Overview

Milia are tiny white bumps that appear across a baby's nose, chin or cheeks. Milia are common in newborns but can occur at any age.

You can't prevent milia. And no treatment is needed because they usually disappear on their own in a few weeks or months.

Symptoms

Milia are most commonly seen on a baby's nose, chin or cheeks, though they may also occur in other areas, such as on the upper trunk and limbs.

Sometimes similar bumps appear on a baby's gums or the roof of the mouth. These are known as Epstein pearls. Some babies also develop baby acne, often characterized by small red bumps and pustules on the cheeks, chin and forehead, which can occur with or without milia.

When to see a doctor

If you're concerned about your baby's complexion or it doesn't clear up within three months, consult your baby's doctor.

Causes

Milia develop when tiny skin flakes become trapped in small pockets near the surface of the skin.

June 03, 2015
References
  1. Berk DR, et al. Milia: A review and classification. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2008;59:1050.
  2. Rashes and skin conditions. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/bathing-skin-care/Pages/Rashes-and-Skin-Conditions.aspx. Accessed March 30, 2015.
  3. Hay WW, et al. Skin. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 22nd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 30, 2015.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Milia (pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  5. Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 8, 2015.