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albinism

a rare inherited disorder characterized by a lack of melanin in the skin.

alopecia

a partial or complete lack of hair resulting from normal aging, an endocrine disorder, a drug reaction, an anticancer medication, or a skin disease

atrophy

a wasting or decrease in size or physiologic activity of a part of the body because of disease or other influences.

beau's lines

transverse depressions that appear as white lines across the fingernails as a sign of an acute severe illness such as malnutrition, systemic disease, thyroid dysfunction, trauma, or coronary occlusion.

Braden scale

Scale used to assess pressure ulcer risk using six areas: sensory perception, moisture, activity, mobility, nutrition, and friction and shear.

bulla

a thin-walled blister of the skin or mucous membranes greater than 1 cm in diameter containing clear, serous fluid.

chloasma

tan or brown pigmentation, particularly of the forehead, cheeks, and nose, commonly associated with pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives, or hormone replacement therapy.

clubbing

an abnormal enlargement of the distal phalanges with a flattening of the curvature of the nail margin at the cuticle, where the nail meets the cuticle.

cyanosis

bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes caused by an excess of deoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood or a structural defect in the hemoglobin molecule, such as in methemoglobin.

cyst

a closed sac in or under the skin lined with epithelium and containing fluid or semisolid material, for example, a sebaceous cyst.

ecchymosis

bluish discoloration of an area of skin or mucous membrane caused by the extravasation of blood into the subcutaneous tissues as a result of trauma to the underlying blood vessels or fragility of the vessel walls. A bruise

erosion

the wearing away or gradual destruction of a surface. Usually marked by the appearance of an ulcer.

erythema

redness or inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes that is the result of dilation and congestion of superficial capillaries.
Nervous blushes, mild sunburn

excoriation

an injury to a surface of the body caused by trauma, such as scratching, abrasion, or a chemical or thermal burn.

fissure

a cracklike lesion of the skin, such as an anal fissure.

hematoma

a collection of extravasated blood trapped in the tissues of the skin or in an organ, resulting from trauma or incomplete hemostasis after surgery. Initially there is frank bleeding into the space; if the space is limited, pressure slows and eventually stops the flow of blood. The blood clots, serum collects, the clot hardens, and the mass becomes palpable to the examiner and is often painful to the patient.

hirsutism

excessive body hair in a masculine distribution pattern as a result of heredity, hormonal dysfunction, porphyria, or medication. Also called hypertrichosis

jaundice

yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and sclerae of the eyes caused by greater than normal amounts of bilirubin in the blood.
Also called icterus

keloid

an overgrowth of collagenous scar tissue at the site of a skin injury, particularly a wound or a surgical incision. The new tissue is elevated, rounded, and firm. Also spelled cheloid

lichenification

thickening and hardening of the skin, giving it a leathery, barklike appearance, often resulting from the irritation caused by repeated scratching of a pruritic lesion.

macule

a small flat blemish or discoloration that is level with the skin surface. Examples are freckles and some rashes

melanocytes

a body cell capable of producing melanin.

milia

a minute white cyst of the epidermis caused by obstruction of hair follicles and eccrine sweat glands.

mongolian spots

a benign bluish-black macule, between 2 and 8 cm, occurring over the sacrum and on the buttocks of some newborns. It is especially common in African-Americans, Native Americans, southern Europeans, and Asian-Americans and usually disappears during early childhood.

nevus

a pigmented skin blemish that is usually benign but may become cancerous. A benign tumor composed of nevus cells that are derived from melanocytes. Also called birthmark, mole

nodule

a small node.

pallor

an unnatural paleness or absence of color in the skin.

papule

a small, solid, raised skin lesion less than 1 cm in diameter, such as that found in lichen planus and nonpustular acne.

paronychia

an infection of the fold of skin at the margin of a nail.

patch

a small spot of surface tissue that differs from the surrounding area in color or texture or both and is not elevated above it.

petechiae

numerous tiny purple or red spots appearing on the skin as a result of tiny hemorrhages within the dermal or submucosal layers.

plaque

a flat, often raised patch on the skin or any other organ of the body.

pressure (decubitus) ulcer

an inflammation, sore, or ulcer in the skin over a bony prominence, most frequently on the sacrum, elbows, heels, outer ankles, inner knees, hips, shoulder blades, and occipital bone of high-risk patients, especially those who are obese, elderly, or suffering from chronic diseases, infections, injuries, or a poor nutritional state. It results from ischemic hypoxia of the tissues caused by prolonged pressure on them.
Also called bedsore

purpura

any of several bleeding disorders characterized by hemorrhage into the tissues, particularly beneath the skin or mucous membranes, producing ecchymoses or petechiae.

pustule

a small circumscribed elevation of the skin containing fluid that is usually purulent

scale

a small thin flake of keratinized epithelium.

scar

tissue that is avascular, pale, contracted, and firm after the earlier phase of skin healing characterized by redness and softness. Also called cicatrix

sclerosis

a condition characterized by hardening of tissue resulting from any of several causes, including inflammation, the deposit of mineral salts, and infiltration of connective tissue fibers.

seborrhea

any of several common skin conditions in which an overproduction of sebum results in excessive oiliness or scaling.

spider angioma

a form of telangiectasis characterized by a central elevated red dot the size of a pinhead from which small blood vessels radiate. Often associated with elevated estrogen levels, such as occur in pregnancy or when the liver is diseased and unable to detoxify estrogens.

telangiectasia

permanent dilation of groups of superficial capillaries and venules.

tumor

a new growth of tissue characterized by progressive, uncontrolled proliferation of cells.

ulcer

a circumscribed, craterlike lesion of the skin or mucous membrane resulting from necrosis that accompanies some inflammatory, infectious, or malignant processes.

urticaria

a pruritic skin eruption characterized by transient wheals of varying shapes and sizes with well-defined erythematous margins and pale centers. Also called hives

vesicle

a small bladder or blister, containing clear fluid.

vitiligo

a benign acquired skin disease of unknown cause, consisting of irregular patches of various sizes totally lacking in pigment and often having hyperpigmented borders.

wheal

smooth, slightly elevated area on the skin that is redder or paler than the surrounding skin.

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