The undereye area is kind of like your Facebook feed: It can tell you who stayed up until 1 AM posting angry statuses, who drank one too many vodka martinis at the post-work happy hour, or when someone graduated from high school. When it comes to your eyelids, though, that skin is a little more of a mystery.
So what do you do when you find dozens of tiny bumps that resemble whiteheads smattered across your lids? (As in, the thinnest-skinned, most sensitive place on the face.) If they bother you, you call your dermatologist — which, in one woman's case, is none other than Dr. Pimple Popper — to perform a special kind of extraction.
This is exactly what happened when one patient visited Dr. Sandra Lee, a.k.a Dr. Pimple Popper, to remove the milia — small, rock-hard balloons of keratin protein and oil hanging out just below the surface of the skin — bordering her upper and lower eye area. While dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, says milium are typically harmless, the bumps are raised and white in color, making them visibly present on the skin even if you layer on the concealer.
And, unlike blackheads or your average pus-filled pimple, you can't just squeeze milia out — which makes the process difficult to do yourself. "Because they are not directly connected to the surface of the skin, squeezing will just lead to inflammation and redness and not get rid of the bump," Dr. Zeichner says. "A poke with a needle is necessary to create a passage to remove it, and if the skin or the instrument is not properly cleaned, you run the risk of developing an infection."
Which brings us to Dr. Pimple Popper's latest video. In it, you can watch as she yields a sharp-pointed blade (near the eyes, no less) and comedone extractor to successfully remove the bumps. But beware: It's not just milia — blood also makes an appearance, so press play at your own risk.
As for preventing milia in the first place? "They are typically caused by sun damage, but may also be triggered by cosmetics that clog the pores," Dr. Zeichner says. That means you can prevent the bumps by exfoliating regularly with chemical peels, scrubs, and topical retinoids.
If it's your eyelids you're worried about, though, see your derm for the best plan of action before taking an exfoliator to this delicate area. They are the windows to your soul, after all.