What are milia seeds?

Milia seeds or milk spots are keratin-filled cysts that appear as whitish or yellowish spots on the skin. They are small, about 1-2 mm in size. They usually appear grouped together on the nose, cheeks or chin, although they can appear in other areas of the body too. 

They are commonly associated with newborns but anyone including children and adults may get them. While they may resolve spontaneously in newborn babies, in adults they often stay for a long time. 

Milia Seed

What causes milia seeds?

Milia seeds form when skin flakes or a protein called keratin becomes trapped underneath the skin. Milia can form as a result of damage to the skin such as from a rash, injury or exposure to sunlight. It may also be due to genetic conditions or long-term steroid medication. 

What are the types of milia seeds?

Neonatal milia 

Neonatal milia usually appear at the nose area of infants at birth. Some people may confuse them with baby acne, but baby acne is not found at birth. Neonatal milia will usually clear up on their own. 

Primary milia 

Primary milia appears in children or adults and are not associated with skin damage. 

Primary milia includes neonatal milia and they can appear on the eyelids, forehead, cheeks or genitals. Primary milia usually resolves by itself but it might last for a few months. 

Secondary/Traumatic milia 

Secondary milia or traumatic milia happen when the skin has been somehow damaged. This includes things like rashes, blisters, burns and UV damage. Milia develops when the skin is healing. They can also be a reaction to a thick and creamy products. 

Juvenile milia 

Juvenile milia are usually linked to a genetic disorder that is sometimes present at birth but can also appear later in life. 

Milia en plaque 

This is an unusual condition that affects mostly women in their middle age. They are found clumped together on a raised patch of skin. This can be on the eyelids, cheeks, jaw or behind the ears. 

Multiple eruptive milia 

This is another rare form of milia where there are clusters of milia that appear over the course of a few weeks or months and can sometimes be itchy. They can appear on the upper arms, face, or upper abdomen. 

Milia associated with medication 

Some topical medications like steroid creams may cause the appearance of milia. 

What are the risk factors for milia?

You are at higher risk for milia if you: 

  • Do not have a proper skin care routine 
  • Use cosmetics or makeup that clogs pores 
  • Do not get enough sleep 
  • Have other skin conditions like dandruff, rosacea or eczema
  • Are exposed to the sun often

How can I prevent milia seeds?

Milia seeds cannot always be prevented, especially in newborns. However, if the milia is associated with other skin conditions or injuries, certain tips may help in preventing them. 

Tips for preventing milia seeds include: 

  • Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight 
  • Avoid excessive use of thick creams or oil-based creams 
  • Exfoliate 2-3 times a week 

Milia seeds may sometimes occur after a chemical peel, which may be prevented by applying a topical retinoid. However, retinoids used with chemical peels can cause dark spots or irritation, so do consult your doctor before using it. 

The Veritas Method

Laser Removal of Milia Seeds

Ablative laser treatments using the CO2 laser or Erbium:YAG laser can both remove milia seeds effectively in a few minutes or even seconds, depending on the number and size of the milia seeds. 

Erbium:YAG laser is the preferred choice over CO2 when it comes to milia seeds removal as it allows for more precise removal of milia seeds, especially around delicate regions such as the eyes, with no post-treatment scarring or pigmentation. 

The result of milia seed removal is permanent. The doctor will also advise you on how to prevent new groups of milia from forming in other regions.

Step 1

During the consultation, the doctor will assess your skin condition and advise you on the laser to be used to remove your milia seeds. 

Step 2

We will apply a numbing cream for 15-30 minutes to minimise any discomfort during the treatment.

Step 3

We will provide you with a protective eyeshield placed over your eyes before the laser treatment. The laser treatment itself takes about 15 minutes.


Milia seeds removal is not painful. There may be slight discomfort but a numbing cream will be applied to ensure that it is tolerable. 

It normally takes about 15-20 minutes for one session of laser milia seeds removal depending on the size and number. 

There is little to no downtime for milia seeds removal. You may resume normal activities after the treatment. 

Contact Us

Please drop us a call or send in a contact form and we’ll be happy to assist you.

13 Stamford Rd, #B2-35 Capitol Singapore, Singapore 178905
+65 6283 3885

We’ll love to hear from you.