A milium (single for milia) is a small superficial cyst formed in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. They appear as tiny, pearly-white bumps just under the surface of the skin. They contain keratin (skin protein) and are harmless. They are often seen on the face, in particular on the delicate skin around the eyes. They can be prevented or minimized with exfoliating like chemical peels, microdermabrasion or topical retinoids. However, they are sometimes difficult to remove without a physician’s help, since they cannot simply be squeezed out. Often, the surface of the skin has to be pierced first with a lancet, a sharp pointed blade, or a needle, in order to successfully remove the milium. Often a comedone extractor is used to express the milium.
A blackhead is also called an open comedo (single for comedone), and it is a clogged pore in the skin that is open to the air. Keratin (skin protein) and sebum (oil) combine to block the pore. They are often found on the face and trunk. but they can be found anywhere on the body. Blackheads are not clogged with dirt, but it is the exposure to air that causes oxidation turning the internal contents black’. They can be extracted using a comedone extractor. I usually use an 11 blade (a blade that comes to a sharp point) and a Shaumberg type comedone extractor.
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This video may contain dermatologic surgical and/or procedural content. The content seen in this video is provided only for medical education purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.