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Milia In Newborn Babies: Dr. Soonu Udani Explain The Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Milia In Newborn Babies: Dr. Soonu Udani Explain The Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

30 Jun 2022 | 3 min Read

Manisha Pradhan

Author | 83 Articles

Milia or milk spots as they are commonly called, affect most newborn babies. It is a common skin condition that appears mostly on a baby’s face but can sometimes appear on other parts of a baby’s body as well. These spots usually cluster around the baby’s cheeks, nose, forehead, and eyes.

Read on to know more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Milia,

What Does Milia In Newborn Babies Look like?

Milia in newborn babies are small cysts that are filled with a protein called keratin which is found in skin tissues, nail cells, and hair. Most people mistake milia in newborn babies for white heads and baby acne, but milk spots are different. These spots are very tiny in size and mostly white or milky white in colour, and unlike baby acne, milia are often present at birth.

Medical Director & Head – Paediatric Critical Care and Emergency Services at SRCC Children’s Hospital, Dr Soonu Udani says, “Milia are tiny white pearls that appear on the skin, usually on the face. They are very common in newborns and may even be present at birth. Newborn milia can even look red like an infection, but it requires no treatment. It almost always disappears on its own.”

Milia in newborn babies are tiny white pearls that appear on the skin, usually on the face/ image source: upload.wikimedia.org

Causes Of Milia In Newborn Babies

Even though this skin condition is called milk spots, it has nothing to do with cow milk, formula milk, or breastfeeding. It is caused by: 

  1. Blocked pores because of underdeveloped skin glands in babies.
  2. When the mother passes on the excess hormones to the baby during birth.

Symptoms Of Milia In Newborn Babies

Milia is a pearl-shaped bump that is usually white in colour. In newborn babies, it can be seen either on the face, especially on the cheeks, nose, or chin. And if the baby has sparse hair then it can be seen on the scalp as well. Milia may be present in the baby’s palate and mouth area as well.

This also spreads to the limbs and upper torso. The bumps may also be seen on the scalp of the baby, especially when hair is sparse. However, unlike hives in babies, which causes itchiness and may become sore, milia do not cause your baby any discomfort.

But if these milk spots get infected, are accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, or do not disappear even after a few weeks then it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Milia in newborn babies usually cluster around the baby’s cheeks, nose, forehead, and eyes
Milia in newborn babies usually cluster around the cheeks, nose, forehead, and eyes/image source: entirelykidspediatrics.com

How To Treat Milia In Newborn Babies?

Dr Soonu Udani says, “Some skins are more prone to milia. In older children If they cause any cosmetic issues, they can be removed by a skin specialist or qualified cosmetician. No applications should be used without consulting a doctor.”

Dr Udani says these baby milk spots usually clear up on their own after a few weeks post-birth and do not require any special treatment.

Basic skin care includes keeping the baby’s skin clean by gently wiping it. Do not rub these milk spots hard or pop and squeeze them, as this could lead to an infection.

Newborn milk spots are nothing much to worry about as they disappear on their own, all it requires is being patient!

Cover Image Source: indianpediatrics.net

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