- 1. Detachment and shedding of superficial cells of an epithelium or from any tissue surface. 2. Scaling or desquamation of the horny layer of epidermis, which varies in amount from minute quantities to shedding the entire integument. 3. Loss of deciduous teeth following physiological loss of root structure. [Mod. L. fr. L. ex, out, + folium, leaf]- e. of lens sheetlike separation of the capsule of the lens; it may occur if the eyes are exposed to intense heat.
* * *a) the peeling of the horny layer of the skin (as in some skin diseases)b) the shedding of surface components (as cells from internal body surfaces)c) the shedding of a superficial layer of bone or of a tooth or part of a toothex·fo·li·a·tive eks-'fō-lē-.āt-iv adj
* * *n.1. flaking off of the upper layers of the skin.2. separation of a surface epithelium from the underlying tissue.3. the natural shedding of primary teeth.• exfoliative adj.
* * *ex·fo·li·a·tion (eks-fo″le-aґshən) [L. exfoliatus, past part. of exfoliare to strip of leaves] 1. a falling off in scales or layers, such as the stratum corneum of the skin or a superficial layer of bone. 2. the removal of scales or flakes from the surface of the skin. 3. the normal loss of deciduous teeth following loss of their root structure.
Exfoliation of fingertips in subacute phase of Kawasaki disease.
Medical dictionary. 2011.