When I discovered a white lump smack on my eyelid, I assumed it was acne from a clogged pore. But it was hard to the touch, like a tiny pebble, and it wouldn’t budge. It didn’t cause any pain, and I soon noticed that a family member also had one on her eyelid. I didn’t like the way it looked, but it wasn’t causing any irritation, so I got over my ego and ignored it.
A few months later, after wearing eyeshadow regularly, the bump started to hurt. An angry, red circle of inflammation formed around it. I could no longer wear make-up. It hurt to blink. Now I had to seriously do something about it.
I did some online research and learned it had a name: milia.
Milia are tiny white cysts that look like whiteheads, and they commonly form around the eyes, and on the eyelids, after something clogs the ducts leading to the skin surface. They are formed when keratin (a substance produced by the skin) becomes entrapped beneath the outer layer of the skin, forming a tiny cyst. They’re common in people of all ages, including infants.
What causes it?
The cause of my cyst was not being diligent about removing eye-make up. Too often, I’d fall asleep thinking because it’s mineral or “natural” make-up, it would be fine to get a little lazy about taking it off. Silly logic. Anything sitting on the eyelid too long is bound to clog the skin, which can lead to milia.
Solutions to heal it
Dermatologists recommend piercing the eyelid cyst with a lancet. I watched it done on You Tube and knew it wasn’t my first choice, so I researched more options. I learned the key factors to removing milia are:
- Exfoliating the tough outer skin of the cyst
- Using a topical ointment to dry it up
I used St. Ives apricot exfoliating cleanser, gently rubbing the cyst once to twice daily. I then tried manuka honey, vitamin E and other natural remedies but nothing was working. It was still inflamed, hurting and hard as a rock. I finally asked my husband, a registered nurse, if he would be willing to lance it for me. He agreed. We home scheduled for the next day. He felt confident about sticking a needle in my eye. I did not.
So I did a bit more research and learned that salicylic acid dries up milia. For three days, I gently exfoliated the cyst with St. Ives, and added a drop of Burt’s Bees daily moisturizing lotion with salicylic acid. On the third day, my eyelid felt itchy. I rubbed it, and the cyst fell right off. I wiped the spot with alcohol and let it be. There is no trace it was ever there.
I was thrilled with the results of this easy healing solution, which is why I’m sharing! This inexpensive fix:
- Saved the cost of a dermatologist visit
- Saved the cost of products that cost upwards of $40 without guaranteed promises
- Spared the discomfort of having a needle lance my skin (ouch!)
- Spared the warnings of infection if you keep irritating it
- Spared having to use toxic chemical creams
- Worked in just three days and left no scar!
I bought a jar of eye make-up remover pads at the local drugstore so no matter how tired I am, it only takes a few seconds to wipe my lids clean.
What worked for me may not work for you. Of course, talk to your dermatologist if you have concerns, and never try anything at home that doesn’t resonate with you.