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Milia are tiny white, waxy bumps that are sometimes confused with acne. Milia are typically felt rather than seen; however, patients tend to be overly fixated on these little lesions. Milia usually appear in areas where the skin is most oily and they may last for quite some time. 50% of newborns will appear with milia across the nose area. This is NOT acne.

*Milia is a chronic condition but can be well-controlled with a good, daily skin care regimen of glycolics, and/or retinol products.

*Many perform self-extractions or go to estheticians for this. This practice may very well lead to pitted scars which I have seen on many occasions.

*Milia is found in areas that are the most oily – controlling oiliness will help solve the underlying problem with good exfoliation.

*Lasers offer a good option (esp. Q-switched lasers)



Comedonal Acne. It is common to confuse or misdiagnose the comedonal acne and milia. Comedonal acne is represented by open/closed comedones (domed whiteheads). Acne whiteheads are closed and acne blackheads are open.

When sebum (oil) is exposed to air (open comedones) – the contents within the acne lesion turns black – hence, an “acne blackhead.”

*Comedonal Acne is not inflammatory acne (no inflammation process).

*Comedonal acne requires diligent skin care regimen of Glycolics and/or retinol products.

*Do not extract comedonal acne lesions.

*Lasers offer excellent treatment.

*Chemical peels will help.

*Comedonal acne is often combined with other forms of acne.

comedonal acne



Lori Haney, RN, MEP-C

Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer

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