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Grain milium et alimentation.

A Connection Between Milia and Diet?

Milium cysts, recognizable by their whitish color, are microcysts that can be bothersome in daily life. Several factors can cause these growths. Is diet one of the causes of milium cysts? Let's find out.

Summary
Published March 25, 2024, by Kahina, Scientific Editor — 3 min read

Is there a connection between diet and the occurrence of milia?

The milium grains are microcysts resulting from the accumulation of layers of keratin trapped beneath the skin's surface layer (horny layer). Despite an origin that is not well understood, various information circulates on the Internet regarding a possible association between milium grains and diet.

Indeed, several online sources suggest that the presence of milia could be due to a high cholesterol level, promoted by the consumption of overly sweet, fried, spicy, overly salty foods, and simply foods high in cholesterol. Others specifically mention a skin fat imbalance as being the culprit, caused by an unbalanced diet between omega-3 and omega-6. Indeed, many people would have a diet containing an excessive amount of omega-6 (pro-inflammatory) and an insufficient amount of omega-3 (anti-inflammatory). This imbalance is what would cause milia. Finally, some sources mention a vitamin A deficiency, and several of them more broadly cite a disrupted diet advising to eat more fruits and vegetables for example.

After thorough investigation, we have found no tangible scientific evidence to support these claims. Therefore, we conclude that it is impossible to assert a link between diet and milia. In fact, some supposed factors for the appearance of milia include heredity, spontaneous occurrence due to blocked hair follicles, trauma, excessive exposure to UV rays, and long-term application of topical corticosteroids. The only association found in studies is the one linking milia to dermatological diseases, known as genodermatoses.

Therefore, it is important to note thatno link has been proven between milia and diet.

Sources

  • BERK D. R. & al. Milia: A review and classification. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2008).

  • GALLARDO AVILA P. & al. Milia. StatPearls (2023).

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