1) To peal off scaly skin spontaneously. The skin exfoliates from the palms and soles in Kawasaki's disease and Reiter's syndrome. 2) To deliberately wear away the top layer of skin, as many be done gently by a facial technologist who is applying a topical skin treatment for cosmetic purposes, or more severely by a dermatologist treating acne. In the latter case, the most common exfoliating methods are sanding and chemical peels.

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ex·fo·li·ate -'fō-lē-.āt vb, -at·ed; -at·ing vt
1) to cast off in scales or laminae
2) to remove the surface of in scales or laminae
3) to shed (teeth) by exfoliation vi
1) to split into or give off scales, laminae, or body cells
2) to come off in thin layers or scales: scale off

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Exfoliate — Ex*fo li*ate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Exfoliated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Exfoliating}.] [L. exfoliare to strip of leaves; ex out, from + folium leaf.] 1. To separate and come off in scales or lamin[ae], as pieces of carious bone or of bark. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Exfoliate — Ex*fo li*ate v. t. To remove scales, lamin[ae], or splinters from the surface of. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • exfoliate — (v.) 1610s, from L.L. exfoliatus, pp. of exfoliare to strip of leaves, from ex off (see EX (Cf. ex )) + folium leaf (see FOLIO (Cf. folio)). Related: Exfoliated; exfoliating …   Etymology dictionary

  • exfoliate — [v] peel desquamate, doff, flake off, scale off, shed; concepts 142,176,211 …   New thesaurus

  • exfoliate — ► VERB 1) shed or be shed from a surface in scales or layers. 2) wash or rub (the skin) with a granular substance to remove dead cells. DERIVATIVES exfoliation noun exfoliative adjective exfoliator noun. ORIGIN Latin exfoliare strip of leaves …   English terms dictionary

  • exfoliate — [eks fō′lē āt΄] vt., vi. exfoliated, exfoliating [< LL exfoliatus, pp. of exfoliare, to strip of leaves < L ex , out + folium, a leaf: see FOIL2] to cast or come off in flakes, scales, or layers, as skin, bark, rock, etc. exfoliation n.… …   English World dictionary

  • exfoliate — [[t]eksfo͟ʊlieɪt[/t]] exfoliates, exfoliating, exfoliated VERB To exfoliate your skin means to remove the dead cells from its surface using something such as a brush or a special cream. [V n] Exfoliate your back at least once a week. [Also V]… …   English dictionary

  • exfoliate — UK [eksˈfəʊlɪeɪt] / US [eksˈfoʊlɪeɪt] verb [intransitive/transitive] Word forms exfoliate : present tense I/you/we/they exfoliate he/she/it exfoliates present participle exfoliating past tense exfoliated past participle exfoliated to wash or rub… …   English dictionary

  • exfoliate — verb Exfoliate is used with these nouns as the object: ↑skin …   Collocations dictionary

  • exfoliate — verb ( ated; ating) Etymology: Late Latin exfoliatus, past participle of exfoliare to strip of leaves, from Latin ex + folium leaf more at blade Date: 1612 transitive verb 1. to cast off in scales, laminae, or splinters 2. to remove the surface… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • exfoliate — exfoliative /eks foh lee ay tiv, euh tiv/, adj. /eks foh lee ayt /, v., exfoliated, exfoliating. v.t. 1. to throw off in scales, splinters, etc. 2. to remove the surface of (a bone, the skin, etc.) in scales or laminae. v.i. 3. to throw off… …   Universalium

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