Colloid Milium

Updated: Mar 06, 2017
  • Author: Gorav Neel Wali, BMBCh, MA, MRCP; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
  • Print
Overview

Background

Colloid milium is a rare condition characterized by (1) the presence of multiple, dome-shaped, amber- or flesh-colored papules developing on light-exposed skin and (2) the observance of dermal colloid under light microscopy. The 4 variants are (1) an adult-onset type, (2) a nodular form (nodular colloid degeneration), [1] (3) a juvenile form, [2, 3] and (4) a pigmented form, thought to be due to excess hydroquinone use for skin bleaching. [4]

Next:

Pathophysiology

Colloid milium is a degenerative condition linked to excessive sun exposure and possibly exposure to petroleum products and hydroquinone. The origin of the colloid deposition in the dermis is not certain, but it is thought to be due to degeneration of elastic fibers [5, 6] in the adult form and due to degeneration of UV-transformed keratinocytes in the juvenile form. Juvenile colloid milium is inherited.

Previous
Next:

Epidemiology

Frequency

Colloid milium is rare, but more than 100 case reports are present in the world literature. No known figures exist on prevalence.

Race

Colloid milium is more common in fair-skinned individuals.

Sex

The adult form of colloid milium is more common in males.

Age

The rare juvenile form of colloid milium occurs before puberty. Adult colloid milium is more common in elderly patients.

Previous
Next:

Prognosis

Colloid milium lesions remain static and do not resolve. Lesions reach their peak within 3 years, after which very few new papules occur.

Previous
Next:

Patient Education

Genetic counseling is advisable for the rare juvenile form of colloid milium. Additionally, sun avoidance seems sensible for all forms of colloid milium, but no evidence suggests that this intervention is beneficial.

Previous