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Danger enlever soi-même grain milium.

Is it safe to remove a milium cyst by oneself?

Milium cysts appear as tiny white bumps on the skin's surface. They pose no risk to the physical health of the skin. However, it can be tempting to want to remove them for aesthetic reasons. So, could self-removal of a milium cyst pose any risks? Let's examine the subject more closely.

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

Can we remove milia ourselves?

Milium cysts , these subcutaneous microcysts containing keratin, are entirely benign, beyond their unsightly appearance. They generally resolve on their own within a few weeks, without requiring any intervention. However, for purely aesthetic reasons, one might feel the desire to get rid of them more quickly. One might consider removing these milium cysts manually, by pressing to extract the material.

Furthermore, there are techniques available to remove them, including extraction using a milium grain extractor. This method involves pricking the milium grains with a needle, then expelling the contents using most often a comedone extractor, which will press on the sides of the cyst. It should be noted that these comedone extractors are freely sold on many internet sites. One might then be tempted to procure one in order to perform the extraction oneself.

However, attempting to remove a milium on your own is strongly discouraged for several reasons.

  • Clumsy usage. When you are not trained in the practice of these techniques, there is a risk of performing the operation incorrectly, which can be hazardous, particularly because the instruments used are often sharp. This can include applying too much pressure by hand or with the extractor, extraction on a sensitive area, a sudden prick of the milium grain with the needle, injuries... You then risk the formation of irreversible scars, redness, inflammation, or even hematomas.

  • Disregard for hygiene rules. Indeed, when hand washing procedures or sterilization of devices are not adhered to, it can quickly become fertile ground for bacteria, fungi, and viruses. After the extraction of the keratin plug, the skin will be open and contaminants can easily penetrate it. This behavior therefore presents a significant risk of infection.

  • Poor post-extraction care. You have just removed the last milium grain that remained on your face. However, you are not taking the appropriate measures to apply post-extraction. This involves theuse of skincare to improve skin healing. If you do not follow these precautions, you expose yourself to potential scarring.

As you may have understood, it is not recommended to remove a milium cyst by yourself. Instead, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss the appropriate treatment for your situation.

Sources

  • SHALITA A. R. Comedo extraction. Archives of Dermatology (1972).

  • KANWAR A. J. & al. Enucleation of milia with a disposable hypodermic needle. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2002).

  • RUTALA W. A. & al. Disinfection and sterilization in health care facilities: What clinicians need to know. Clinical Infectious Diseases (2004).

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