An aesthetician is one of the first people we turn to when our skin isn’t up to par. However, when it comes to milia, those stubborn small bumps that look like whiteheads on your face, you may want to rethink who you go to. In fact, it’s actually against the law in many states for an aesthetician to extract milia.
“First of all, milia are small epidermal inclusion cysts that have no opening to the skin’s surface,” says San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD. “Extracting them usually involves using a needle or the tip of a scalpel blade to create an opening in the skin and then applying pressure to force the milium through the small opening that has been created.”
“If you don’t go to someone who is familiar with the use of the lancet, you are running the risk of scarring the patient,” says Smithtown, NY, dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. That’s why it’s important to only go to a physician, physician’s assistant or a licensed nurse to do the procedure.
Of course, it’s always better to avoid getting milia in the first place. “The best way to prevent milia is to keep cell renewal and turnover at its optimum with nightly use of a retinoid like over the counter retinol or prescription tretinoin, tazarotene or adapalene,” says Dr. Bucay. “Regular exfoliation with a gentle scrub and/or a glycolic or salicylic acid based facial product like a cleanser, cream or lotion is also helpful.”