How Much Does Milia Removal Cost?

Last Updated on July 3, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Developing small white bumps of milia on delicate facial areas can be bothersome and detrimental to appearance. But what’s the full cost range for effective milia removal and treatment?

Milia are tiny keratin-filled cysts that form superficially under the skin, typically on the face, often due to chronic sun exposure, genetics, or use of heavy comedogenic skincare products.

While completely harmless, most individuals seek cosmetic removal of unsightly milia through manual extraction, lasers, chemical peels, or medicated topical treatments to achieve smoother, clearer skin.

This comprehensive guide examines popular milia removal options, associated costs based on individual factors, tips for maximizing savings, insurance coverage, choosing the right milia professional, and customizing the ideal treatment plan for your needs and budget.

How Much Does Milia Removal Cost?

On average, milia removal costs by extraction or laser span $100 to $800 per session depending on the technique used, number of lesions treated, geographic location, service provider expertise, and additional skincare prescribed.

In-Office Manual Extraction

  • Single milia removal – $75 to $200 per visit
  • Full face treatment – $300 to $800 per visit

Laser Treatment

  • Single milia removal – $200 to $400 per visit
  • Full face treatment – $500 to $1,500 per visit

Chemical Peels

  • Light peel – $150 to $400 per visit
  • Medium or deep peel – $400 to $800 per visit

Prescription Medications

  • Tretinoin or retinoid creams – $50 to $200 per tube

Over-the-Counter Products

  • Topical treatments – $20 to $100

A combination approach is often most effective for widespread stubborn milia.

Healthline reports that the average cost of milia removal ranges from $150 to $300 per treatment. They note that the price can vary depending on the location, the experience of the dermatologist, and whether the procedure is performed in a medical office or a hospital setting. Healthline also mentions that insurance may cover milia removal if it is deemed medically necessary, but patients should check with their provider for specific coverage details.

American Academy of Dermatology Association states that the cost of milia removal can range from $150 to $500 per treatment. They highlight that the price may be higher if the procedure is performed in a hospital or if it requires additional treatments. The Association also advises patients to consult with their dermatologist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan and to discuss the expected costs.

Skin Care Physicians reports that the average cost of milia removal in their practice is $250 per treatment. They note that the price may vary depending on the size and location of the milia, as well as the complexity of the procedure. Skin Care Physicians also mention that they offer a variety of payment options, including cash, credit cards, and financing plans.

Schweiger Dermatology Group states that the cost of milia removal at their practice ranges from $150 to $300 per treatment. They highlight that the price may be higher for larger or more complex cases and that additional treatments may be necessary for complete removal. Schweiger Dermatology Group also advises patients to consult with their dermatologist to determine the best course of action and to discuss the expected costs.

Dermatology & Laser of Del Mar reports that the cost of milia removal at their practice is $200 per treatment. They note that the price may vary depending on the number of milia being removed and the complexity of the procedure. Dermatology & Laser of Del Mar also mentions that they accept most major insurance plans and offer financing options for patients.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Removal

Several aspects significantly impact overall treatment costs:

  • Number, depth, and severity of milia present
  • Type of removal methods and technology utilized
  • Number of sessions/treatments required for desired clearance
  • Geographic location and service provider fees
  • Extent of post-procedure skincare products prescribed

More lesions, complex cases, and premium clinics raise costs. Compare area provider pricing.

Breakdown of Session Costs

A standard per-visit bill includes:

  • Initial consultation and skin analysis – $75 to $150
  • Manual extraction or laser procedure – $150 to $600
  • Post-treatment serums, creams, or facial – $100 to $300
  • At home care kit with supplies – $50 to $200
  • Follow up visits and monitoring – $0 to $150

Total Per Session Range – $300 to $1,000+

Additional expenses like deep chemical peels or medication may apply depending on the treatment plan.

You might also like our articles about the cost of sebaceous cyst removal, ganglion cyst removal, or wart removal.

In-Office Manual Milia Extraction Costs

This technique involves:

  • Cleansing and application of topical numbing anesthetic cream
  • Using a sterilized needle or blade to gently open milia
  • Applying gentle pressure to extract keratin-filled contents
  • Irrigation of cyst pocket with saline solution
  • Applying antibacterial treatment to prevent infection
  • Healing ointments and strict sun protection

Quick, well-tolerated, very affordable for isolated superficial milia. Mild redness may occur temporarily.

Laser Milia Removal Overview

Precision laser methods include:

  • Using a focused CO2 fractional or erbium laser
  • Precisely targeting milia and penetrating outer skin layer
  • Ablating thin walls of cysts to extract keratin contents
  • Evaporating the central pocket of the milia with heat
  • Stimulating collagen production for tightening and smoothing

Effective but higher cost. Optimal results require an expert provider familiar with laser settings and techniques.

Over-the-Counter Milia Treatments

Milia RemovalTopical creams and washes may suffice for:

  • Just a few very superficial and non-inflamed milia
  • Patients unable or unwilling to visit a dermatology office for professional treatment
  • Desire for basic temporary improvement in milia severity before pursuing in-office procedures
  • Use adjunctively between professional extraction or laser sessions to enhance results

However, OTCs rarely resolve moderate or severe milia without the precision of clinic treatments.

Tips for Finding Cheap Milia Removal

  • Compare service and package rates between local dermatology, plastic surgery, and med spa clinics. Look for discounts for multi-session prepayment.
  • Verify what is included – some clinics nickel and dime for items like analgesics and post-care creams.
  • Ask providers about any current promotions, specials, or discounts on milia removal treatments.
  • Consider reputable cosmetic and laser training clinics with supervised students to provide services at reduced pricing.
  • Use daily deal sites like Groupon or Spafinder for substantially discounted milia removal packages at local providers.
  • Take advantage of loyalty programs, member rewards, and new client promotions at med spas and cosmetic clinics.
  • Put costs on tax advantaged FSA and HSA accounts or utilize medical financing if covered by your plan.

With some shopping knowledge, effective milia removal fits many budgets.

Health Insurance Coverage

Unfortunately, the majority of health insurance plans classify milia extraction as an “elective” or “cosmetic” procedure and deny coverage. However, options that may yield partial reimbursement include:

  • Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) when funded by employer or individual.
  • Usage of HRA account funds if available.
  • Submitting for out-of-network reimbursement of a small portion of costs if the provider is a licensed M.D.
  • Utilizing a Healthy Equity or other dedicated healthcare credit cards which may offer promotional financing options.

Realistically, however, individuals need to budget for milia removal as a 100% self-pay cosmetic treatment. Payment plans can assist with large costs.

How to Choose a Milia Removal Professional

  • Check licensure and specialty credentials – dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and licensed estheticians with cosmetic training are best.
  • Look for significant experience with milia extraction modalities – lasers, peels, manual removal, etc. A practitioner that only occasionally treats milia may not get optimal results.
  • Ensure they have before and after photos you can view of successful milia reduction cases similar to yours.
  • Read reviews from past patients describing their firsthand experience.
  • Book a free consultation to meet with the provider and evaluate their recommendation.
  • Verify if they offer package discounts for multi-treatment sessions.

Investing in true expertise provides the safest, most effective milia removal outcomes.

Post-Treatment Care Regimen and Healing

Typical aftercare protocol includes:

  • Applying antibiotic ointment twice daily for 3-5 days post-treatment
  • Strict sun protection with broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen for at least one month
  • Avoiding facials, masks, scrubs, and irritants for 1-2 weeks while skin heals
  • Gentle cleansing only using mild non-foaming cleanser during healing
  • Hydrating twice daily with a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer
  • Returning promptly if any new milia appear to receive prompt treatment

Closely following provided instructions reduces complications and supports optimal results long-term.

Final Words

Removing unsightly milia takes an investment, but restores smooth, healthy facial skin. With knowledge of the various proven extraction methods and costs involved, individuals can pursue affordable treatment tailored to their specific milia situation.

Taking advantage of professional discounts and smart shopping allows safely regaining confidence in your skin’s appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after milia removal?

Recovery after professional milia removal is relatively quick. There may be some mild redness and sensitivity for 24-48 hours. Use antibiotic ointment while skin heals, followed by diligent sun protection and gentle moisturizing until skin looks clear. Most activities can be resumed immediately.

Does milia require treatment?

While mostly a cosmetic nuisance, large chronic milia that don’t respond to over-the-counter treatment should be assessed by a dermatologist. They can determine if manual extraction or laser removal is warranted based on the extent, depth, and number of lesions. Leaving milia risks potential infection without proper removal.

How often should you exfoliate milia?

Gentle exfoliation 2-3 times per week after milia removal helps smooth skin and prevent recurrence. But take care not to over-exfoliate while skin is healing. Use soft chemical exfoliants rather than scrubs. And always follow with SPF protection to avoid sun damage triggering new milia.

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