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Removing my eyelid milia after six years made me more confident

After removing my milia, bumps made of built-up keratin and skin flakes, I was so relieved that I cried.

Celeste Lim
Celeste Lim

Yogurt lover with a Spotify playlist for every mood.


Published: 9 February 2021, 1:59 PM

I was just 13 when I noticed a white bump, a little smaller and harder than a whitehead, on my eyelid. 

It didn’t bother my eyes and it wasn’t a huge cause of concern, but it was out of place and made me more insecure than an ordinary pimple would.

My mother brought me to an esthetician, who used a sterilised needle to poke the bump. I felt a stabbing pain at my eyelid, one of the worst pains I had ever felt. 

The sharp pain only stopped because the esthetician said she was too afraid to continue, She was worried that she might cause harm to the delicate skin on my eyelids or my eyes.

I went home with the bump on my eyelid more prominent than ever. More bumps started popping up and eventually I had six bumps.

 

I was never a particularly vain person, but these bumps bothered me so much that I found myself wishing I could just slice them off. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CELESTE LIM

 

I was so afraid of feeling that pain after that, so I tried using liquid exfoliants on my eyelids in hope that it will resolve the bumps and prevent any further visits to the esthetician. But it never worked, so I resigned myself to the fate of living with my eyelid bumps. 

One day, I chanced upon the name of these bumps: They were called milia. They form when skin flakes and keratin get trapped under the surface of the skin. 

After doing some research, I found that milia could be removed by laser. It would, however, be a costly treatment. As tempting as it was, I was still in secondary school back then and did not want to use my parents’ money for mere cosmetic reasons.

Even when I started working and got my own pay, I was still hesitant to get my milia lasered off as I had heard it would cost about $450. 

However, the milia had always made me feel insecure and were especially bothersome now that we had to wear masks. Every time I looked at someone, I knew that they could only see my eyes, where my milia was on full display.

The milia made me shy away from eye contact and talking to new people, preferring to speak to them from a distance or opting for texting instead. 

To convince me to get the treatment, my friend compared it to getting her eyebrows embroidered – both cost around the same amount of money, but eyebrow embroidery only lasted between 12 to 18 months, while removing my milia would last forever and make me a lot more confident.

Getting the milia removed

With my friend’s convincing argument, I finally decided to pay and get the treatment I had wanted for years. I asked around for recommendations and ended up picking the cheapest aesthetic clinic I could find. 

When I entered the clinic, a few staff members approached me to fill out forms and apply numbing cream on my eyelids.

 

While waiting for the numbing cream to work, I sent my friends selfies, the very last time they would see my milia. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CELESTE LIM

 

In the clinic, I had a consultation with the doctor who would administer the laser removal. After discussing the potential risks including permanent scarring, he used a laser to remove the milia from my eyelids. I didn’t feel anything as he removed the milia, but there was a faint burning smell. 

After burning off each milia, he would let me inspect my eyelids with a mirror. Before I had been paranoid that my eyelids would get disfigured, so I was relieved that I got a chance to look at my eyelids.

After the removal was complete, there was some exposed skin, but the doctor assured that scabs would form and fall off on their own. It didn’t really matter to me; I was so relieved that those pesky bumps on my eyelid were finally gone.

 

Once I left the clinic, I opened my front camera to check how I looked. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CELESTE LIM

Feeling like a new person

When I got home, removed my mask and saw my face in the mirror for the first time, I was so relieved to see myself without the milia that had haunted me for years, that I started crying. 

Since then, some scabs on my eyelids have indeed formed and fallen off, leaving behind the smooth skin I had always desired. 

No one commented on my new eyelids, probably because they had never noticed the old milia in the first place. And I didn’t think I looked different or better – I just looked like myself, but with six fewer milia on my eyelids.

 

Now that my milia are gone, I can finally look people in the eye and know they aren’t just paying attention to my milia. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CELESTE LIM

 

I know that removing my milia isn’t an instant fix to my confidence. Now that I’ve stopped focusing on my milia when I look in the mirror, I’m sure I’ll find a new flaw to fixate on.

However, I currently do feel a lot more confident about myself and I notice that I’ve been carrying myself differently.

Of course, milia removal is definitely not a necessary procedure. While some may choose to remove moles with cancerous properties, removing milia is purely for aesthetic purposes. 

Although milia removal is not mandatory for your health, I will say that going for the removal has done wonders for my confidence and self-image and I don’t regret it the least bit. 

To anyone on the fence about getting their milia or even moles removed, I suggest considering what effects the milia will have on your self-image and your life. If you think it will make you happier, then go for it! 


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