Remove semolina grains: This is how you get rid of milia

They are tiny, but they are extremely annoying – milia (or semolina grains) disturb the appearance of the skin. We’ll explain where they come from and how you can remove a grain of semolina.

You probably know it: a small white dot that lies like a grain on the skin but cannot be washed off or squeezed out. This is definitely a so-called milium, or semolina grain, and unfortunately it can be very stubborn. Although removing a grain of semolina is not as easy as treating a pimple or blackhead, it is possible. It is important to first understand what semolina grains actually are and how the small nodules are formed.

What is a grain of semolina?

A Semolina grain, also known as millet grain, skin semolina or Milium knownis about the size of a pinhead Cyst filled with horny substance (keratins).the directly under the top layer of skin (epidermis). The milium develops in the ducts of sebaceous and sweat glands or the so-called Vellus hair follicles. This is the skin and connective tissue around the roots of the very fine body hair (vellus hair).

A grain of semolina usually does not appear individually, but in groups. Small cysts are most commonly found around the eyes, on eyelids, temples and cheeks. Skin grit can also appear on the forehead, nose and chin. Milia can also form on the rest of the body; for example on arms and legs and even in the intimate area.

For the most part, milia appear white or yellowish. If they are a little further under the skin, they can appear skin-colored. In this case, the diagnosis is a little more difficult because it could also be another skin change. Skin grit is therefore often confused with other skin diseases. These include, among others:

  • Xanthomas and xanthelasmas (yellow nodules, fatty deposits)
  • Prickly heat (miliaria)
  • Newborn acne in babies (acne neonatorum)
  • Flat warts (Verrucae planae juveniles)

Once it has formed, you can remove the semolina grain if you see it as an aesthetic problem. Otherwise, milia do not pose any health risk. They are neither malignant nor do they become inflamed.

What are the causes of semolina grains?

There are two different types of semolina grains: primary and secondary. These are also triggered by different causes.

Primary milia

Primary milia are the more common variant of semolina grains and appear spontaneously – exact causes are not yet known. Particularly The nodules are often seen in young adults, women in hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause) and newborns. They then appear in large quantities (multiple eruptive milia) or on certain reddened areas of skin (milia en plaque). They are usually related to genetically inherited skin diseases, so-called genodermatoses. But hormonal influences can also be the reasons here.

Secondary milia

Secondary milia are due to external influences. Injuries to the skin such as burns (sunburn) or abrasions can result in keratinized skin cells (epithelial sections) getting under the epidermis and developing into semolina grains there. However, there are also skin diseases that can lead to secondary milia. These include herpes zoster (shingles) and bullous dermatoses (blister-forming autoimmune diseases). A secondary milium usually regresses on its own. If that doesn’t happen, you can remove the semolina grain.

The following causes can be considered for secondary milia:

  • bullous pemphigoid (autoimmune skin disease with blistering)
  • Dermabrasion (process of sanding down the skin)
  • Sunburn or skin burn
  • radiotherapy
  • Skin transplant


Pseudomilia, as the name suggests, are not actually true semolina grains, even though they look like one. But they arise because of that Accumulation and storage of oxalates (metabolic products of the human body) in the skin. Among other things, they are a side effect of the rare kidney disease oxalosis.

Difference between grain of semolina and grain of barley/hailstone

When you have a stye or chalazion, the eyelid becomes inflamed and swollen. A stye – in contrast to a semolina grain – is caused by bacteria that infect a gland directly on the edge of the eyelid. It occurs when an sebaceous gland on the eyelid is blocked. The inflammation usually goes away on its own.

Remove semolina grains: This is what you should know

  • Squeezing a grain of semolina like you would a pimple is not a good idea, because the milium has no opening through which the contents can escape. If you press on the semolina grain to remove it, your skin can become inflamed and a pimple mark or scar can subsequently appear.
  • If you want to remove a grain of semolina and prevent new milia from forming, you should patience have and adapt your skin care routine accordingly.
  • If you want to have a grain of semolina removed quickly, you should It’s best to contact a professional. Dermatologists and beauticians know what to do. Especially if the small cyst has formed close to the eye, for example on the eyelid, you should not experiment with it yourself.

Remove semolina grains: These options are available from professionals

There are various treatment methods to remove a grain of semolina.

Remove semolina grains with a scalpel

Probably the easiest method to remove a grain of semolina is with the help of a so-called Moncorps knives (or Milium knives). This is a mixture of a scalpel and a needle with which… Milium scratched and sebum and keratin can escape. All that remains is a small red dot that quickly heals. This method is often used in cosmetic studios or dermatologist’s offices.

Remove semolina grains with laser

Using a laser (usually an erbium laser). the top layer of skin is removed. Scabs then form on the treated area. When this falls off, the grain of semolina has also disappeared.

Remove semolina grains with chemical peels

Chemical peels such as AHA peels or BHA peels are also used to remove semolina grains. This removes dead skin cells and stimulates the renewal of the upper layer of skin. These peels improve the appearance of the skin – but semolina grains usually only disappear after several treatments.

Remove semolina grains: You can do this yourself

You can even remove the semolina grain at home by cutting it open and squeezing it out. However, this is not recommended. The likelihood that it won’t work and that you’ll end up just pressing on the milium and, in the worst case, provoking inflammation including a pimple mark or scar, is very high. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to prevent semolina grains. By adapting your skin care routine and using a few special tricks, you can avoid millet grains forming on your skin. This is what you can do:

  • Wash your face daily with a mild washing gel. Especially in the evening, you should make sure that you completely remove make-up and dirt from your face. In addition, you can use one after cleaning Tonic or a micellar water Use to really cleanse the skin deep into the pores.
  • Then care for your skin with one that is adapted to your skin condition Moisturizer. Care with the active ingredient is particularly recommended here Retinol (Vitamin A). This can counteract the formation of milia as it stimulates skin renewal.
  • Use regularly (about once or twice a week). Scrub or an exfoliantto remove dead skin cells from your skin. A good prerequisite to prevent semolina grains from forming. This will give your skin a more even appearance and a beautiful glow.
  • Chamomile steam baths Help open skin pores to allow excess sebum to drain away.
  • Use sunscreen daily, because UV rays can promote the formation of new semolina grains. The easiest way is to apply a day cream with integrated sun protection. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, it is advisable to apply additional sun protection. However, this should also be adapted to your skin condition (dry, oily, sensitive).


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