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Flashcards from Ch 16 of Building a Medical Vocabulary 7th edition by Peggy C. Leonard


A covering or skin

Integumentary system

The skin and its glands, hair, nails, and other structures that are derived from it


The top layer of skin, consisting of four or five layers


A waterproofing scleroprotein that hardens over several days


The formation of keratin, a horny material


The thicker layer of the skin; noncellular connective tissue that is composed of collagen and elastic fibers that provide strength and flexibility; contains blood vessels, nerves, and glands; also called the corium

Subcutaneous adipose tissue

Serves as a cushion against shock and insulates the body; just under the dermis


The medical speciality that focuses on the skin


A physician who specializes in the skin


The outermost germ layer, from which skin is derived


The middle germ layer


The innermost germ layer

Accessory skin structures

Hair, nails, sebeceous glands, and sweat glands embedded in the dermis


Area of the armpit

Arrector pili muscles

Contract under stresses of cold or fright, straighten the hair follicles, and rais the hairs, producing goosebumps

Sebaceous glands

Structurally associated with hair folicles, but those of the eyelids, nipples, and genitalia are freestanding; found in all areas of the body that have hair; produce the oily material sebum


The oily material secreted by the sebaceous glands; keeps hair and skin soft and pliable and also inhibits the growth of bacteria on the skin

Sudoriferous gland

Sweat gland; found in most parts of the skin, most numerous in the palms and soles


Sweat, the substance produced by the sweat glands, a mixture of salt, water, and other waste products; principal function is to regulate body temperature


The whitish, crescent-shaped area of the nail matrix responsible for nail growth




One who habitually bites the nails


Pertaining to the nail


Removal of a small piece of living tissue

Punch biopsy

An instrument called a punch is used to remove a small amount of material at least to the level of the dermis for microscopic study

Shaved specimen

Performed on superficial lesions, using a razor blade to obtain the specimen


The scraping of material from a lesion using an instrument called a curet


An instrument used to scrape material from a lesion for testing

Wood lamp

An ultaviolet light

Skin test

A test performed to determine the reaction of the body to a substance by observing the results of either injecting or applying the substance

Allergy test

A skin test performed to determine if an allergy to a particular substance exists

Sweat test

A test of the composition of sweat; performed to diagnose cystic fibrosis, increased levels of sodium and chloride present


A falling away of tissue in scales or layer


Hardening of tissue, especially the skin; usually caused by edema and inflammation


Bluish appearance of the skin; caused by severe heart or lung disease


Unusually yellow skin; suggestive of greater than normal amount of bile pigment in the blood


A partial or total absence of pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes


A person affected with albinism


A condition in which the skin is dry and scaly, resembling fish skin; some forms, but not all, are hereditary


A mild, nonhereditary form of icthyosis characterized by roughness or dryness of the skin


A dry condition; especially excessive dryness of the skin


Infestation by human lice

Discoid lupus erythematosus

A disease primarily of the skin characterized by lesions that are covered with scales; named for the reddish facial rash present in some patients giving them a wolflike appearance; believed to be an autoimmune disorder


Redness or inflammation of the skin


Hardening and thickening of the skin

Systematic scleroderma

An autoimmune disorder of the connective tissue


An inflammatory condition of the skin; may be acute or chronic


A superficial dermatitis characterized by inflammation on the surface of the skin

Contact dermatitis

Skin rash resulting from exposure to an irritant or antigen


An abnormal skin reaction to light, a common symptom of DLE


A contagious dermatitis caused by the itch mite and transmitted by close contact

Seborrheic dermatitis

A chronic inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by greasy scales and yellowish crusts (e.g. dandruff)


Excessive production of sebum

Acne vulgaris

A skin disease common where sebaceous glands are most numerous (face, chest, and upper back) characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, nodules, and cysts


Caused by hair follicles being blocked by increased sebaceous activity


Bacterial infection of a blocked follicle, results in filling of pus


Production of pus


Production of pus


Production of pus


A localized suppurative infection that begins with infectino of a hair follicle or sebeceous gland by pathogenic staphylococci; also called a boil


A benign warty skin lesion with a rough surface caused by a common contagious virus

Herpes simplex virus

The most common viral infection affecting adult skin

Herpes simplex virus type 1

Causes fever blisters

Herpes zoster

Causes shingles and occurs with reactivation of the herpes virus in individuals who previously had chickenpox; characterized by the developmet of painful vesicles that follow the underlying route of cranial or spinal nerves inflamed by the virus; a disease of immunosuppression; occurs most often and with greater severity in older persons

Herpes simplex virus type 2

Causes genital herpes infections


A superficial fungal infection


A superficial fungal infection


A group of dermatomycoses that affect various parts of the body; also called ringworm


Any visible, local abnormality of the tissues of the skin, such as a sore, a rash, or a rumor


Any pus-containing cavity that is surrounded by inflamed tissue and is characteristically caused by infection with staphylococci; healed by draining or incision


A raised area of the overlying skin filled with fluid or semisolid material


A raised area of the overlying skin that is solid and more than one centimeter wide and deep

Primary lesions

Initial reactions to an underlying problem


A nonraised, small dark spot on the skin; also called a freckle


A small elevated and circumscribed area (e.g. a small mole)


An elevated and circumscribed area greater than a centimeter in diameter (e.g. dandruff)


Smaller blister-like lesions that contain fluid


Larger blister-like lesions that contain fluid


Blister-like lesions that contain pus


An allergic skin eruption characterized by transient, elevated, irregularly shaped lesions called wheals; also called hives



Secondary lesions

Changes in the appearance of the primary lesion, can occur with normal progression of the disease


Thinning of the skin with loss of skin markings (e.g. stretch marks)


Deep, irregular erosions that extend into the dermis


Linear crackes in the epidermis (e.g. athlete's foot)


Composed of dried serum, sebum, blood, or pus on the skin surface; frequently seen in psoriasis


A common skin disease characterized by circumscribed red patches covered by thick, dry, silvery scales; treated with UV light therapy


Tiny purple or red spots appearing on the skin as a result of tiny hemorrhages within the dermal or submucosal layers, flush with the skin and ranging in size from pinpoint to pinhead


A hemorrhagic spot, larger than a petechia; forms a nonelevated blue or purplish patch




A common, benign tumor consisting of mature fat cells, usually removed by surgical excision


A flat, poorly defined mass, often on the sole over a bony prominence and caused by pressure; also called a calculus


A round or conical mass caused by pressure of friction; usually painful


A condition of the skin characterized by the formation of horny growths or excessive development of epithelium

Seborrheic keratosiss

A common benign, circumscribed lession with well-defined edges and definite boundaries that may occur anywhere on the body of an older person, more commonly found on the face, neck, upper trunk, and arms

Actinic keratosis

A premalignant lesion that is common in people with chronically sun-damaged skin; may progress to skin cancer if not removed

Squamous cell carcinoma

A common type of skin cancer that is rarely invasive

Basal cell carcinoma

A common type of skin cancer that is rarely invasive; a malignant epithelial cell tumor that begins as a papule and continues to enlarge

Malignant melanoma

A cancer that arises from moles with irregular edges or varegated colors; such moles are usually removed and examined as a preventative action; a pigmented neoplasm that originates in the skin and is compsed of melanocytes; highly metastatic, aggressive, and lethal

Kaposi sarcoma

The most common malignancy associated with AIDS; characterized by small, purplish-brown papules that spread throughout the skin, lymph nodes, and internal organs; also associated with diabetes and malignant lymphoma


A physical injury involving a break in the skin, usually caused by an act or accident other than a disease

Intentional wounds

The result of a planned invasive therapy treatment, as in surgery; characterized by clean edges, controlled bleeding, and low risk of infection

Unintentional wounds

The result of unexcpected trauma of forcible injury as in scrapes, burns, or stabbing; characterized by jagged edges, potential uncontrolled bleeding, higher risk of infection, and longer healing time


Free of pathogenic organisms or infected material

Decubitus ulcers

A type of injury to the skin that occurse almost exclusively in people with limited mobility; sores that occur as a result of mechanical trauma and lack of adequate blood flow to the affected area; also called pressure ulcers or bedsores


A mark that is left by healing of a lesion where excess collagen was produced to replace the injured tissue


Excessive overgrowth of unsightly scar tissue; occurs most commonly in black individuals


A torn, jagged wound


A wound made by piercing


A wound characterized by the scraping or rubbing away by friction of skin


A would caused by a blow to the body that causes subcutaneous bleeding and does not disrupt the integrity of the skin; characterized by swelling, discoloration, and pain; also called a bruise


Tissue injuries resulting from excessive exposure to heat, electricity, chemicals, radiation, or gases, in which the extent of the injury is determined by the amount of exposure and the nature of the agent that causes it; magnitude based on depth and total body surface area affected

Superficial burn

Involves only the epidermis, characterized by redness, no immediate blisters; 1st degree

Deep-partial thickness

Extends into the dermis, red and moist, blistered; 2nd degree


Throughout the dermis and epidermis, sometimes into subcutaneous fat layer, hard, drye, and leathery, white, deep red, yellow, brown to black; 3rd degree

Deep full-thickness

No skin layers remain, underlying bone and muscle are damaged, wound is blackened and depressed, muscle and bone exposed; 4th degree

Rule of nines

A formula for estimating the percentage of adult body surface covered by burns

Lund-Browder system

A system of calculating the total body surface area affected that takes into account the patient's age




Damage to skin, tissues, and blood vessels as a result of prolonged exposure to cold


A condition in which the amount of oxygen is below normal


Localized tissue death that occurs in response to diesase or injury; can be caused by a jellyfish sting


Any disease of the hair


Superficial bacterial infection involving the hair follicles


A localized bacterial invasion of subcutaneous tissue; can occur independently or be a consequence of folliculitis; characterized by pain, heat, swelling, and redness


Abnormal growth or development of hair




Any disease of the nails


Atrophy or other unhealthy condition of the nails, often caused by a fungal infection


A condition of the nails resulting from a fungus


Abnormal softening of the nails


Inflammation of a sweat gland; can be caused by closure of the pores with secondary bacterial infection of apocrine sweat glands, chiefly in the axillary or anogenital areas; characterized by the development of a tender red abscess that enlarges and eventually breaks through the skin or forms a cyst


Excessive sweating


A condition in which the body temperature is below normal


A greatly increased body temperature that overrides or bypasses normal heat regulation (e.g. heatstroke and sunstroke)


An increased body temperature that is mediated by an increase in the heat regulatory set point; fever


Heat paralysis; heatstroke or sunstroke

Wound irrigation

Flushing of an open wound using a medicated solution, water, sterile saline, or an antimicrobial liquid preparation


Pertaining to a substance that acts against microorganisms, either killing or inhibiting their growth

Antimicrobial irrigation

Flushing of an open would with an antimicrobial liquid preparation to cleanse and remove debris and excessive drainage

Superficial wounds

Often heal without suturing

Deep wounds

Generally stapled or sutured to stop the bleeding, hold the tissues together, and enhance the healing process

Adhesive sprays

Used for closing certain wounds

Negative-pressure wound therapy

Uses suction and controlled negative pressure to remove drainage and speed wound healing; pulls infections materials and other fluids from the wound via tubing; suitable for acute or traumatic wounds, ulcerated wounds, or surgical wounds that have dehisced; also called vacuum-assisted closure


The rupture of a would closure or the separation of a surgical incision, typically an abdominal incision

Skin graft

Transplantation of skin to cover areas where skin has been lost through a burn or other trauma, or to replace diseased skin that has been removed


A graft using skin from the patient's own body


A graft of tissue between two genetically differeny individuals of the same species

Skin flap

A special type of skin graft that involves moving a section of skin to a nearby area without cutting off the end of the transplanted tissue in order to leave some of the blood circulation in tact

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