How to Remove Milia Under Eyes

Milia are small white bumps, also called cysts, that can appear in various areas of the face, including under the eyes. MedlinePlus explains that such bumps occur when dead skin becomes trapped in small pockets at the surface of the skin. Infants are especially susceptible to milia in the months following birth. Treatment of milia is not necessary and isn't advisable in infants or children 2. If adults wish to remove the visible bumps, some options are available both at home and with the assistance of a health care professional.

Consult a health care professional before using any treatments to remove milia under the eye. This skin is especially sensitive and some effective scrubs or topical products can irritate the eye itself. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends professional treatment when the removal of milia is desired.

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Purchase a very mild skin exfoliator, such as a sugar scrub or any over-the-counter exfoliator that is safe for use around the eyes.

Wet the skin under the eyes and apply a small amount of exfoliator to the area. Rub gently for 20 to 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly with cool water and pat dry.

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Apply a thin layer of retinoid cream to the skin under the eyes. Be careful not to go as far up as the eye lid.

Repeat these steps for several days until the milia disappear.


Use a daily sunscreen following the use of retinoids as they can increase the skin's ability to burn from sun exposure.


Stop the retinoid cream if the skin becomes red or irritated. Sometimes exfoliation is enough to open up the pockets that form milia.

Consult a health care professional, such as a dermatologist, before attempting home treatment. Professional help can effectively and safely remove the bumps if desired.

Don't attempt to treat infant or child milia without the guidance of a health care professional.