChB, MD, FRCP MRCGP, FRCP, Consultant Dermatologist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Department of Dermatology, Churchill Hospital, UK

Susan Cooper, MB, ChB, MD, FRCP is a member of the following medical societies: Royal College of Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jeffrey P Callen, MD Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), Chief, Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Jeffrey P Callen, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: XOMA; Biogen/IDEC; Novartis; Janssen Biotech, Abbvie, CSL pharma<br/>Received honoraria from UpToDate for author/editor; Received honoraria from JAMA Dermatology for associate editor and intermittent author; Received royalty from Elsevier for book author/editor; Received dividends from trust accounts, but I do not control these accounts, and have directed our managers to divest pharmaceutical stocks as is fiscally prudent from Stock holdings in various trust accounts include some pharmaceutical companies and device makers for i inherited these trust accounts; for: Celgene; Pfizer; 3M; Johnson and Johnson; Merck; Abbott Laboratories; AbbVie; Procter and Gamble; Amgen.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Joshua A Zeichner, MD Assistant Professor, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Chief of Dermatology, Institute for Family Health at North General

Joshua A Zeichner, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, National Psoriasis Foundation

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Valeant for consulting; Received grant/research funds from Medicis for other; Received consulting fee from Galderma for consulting; Received consulting fee from Promius for consulting; Received consulting fee from Pharmaderm for consulting; Received consulting fee from Onset for consulting.

Acknowledgements

The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author, Dr. Ravi Ratnavel, to the development and writing of this article.

References
  1. Losada-Campa A, De La Torre-Fraga C, Cruces-Prado M. Milia en plaque. Br J Dermatol. 1996 May. 134(5):970-2. [Medline].

  2. Ratnavel RC, Handfield-Jones SE, Norris PG. Milia restricted to the eyelids. Clin Exp Dermatol. 1995 Mar. 20(2):153-4. [Medline].

  3. Akinduro OM, Burge SM. Congenital milia in the nasal groove. Br J Dermatol. 1994 Jun. 130(6):800. [Medline].

  4. Berk DR, Bayliss SJ. Milium of the areola: a novel regional variant of primary milia. Pediatr Dermatol. 2009 Jul-Aug. 26(4):485-6. [Medline].

  5. Langley RG, Walsh NM, Ross JB. Multiple eruptive milia: report of a case, review of the literature, and a classification. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Aug. 37(2 Pt 2):353-6. [Medline].

  6. Garcia Sanchez MS, Gomez Centeno P, Rosen E, Sanchez-Aguilar D, Fernandez-Redondo V, Toribio J. Milia en plaque in a bilateral submandibular distribution. Clin Exp Dermatol. 1998 Sep. 23(5):227-9. [Medline].

  7. Calabrese P, Pellicano R, Lomuto M, Castelvetere M. Milia en plaque. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 1999 Mar. 12(2):195-6. [Medline].

  8. Kautz O, Muller S, Braun-Falco M, Nashan D. Milia en plaque in a linear pattern. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009 Feb 27. [Medline].

  9. Sambrano BL, Riddel CE, Chon SY. Eruptive milia secondary to vemurafenib. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Nov. 69(5):e258-60. [Medline].

  10. Shin D, Seo J, Kim SM, Kim do Y. Multiple milia formation induced by dovitinib. J Dermatol. 2015 Apr. 42 (4):411-3. [Medline].

  11. Miller LM, Schwartz JT, Cho S. Milia: a unique reaction to tattoos. Cutis. 2011 Apr. 87(4):195-6. [Medline].

  12. Del Giudice P. Milia and cutaneous leishmaniasis. Br J Dermatol. 2007 May. 156(5):1088. [Medline].

  13. Kalayciyan A, Oguz O, Demirkesen C, Serdaroglu S, Kotogyan A. Milia in regressing plaques of mycosis fungoides: provoked by topical nitrogen mustard or not?. Int J Dermatol. 2004 Dec. 43(12):953-6. [Medline].

  14. Iacobelli D, Hashimoto K, Kato I, Ito M, Suzuki Y. Clobetasol-induced milia. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989 Aug. 21(2 Pt 1):215-7. [Medline].

  15. Berk DR, Bayliss SJ. Milia: a review and classification. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Dec. 59(6):1050-63. [Medline].

  16. Rutter KJ, Judge MR. Profuse congenital milia in a family. Pediatr Dermatol. 2009 Jan-Feb. 26(1):62-4. [Medline].

  17. Heard MG, Horton WH, Hambrick GW Jr. The familial occurrence of multiple eruptive milia. Birth Defects Orig Artic Ser. 1971 Jun. 7(8):333-7. [Medline].

  18. Chappell JA, Burkemper NM, Semchyshyn N. Localized dyskeratotic plaque with milia associated with sorafenib. J Drugs Dermatol. 2009 Jun. 8(6):573-6. [Medline].

  19. Connelly T. Eruptive milia and rapid response to topical tretinoin. Arch Dermatol. 2008 Jun. 144(6):816-7. [Medline].

  20. Ishiura N, Komine M, Kadono T, Kikuchi K, Tamaki K. A case of milia en plaque successfully treated with oral etretinate. Br J Dermatol. 2007 Dec. 157(6):1287-9. [Medline].

  21. Thami GP, Kaur S, Kanwar AJ. Surgical Pearl: Enucleation of milia with a disposable hypodermic needle. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Oct. 47(4):602-3. [Medline].

  22. George DE, Wasko CA, Hsu S. Surgical pearl: evacuation of milia with a paper clip. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Feb. 54(2):326. [Medline].

  23. Sandhu K, Gupta S, Handa S. CO2 laser therapy for Milia en plaque. J Dermatolog Treat. 2003 Dec. 14(4):253-5. [Medline].

  24. Voth H, Reinhard G. Periocular milia en plaque successfully treated by erbium:YAG laser ablation. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2011 Feb. 13(1):35-7. [Medline].

  25. van Lynden-van Nes AM, der Kinderen DJ. Milia en plaque successfully treated by dermabrasion. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Oct. 31(10):1359-62, discussion 1362. [Medline].

  26. Noto G, Dawber R. Milia en plaque: treatment with open spray cryosurgery. Acta Derm Venereol. 2001 Oct-Nov. 81(5):370-1. [Medline].

Previous
Next
 
Milia in a week-old infant.
 
 
 
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.