The key difference between milia and xanthelasma is that milia is a skin condition that results in small, white cysts on the eyelid, face, upper trunk, extremities, and genital area, while xanthelasma is a skin condition that results in yellow growths on or around the eyelids.
Milia and xanthelasma are two different skin conditions. Both these conditions can also cause eyelids bumps. However, milia are commonly observed in infants, while xanthelasma is observed in adults who suffer from chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Milia
3. What is Xanthelasma
4. Similarities – Milia and Xanthelasma
5. Milia vs Xanthelasma in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Milia vs Xanthelasma
What is Milia?
Milia is a common skin condition. This condition causes small white bumps or cysts under the surface of the skin. About 40% to 50% of newborns in the U.S. have milia. These bumps or cysts are filled pockets under the surface of the skin, most commonly on the face. This skin condition is harmless, but it can affect the appearance. Milia are most commonly occurring in infants, but milia appear in anyone at any age. It also can appear later during infancy among premature babies. The symptoms of this condition may include white to yellow skin, bumps that can appear in groups or clusters, and bumps that are asymptomatic (don’t cause pain or discomfort). Moreover, this condition is caused by trapped dead skin, damage to the skin from an injury or sun exposure, long-term use of steroid creams or ointments, genetic factors, and autoimmune response.
Milia is diagnosed through a physical or visual examination and skin biopsy. Furthermore, treatment options for milia may include the application of over-the-counter adapalene gel or prescription tretinoin cream, surgical removal, cryotherapy, and medicated creams or antibiotic minocycline.
What is Xanthelasma?
Xanthelasma is a skin condition that causes cholesterol deposits to build up under the skin. This leads to the formation of yellow growth on or by the corners of the eyelids or next to the nose. Adults who suffer from high cholesterol, heart disease, heart attack, and atherosclerosis are more likely to get xanthelasma. It is estimated that about 1% of people have xanthelasma. The symptoms of this condition may include flat bumps of yellow colour, soft or firm bumps, and an uncomfortable feeling. Moreover, possible causes for xanthelasma include high cholesterol inherited from parents, diabetes mellitus, weight gain, thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism, inflammation, and drinking too much alcohol.
Xanthelasma is diagnosed through physical examination and blood tests such as cholesterol tests, thyroid function tests, blood sugar, and liver function test. Furthermore, treatment options for xanthelasma may include surgery, liquid nitrogen cryotherapy, laser surgery, radiofrequency ablation, chemical peel, and surgery using extreme heat.
What are the Similarities Between Milia and Xanthelasma?
- Milia and xanthelasma are two different skin conditions.
- Both these conditions can form eyelid bumps or bumps in other areas of the skin.
- These conditions can have a genetic influence.
- Both can be diagnosed through physical examination.
- They are treated through topical medications and surgeries.
What is the Difference Between Milia and Xanthelasma?
Milia are a skin condition of having small white cysts, which are sub-epidermal keratin cysts, while xanthelasma is a skin condition of having yellow growths, which are cholesterol deposits on or around the eyelids. Thus, this is the key difference between milia and xanthelasma. Furthermore, milia are a more common condition compared to xanthelasma, which is a less common condition.
The below infographic presents the differences between milia and xanthelasma in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Milia vs Xanthelasma
Milia and xanthelasma are two different skin conditions that form bumps in different locations of the body. These skin conditions can especially form eyelid bumps. However, milia are mainly seen in infants. On the other hand, xanthelasma is seen in adults who suffer from certain underlying diseases. Moreover, milia result in small, white cysts on the eyelid, face, upper trunk, extremities, and genital area, while xanthelasma results in yellow growth on or by the corners of the eyelids or next to the nose. So, this summarizes the difference between milia and xanthelasma.
1. “Xanthelasma: What It Is, Causes and Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic.
2.“Milia (Milk Spots): Causes & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic.
1. “Xanthelasma” By Klaus D. Peter, Wiehl, Germany – Own work (CC BY 3.0 de) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Newborn Milia (Milk Spots)” By Serephine – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
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