- A tiny subepidermal keratinous cyst, usually multiple and therefore commonly referred to in the plural. M. may be primary (developmental), occurring predominantly on the face in infants and adults, or retention cysts secondary to causes of scarring or subepidermal blisters involving adnexal epithelium. SYN: whitehead (1). [L. millet]
* * *mil·i·um 'mil-ē-əm n, pl mil·ia -ē-ə a small pearly firm noninflammatory elevation of the skin (as of the face) due to retention of keratin in an oil gland duct blocked by a thin layer of epithelium called also whitehead compare BLACKHEAD (1)
* * *n. (pl. milia)a white nodule in the skin, particularly on the face. Up to 2 mm in diameter, milia are tiny keratin cysts occurring just beneath the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin. Milia are commonly seen in newborn babies around the nose; they disappear without active treatment. In adults they may be lifted out with a needle or removed by an abrasive sponge.
* * *mil·i·um (milґe-əm) pl. milґia [L. â€œmillet seedâ€] a tiny epidermal cyst that is a round, smooth, firm, white to yellow papule just under the skin. These occur in groups and are usually found in the pilosebaceous units of the eyelids, cheeks, or forehead; they occur in all age groups, including babies, and may arise de novo or in association with skin diseases or trauma to the skin. Called also whitehead. See also Epstein pearls, under pearl.
Medical dictionary. 2011.