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Adipose

Pertaining to fat.

Albinism

Inherited absence of pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes.

Albino

Individual lacking normal body pigment (melanin).

Alopecia

Baldness.

Alopecia areata

An idiopathic condition in which hair falls out in patches.

Anhidrosis

Absence of sweating.

Apocrine sweat gland

One of the large dermal exocrine glands located in the axilla and genital areas. It secretes sweat that, in action with bacteria, is responsible for human body odor.

Atopic dermatitis

Inflammation of skin (rash and intense itching) that tends to occur in patients with a family history of allergic reactions.

Basal layer

Lower layer of cells in the epidermis.

Burns

Injury to tissues caused by heat contact.

Causalgia

Intense burning pain, often resulting from injury to a peripheral nerve.

Collagen

Protein found in skin and connective tissues.

Comedo (pl. comedones)

A sebum plug that partially blocks the pore; a blackhead. If the pore becomes completely blocked, a whitehead forms.

Cuticle

Small band of skin at the base of a nail.

Dermabrasion

Treatment for removal of superficial scars or wrinkles on the skin using sandpaper-like material.

Dermatologist

Specialist in the study (diagnosis and treatment) of skin disorders.

Dermatophytosis

Fungal infection of the skin.

Dermatoplasty

Surgical repair of the skin.

Dermis

Middle layer of the skin.

Diaphoresis

Profuse sweating.

Eccrine sweat gland

Water-producing exocrine gland in the skin.

Electrocautery

Use of a needle or snare heated by electric current to destroy or burn tissue (removal of warts, polyps).

Epidermis

Outer layer of the skin.

Epidermolysis

Loosening of outer layer of the skin with formation of large blisters (bullae).

Epithelium

Layer of skin cells covering the outer and inner surfaces of the body.

Erythema

Condition of redness of the skin.

Erythematous

Pertaining to redness of the skin.

Hair follicle

Tubular sac that holds the hair fiber.

Ichthyosis

Hereditary condition in which the skin resembles fish scales and is dry, rough, and scaly.

Integumentary system

Skin and its accessory organs (hair, nails, sebaceous and sweat glands).

Keratin

Hard protein found in hair, nails, and the epidermis layer of skin.

Keratosis

Excessive development of hard, keratinized tissue on the skin.

Leukoderma

Areas of skin that lose their pigment and become white; vitiligo.

Leukoplakia

White plaques on mucous membranes and surfaces of the body.

Lipocyte

Fat cell.

Lipoma

Benign tumor of fatty tissue.

Liposuction

Removal of adipose (fatty) tissue with a suction pump device.

Lunula

Semicircular white arch near the root of the nail.

Melanin

Black pigment produced by melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis.

Melanocyte

Cell in the basal layer of the epidermis that produces melanin.

Mycosis

Any disease caused by a fungus.

Onychomycosis

Fungal infection of a nail.

Onycholysis

Separation of the nail plate from the nail bed in fungal infections or after trauma.

Paronychia

Inflammation and swelling of the skin folds around a nail.

Paronychium

Soft tissue surrounding the nail border.

Pilosebaceous

Pertaining to hair follicles and sebaceous glands.

Pyoderma

Skin disease with formation of pus.

Rhytidectomy

Plastic surgery to remove wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Sebaceous gland

Oil gland in the dermis layer of the skin.

Seborrhea

Condition marked by excessive secretion from sebaceous glands.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Inflammation of the skin with excessive secretion from sebaceous glands.

Sebum

Oily secretion from sebaceous glands in the skin.

Squamous epithelium

Flat, scale-like layer of cells in the epidermis or outer layer of the skin.

Steatoma

Collection of sebum in a cyst or sac-like formation.

Stratified

Arranged in layers.

Stratum (pl. strata)

A layer.

Stratum corneum

Outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of flattened, keratinized cells.

Subcutaneous layer

Pertaining to the third layer of the skin, under the epidermis and dermis (cutaneous layers). The subcutaneous layer contains fatty tissue.

Subungual

Pertaining to under a nail.

Trichomycosis

Fungal infection of hair, especially in the area under the arm (axilla).

Xanthoma

Soft, yellowish, round nodule found on the eyelids; xanthelasma.

Xeroderma

Dry skin.

Abscess

A cavity containing pus surrounded by inflamed tissue; usually the result of localized infection.

Acne

Chronic papular and pustular eruption of the skin with increased production of sebum.

Actinic keratosis

Thickened area of the epidermis associated with aging and skin damage due to sun exposure.

Basal cell carcinoma

Skin cancer arising from cells in the basal layer of the epidermis.

Bulla (pl. bullae)

Large blister.

Callus

Hard, thickened area of skin occurring in areas of the body exposed to friction or pressure.

Cellulitis

Diffuse, acute inflammatory infection of the skin marked by local heat, redness, pain and swelling.

Cicatrix

Scar tissue.

Crust

Collection on the skin of dried sebum and cellular debris; scab.

Curettage

Scraping of material from the skin or from the wall of a cavity.

Cyst

Thick-walled, closed sac or pouch containing fluid or semisolid material.

Decubitus ulcer

Inflammation, sore, or ulcer in the skin over a bony part of the body; pressure ulcer; bedsore.

Dysplastic nevi

Numerous abnormal moles with irregular borders, indistinct margins, and mixed coloration; often precursors of malignant melanomas.

Ecchymosis (pl. ecchymoses)

Bleeding into the skin; bruise.

Eczema

Chronic dermatitis of unknown etiology, marked by redness, blisters, scales, and scabs.

Electrodesiccation

Destruction of tissue by burning with an electric spark.

Erosion

Wearing away or loss of epidermis.

Exanthematous viral disease

Rash (exanthem) of skin due to viral infection; measles (rubeola) and chicken pox (varicella) are examples.

Fissure

Groove or crack-like sore.

Fungal tests

Scrapings from skin lesions are sent to a laboratory for culture and microscopic examination for evidence of fungal growth.

Gangrene

Death of tissue associated with loss of blood supply.

Impetigo

Inflammatory bacterial skin disease characterized by vesicles, pustules, and crusted-over lesions.

Kaposi sarcoma

Malignant tumor of skin and blood vessels; often associated with AIDS. Dark blue-purple patches form on the skin.

Keloid

Enlarged scar on the skin.

Macule

Pigmented spot on the skin; freckle.

Malignant melanoma

Cancerous skin tumor often arising in pre-existing moles (nevi).

Mohs surgery

Microscopically controlled excision of skin cancers.

Nevus (pl. nevi)

Mole (pigmented lesion of the skin).

Nodule

Solid, round or oval, elevated skin lesion more than 1 cm in diameter.

Papule

Small, solid elevation of the skin, less than 1 cm in diameter.

Petechia (pl. petechiae)

Small, pinpoint hemorrhages in the skin.

Pilonidal cyst

Sac of hair in the sacral region (above the cleft in the buttocks).

Polyp

Mushroom-like benign growth extending on a stalk from the surface of a mucous membrane.

Pruritus

Itching.

Psoriasis

Chronic, recurrent dermatosis characterized by scaly, dull red or pink patches covered by silvery gray scales.

Purpura

Bleeding into the skin; ecchymoses and petechiae.

Purulent

Forming or containing pus.

Pustule

Small elevation of the skin containing pus.

Rubella

Exanthemous viral disease; German measles.

Rubeola

Exanthemous viral disease; measles.

Scabies

Contagious, parasitic infection of the skin with intense pruritus (itching).

Scleroderma

Chronic and progressive disease of the skin with hardening and shrinking of connective tissue.

Sebaceous cyst

Sac-like cavity filled with a collection of yellowish, cheesy sebum and epithelial debris.

Skin biopsy

Procedure to remove a suspected malignant lesion and send it to pathology laboratory for microscopic examination.

Skin test

Reaction of the body to a substance by observing the results of injecting the substance intradermally or applying it topically to the skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Skin cancer that develops from squamous epithelium.

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease of collagen in the skin, of joints, and of internal organs.

Tinea

Fungal infection of the skin; tinea corporis (ringworm) and tinea pedis (athlete's foot) are examples.

Ulcer

Open sore on the skin or mucous membranes of the body.

Urticaria

Acute allergic reaction in which red, round, elevated swollen areas called wheals appear on the skin. Pruritus (itching) may be intense.

Varicella

Exanthamous viral disease marked by itchy red rash that develops into blisters and pustules and then scabs; chicken pox.

Verruca (pl. verrucae)

Small benign growth (wart) in the skin; caused by a virus.

Vesicle

Small blister, containing clear fluid, on the skin.

Vitiligo

Patches of white, unpigmented skin surrounded by areas of normal skin; leukoderma.

Wheal

Round elevation in the skin with a pale, whitish area surrounded by redness; hives.

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