[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 1959

Colloid Degeneration of the Skin (Colloid Milium): A Report of Seven Cases

Author Affiliations

(MC), U.S.A.F.; Houston, Texas

From the Department of Dermatology, Baylor University College of Medicine (Dr. Seale, Professor and Chairman), and the Section of Dermatology, Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(5):533-537. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560230019003

Colloid degeneration of the skin is an uncommon condition characterized clinically by the development of pseudovesicles in light-exposed areas. Approximately 84 cases have been reported since the entity was originally described, by Wagner, of Leipzig, in 1866.1 We do not believe the condition is as rare as the sparsity of reports would indicate. We have collected seven cases over a six-year period and have seen several other unreported cases at meetings held in this area. Hand2 saw three Australian soldiers with colloid degeneration within a year, and Gilbert and Cox3 found this entity in eight soldiers over a three-month period. This unusually high incidence was undoubtedly due to the amount of sunlight exposure of the Australian troops in Northern Australia, New Guinea, and Borneo.

Colloid milium is found most often in fair-skinned persons who are chronically exposed to sunlight. The ratio of males