Integumentary System Disorders

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abscess

A localized collection of pus buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces.

acne

A common inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands characterized by comedones, papules, pustules, inflamed nodules, pus-filled cysts, and, in extreme cases, deep, inflamed, purulent sacs.

actinic keratosis

Sharply outlined red or skin-colored, flat or raised keratotic lesions which may develop into squamous cell carcinoma.

alopecia

Baldness. The absence of hair in places where it should be present.

basal cell carcinoma

A type of skin cancer, the presentation of which varies. It can appear as small, shiny, formed nodules, ulcerated and crusty lesions, scar-like plaques, or lesions appearing like a dermatitis. The most common form begins as a small, shiny papule, gets bigger and begins to show a shiny, pearl-like border with telangiectasis. It rarely metastasizes, but does invade normal tissues.

burn

Injury to integumentary tissue caused by contact with fire, steam, hot liquid, chemicals, electricity, friction, or radiant exposure. It is classified by degrees: first degree burns involve redness of the superficial layers of the skin; second degree burns have blisters which involve the deeper layers of the skin; and third degree burns destroy the skin and cause damage to underlying tissues.

candidiasis

Infection by the Candida fungus. This is usually superficial and most commonly affects the skin. However, it also affects moist mucous areas, such as those found in the mouth, vagina, and respiratory tract.

cellulitis

An acute, diffuse, spreading, edematous inflammation primarily of the deep subcutaneous tissues, but sometimes affecting deeper tissues and muscles. This is often associated with abscess formation.

dandruff

Dry, scaly material shed from the scalp.

decubitus ulcer

Decubitus means literally the act of lying down. A decubitus ulcer is a bedsore, or a loss of the epidermis in patches caused by lying in bed for long periods of time.

dermatitis

Inflammation of the skin.

atopic dermatitis

A chronic itching, superficial inflammation of the skin usually associated with a family history of related disorders, such as hayfever and asthma.

contact dermatitis

Acute or chronic dermatitis caused by materials or substances that come into contact with the skin.

nummular dermatitis

Chronic dermatitis in which there are inflamed, coin-shaped, crusted and scaling pruritic lesions.

seborrheic dermatitis

An inflammatory scaling disease of the scalp, face, and sometimes other areas. Sometimes used synonymously with dandruff.

stasis dermatitis

The persistent inflammation of the skin of the lower legs with a tendency to have brown pigment. This is associated with venous insufficiency.

dermatofibroma

Also called fibrous histiocytoma, this refers to a firm, red or brown, small papule or nodule occurring in the dermis. This is commonly seen in the legs of women following minor trauma.

histiocytoma

Also known as dermatofibroma.

eczema

This term is sometimes used synonymously with dermatitis, and sometimes to specify atopic dermatitis. It means literally "oozing or weeping," and is characterized by pruritic papules with oozing, crusting, and scaling, and secondarily by lichenification of the affected skin.

erythema

By itself this means redness of the skin. There are two specific types which are commonly seen in dermatology. These are: erythema multiforme and erythema nodosum.

erythema multiforme

An inflammatory eruption of the skin with symmetric, red, bullous lesions.

erythema nodosum

An inflammatory disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue characterized by tender red nodules, especially in the tibial region, but also involving the arms and other areas.

folliculitis

Inflammation of a follicle or follicles. This generally refers to hair follicles.

gangrene

The death of tissue (necrosis), usually affecting a large area; associated with loss of vascular supply and secondarily with bacterial infection and putrefaction (decomposition).

putrefaction

Enzymatic decomposition, especially of proteins, with the production of foul-smelling compounds.

hemangioma

Localized benign vascular tumors of the skin and subcutaneous tissues.

hidradenitis suppurativa

A recurrent skin disease, characterized by boil-like lesions or abscesses, usually found around hair follicles and apocrine sweat glands.

ichthyosis

Any of several skin disorders in which the skin is dry and scaly.

ichthyosis vulgaris

The most common type of ichthyosis is ichthyosis vulgaris, which is characterized by prominent scaling on the extensor surfaces of the extremities and the back. Interestingly, flexor surfaces, the abdomen and face, are usually spared. "Ichthys" means "fish," and the condition resembles fish scales.

impetigo

A superficial vesiculopustular infection of the skin most frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus. The most commonly affected areas are the arms, legs, and face.

Kaposi sarcoma

A neoplasm characterized by bluish-red skin nodules found most often on the lower extremities (especially the feet) which increase in size and number and spread to more proximal sites. This disease is endemic to Central Africa and Central and Eastern Europe, and a particularly virulent form occurs in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

keloid

An enlarged or overgrown (hypertrophic) scar. Keloids are shiny, smooth, dome-shaped, and range in color from flesh-colored to pink to red, and even purple.

keratoacanthoma

A round, firm, usually flesh-colored lesion with a central crater containing keratinous material.

melanoma

A tumor arising from the melanocytic system of the skin. If the term is used alone, it refers to malignant melanoma. Melanomas vary in size, shape, color (although they are usually pigmented), and in their propensity to invade and metastasize. Such a tumor can spread so quickly that it is fatal within a few months.

mycosis fungoides

A malignant condition in which itchy and erythematous patches gradually evolve into plaques infiltrated by abnormal lymphocytes and convoluted nuclei and then onto the tumor stage.

paronychia

Infection at the margin of a nail.
Also onychia: Infection of the nailbed.

pediculosis

Infestation with lice. Pediculus is the genus of sucking lice, and is therefore capitalized. This can affect the head (Pediculus humanus capitis), the body (Pediculus humanus corporis), or the genitals (Phthirus pubis).

pityriasis rosea

A self-limiting, mild inflammatory skin disease characterized by scaly lesions.

psoriasis

A common chronic and recurrent disease characterized by dry, silvery, scaling papules of various sizes.

pyoderma

A general term for any skin condition caused by pus-forming bacteria.

rosacea

A chronic disease of the skin involving the middle third of the face and characterized by erythema, telangiectasias, papules, and pustules. This usually occurs in middle age.

scabies

A contagious parasitic dermatitis of both humans and animals; intense itching and secondary infection are common. This is sometimes called "The Itch."

spongiosis

A patchy intercellular edema of the epidermis that causes a spongy or porous appearance on microscopic examination.

squamous cell carcinoma

Skin cancer that arises from the malpighian cells of the epithelium. This generally occurs on sun-exposed areas but can develop anywhere. The tumor itself begins as a red papule with a scaly, crusty surface. The bulk of the tumor can actually lie below the skin, and eventually will invade underlying tissue.

steatoma

Fatty mass of the skin that contains follicular, keratinous, and sebaceous material. These lesions are most commonly seen on the scalp, ears, face, back, or scrotum.

tinea

The general term for superficial infections caused by fungi that invade dead tissues of the skin or its associated structures. This is also called "ringworm." There are different types, which are classified according to the site of involvement.

tinea capitis

Ringworm of the scalp. This generally affects children and is highly contagious.

tinea corporis

Ringworm of the body.

tinea cruris

Jock itch.

tinea pedis

Athlete's foot.

tinea unguium

Ringworm of the nails.
This is also called onychomycosis.

onychomycosis

Ringworm of the nails.
Same as tinea unguium.

toxic epidermal necrolysis

A life-threatening skin disease in which the epidermis peels off in sheets.

urticaria

Local wheals and erythema in the dermis.

vitiligo

A progressive, chronic pigment anomaly of the skin manifested by white patches that may or may not be surrounded by a hyperpigmented border.

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