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Integumentary system

organ system made up of the skin and its related structures, performs important functions in maintaining the health of the body


Latin word meaning to cover or enclose


forms the protective outer covering the external surface of the entire body

Sebaceous glands

secrete sebum (oil) that lubricates the skin and discourages the growth of bacteria on the skin; located in the dermis and closely associated with hair follicles

Sweat glands

aka sudoriferous glands, are tiny, coiled glands that help regulate body temperature and water content by secreting sweat


helps control the loss of body heat


protect the dorsal surface of the last bone of each toe and finger


pertaining to the skin


means skin


the outermost layer of the skin, made up of several specialized epithelial tissues

Epitheleal tissues

form a protective covering for all of the internal and external surfaces of the body

Squamous epithelial tissue

forms the uper layer of the epidermis


means scale-like

Basal layer

the lowest layer of the epidermis where new cells are produced and then pushed upward. When they reach the surface they die and become filled with keratin


a fibrous, water-repellent protein, the primary component of skin, hair, and nails


special cells that are also found in the basal cell layer that produce and contain a dark brown to black pigment known as melanin


the pigment that determines the color of the skin, which depends upon the type and amount of this pigment that is present


aka the corium, is the thick layer of living tissue directly below the epidermis, it contains connective tissue, blood and lymph vessels, and nerve fibers

Sensory nerve endings

the sensory receptors for stimuli such as touch, temperature, pain, and pressure


which means glue, is a tough, yet flexible, fibrous protein material found in the skin, and also in the bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments

Mast cells

which are found in the connective tissue of the dermis, respond to injury, infection, or allergy by producing and releasing substances, including heparin and histamine


which is released in response to an injury, is an anticoagulant, which prevents blood clotting


which is released in response to allergens, causes the signs of an allergic response, including itching and increased mucus secretion

Subcutaneous layer

is located just below the layers of the skin and connects the skin to the surface muscles


describes deposits of dimpled fat around the buttocks and thighs


fat cells, predominant in the subcutanous layer where they manufacture and store large quantities of fat


an oily substance that is released through ducts opening into the hair follicles

Mammary glands

modified sebaceous glands, sometimes classified with the integumentary system, and are also part of the reproductive system


the openings on the surface of the skin that act as the ducts of the sweat glands


commonly known as sweat, is secreted by sweat glands and is made up of 99% water plus some salt and metabolic waste products


the production and excretion of perspiration


rod-like structures composed of tightly fused, dead protein cells filled with hard keratin

Hair follicles

the sacs that hold the root of the hair fibers

Arrector pili

tiny muscle fibers attached to the hair follicles that cause the hair to stand erect in response to cold or fright


commonly known as a fingernail or toenail, is a keratine plate that protects the dorsal surface of the last bone of each finger and toe

Nail body

translucent and closely molded to the surface of the underlying tissues, made up of hard, keratinized plates of epidermal cells

Nail bed

joins the nail body to the underlying connective tissue, and nourishes the nail

Free edge

portion of the nail not attached to the nail bed, extends beyond the tip of the finger or toe


a pale half-moon shaped region at every nail root, which is generally most easily seen in the thumbnail and is the active area of the nail where new keratin cells form


a narrow band of epidermis attached to the surface of the nail just in front of the root, protecting the new keratin cells as they form

Nail root

fastens the nail to the finger or toe by fitting into a groove in the skin

Plastic surgeon

a physician who specializes in the surgical restoration and reconstruction of the body structures

Cosmetic surgeon

plastic surgeons who perform operations such as breast augmentation, liposuction, and facelifts that are usually done for aesthetic rather than medical reasons

Acne vulgaris

commonly known as acne, is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by pustular eruptions of the skin caused by an overproduction of sebum around the hair shaft


a noninfected lesion formed by the buildup of sebum and keratin in a hair follicle often associated with acne vulgaris

Sebaceous cyst

a closed sac associated with a sebaceous gland that is found just under the skin, they contain yellow, fatty material and are usually found on the face, neck, or trunk


overactivity of the sebaceous gland that results in the production of an excessive amount of sebum

Seborrheic dermatitis

an inflammation sometimes resulting from seborrhea that causes scaling and itching of the upper layers of the skin or scalp

Seborrheic keratosis

a benign skin growth that has a waxy or "pasted-on" look. These groths can vary in color from light tan to black, and occur most commonly in the elderly


the abnormal condition of lacking sweat in response to heat


means sweat


profuse sweating


means movement


means abnormal condition

Heat rash

aka prickly heat; is an intensely itchy rash caused by blockage of the sweat glands by bacteria and dead cells


a condition of excessive sweating in one area or over the whole body

Sleep hyperhidrosis

aka night sweats, is the occurence of hyperhidrosis during sleep, which can be caused by menopause, certain medications, and some infectious diseases


an inflammation of the hair follicles


means the hair follicle

Trichomycosis axillaris

superficial bacterial infection of the hair shafts in areas with extensive sweat glands, such as the armpits


means hair


Latin for axillary


means armpit


the presence of excessive body and facial hair in women, usually occurring in male pattern


means hairy


means condition


aka baldness, the partial or complete loss of hair, most commonly on the scalp


means baldness

Alopecia areata

an autoimmune disorder that attacks the hair follicles, causing well defined bald areas on the scalp or elsewhere on the body


means occuring in patches

Alopecia totalis

aka alopecia capitis totalis, an uncommon condition charicterized by the loss of all the hair on the scalp

Alopecia universalis

the total loss of hair on all parts of the body


means total

Female pattern baldness

a condition in which the hair thins in the front and on the sides of the scalp and sometimes on the crown

Male pattern baldness

is a common hair-loss pattern in men, with the hairline receding from the front to the back until only a horseshoe-shaped area of hair remains in the back and at the temples


the abnormal curving of the nails that is often accompanied by enlargement of the fingertips, can be hereditary, but usually is caused by changes associated with oxygen deficiencies related to coronary or pulmonary disease


aka spoon nail; is a malformation of the nails in which the outer surface is concave or scooped out like the bowl of a spoon, often an indication of iron-deficiency anemia


means hollow or concave


means fingernail or toenail


aka onychitis; is an inflammation of the matrix of the nail that often results in the loss of the nail


commonly known as an ingrown toenail; the edges of a toenail, usually on the big toe, curve inward and cut into the skin


means hidden


a fungal infection of the nail; depending on the type of fungus involved this condition can cause the nails to turn white, yellow, green, or black and to become thick or brittle


means nail biting or nail eating


means eating or swallowing


an acute or chronic infection of the skin folds around a nail


means near

Age spots

aka solar lentigines or liver spots, are discolorations caused by sun exposure


a genetic condition characterized by a deficiency or the absence of pigment in the skin, hair, and irises of the eyes and is the result of a missing enzyme that is necessary for the production of melanin


aka melasma or the mask of pregnancy, is a pigmentation disorder characterized by brownish spots on the face which can occur during pregnancy, especially among women with dark hair and fair skin, and usually disappear after delivery


a skin condition resulting from the destruction of the malanocytes due to uknown causes; can cause irregular patches of white skin, a process known as depigmentation, hair growing is affected and may turn white


an injury to underlying tissues without breaking the skin and is characterized by discoloration and pain; discoloration is caused by an accumulation of blood within the skin


means bruise


the appearance of multiple purple discolorations on the skin caused by bleeding underneath the skin; these areas are smaller than an ecchymosis and larger than petechiae


means purple


commonly known as a bruise, is a large, irregular area of purplish discoloration due to bleeding under the skin


means pouring out of juice


very small, pinpoint hemorrhages that are less than 2 mm in diameter sometimes resulting from high fevers


usually caused by an injury, is a swelling of clotted blood trapped in the tissues which is eventually reabsorbed by the body. A hematoma is often named for the area where it occurs


means blood


a pathologic change of the tissues due to disease or injury


aka scab, is a collection of dried serum and cellular debris


the wearing away of a surface, such as the epidermis of the skin or the outer layer of a mucus membrane; it can also be used to describe the progressive loss of dental enamel


aka a macula, a discolored flat spot that is less than 1 cm in diameter, freckles or flat moles are examples of macules


a solid, raised skin lesion that is larger than .5 cm in diameter and deeper than a papule. In acne vulgaris, nodules can cause scarring


a small, raised red lesion that is less than .5 cm in diameter and does not contain pus. small pimples and insect bites are types of papules


is a scaly, solid raised area of closely spaced papules. For example, the lesions of psoriasis


are flakes or dry patches made up of excess dead epidermal cells. Some shedding of these scales is normal; however excessive shedding is associated with skin disorders such as psoriasis


aka warts, are small, hard skin lesions caused by the human papillomavirus. Plantar warts are verrucae that develop on the sole of the foot


aka welt, is a small bump that itches; can oppear as urticaria or hives as a symptom of an allergic reaction


a closed pocket containing pus that is caused by a bacterial infection, it can appear on the skin or within other structures of the body


means producing or containing pus


is a fluid, such as pus, that leaks out of an infected wound


an abnormal sac containing gas, fluid, or a semisolid material. This term can also refer to a sac or vesicle elsewhere in the body


aka pimple, is a small, circumscribed lesion containing pus that can be caused by acne vulgaris, impetigo, or other skin infection


a small blister less than .5 cm in diameter containing watery fluid. Ex rash of poison ivy


a large blister that is usually more than .5 cm in diameter


an injury in which superficial layers of skin are scraped or rubbed away


a groove or crack-like break in the skin (ex breaks in the skin between the toes caused by tinea pedis, or athlete's foot). Term can also describe folds in the contours of the brain.


a torn or jagged wound or accidental cut wound

Pressure sore

previously known as a decubitus ulcer or bedsore; is an open ulcerated wound that is caused by prolonged pressure on an area of skin which, without care, can become seriously infected and result in tissue death

Puncture wound

a deep hole made by a sharp object such as a rusty nail or ice pick; this type of percutaneous wound carries a high risk of infection, particularly tetanus


means through the skin

Needlestick injury

an accidental puncture wound caused by using hypodermic needle, potentially transmitting an infection


an open lesion of the skin or mucous membrane resulting in tissue loss around the edges, they can occur inside the body

Pigmented birthmarks

include nevi, aka moles, as well as cafe-au-lait spots, stork bites, and other irregularities in skin color

Vascular birthmarks

caused by blood vessels close to the skin's surface

Capillary hemangioma

aka strawberry birthmark, is a soft, raised, pink or red vascular birthmark


a benign tissue mass made up of newly formed small blood vessels that in birthmarks are visible through the skin

Port-wine stain

a flat vascular birthmark made up of dilated blood capillaries; creating a large, reddish-purple discoloration on the face or neck


inflammation of the skin characterized by redness, swelling, and itching

Contact dermatitis

a localized allergic response caused by contact with an irritant, such as diaper rash, it can also be caused by exposure to an allergen, such as poison ivy, or an allergic reaction to latex gloves


aka atopic dermatitis is a form of persistent or reoccuring dermatitis usually characterized by redness, itching, and dryness, with possible blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding; most often seen in infants and children, appears to be the result of a malfunction of the body's immune system

Exfoliative dermatitis

a condition in which there is a widespread scaling of the skin, often accompanied by pruritus, erythroderma (redness) and hair loss, may occur in severe cases of many common skin conditions


aka itching; associated with most forms of dermatitis


redness of the skin due to capillary dialation


means flushed

Erythema infectiosum

aka fifth disease, is a mildly contagious viral infection that is common in childhood, produces a red, lace-like rash on the child's face that looks as if the child has been slapped.

Erythema multiforme

a skin disorder resulting from a generalized allergic reaction to an illness, infection, or medication which affects the skin, mucous membranes, or both, and characterized by a rash that may appear as nodules or papules, macules, or vissicles or bullae

Erythema pernio

aka chilblains; is a purple-red inflammation that occurs when the small blood vessels below the skin are damaged


a form of erythema in which skin cells are damaged by exposure toe the ultraviolet rays in sunlight


abnormal redness of the entire skin surface


refers to a widespread rash, usually in children


general term used to denote skin lesions or eruptions of any type that are not associated with inflammation


a group of hereditary disorders characterized by dry, thickened, and scaly skin; caused by slowing of the skin's natural shedding process or a rapid increas in the production of skin's cells


means dry or scaly


aka painful fat syndrome; a chronic abnormal condition that is characterized by the accumulation of fat and fluid in the tissues just under the skin of the hips and legs

Systemic lupus erythematosus

an autoimmune disorder characterized by a red, scaly rash on the face and upper trunk that also attacks connective tissue in other body systems, especially in the joints


a common skin disorder characterizzed by flare-ups in which red papules covered with silvery scales occur on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, or buttocks

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