Acne Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Acne article.

Acne: Localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of the oil glands at the bas...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viral...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Blackhead: A familiar term for what is medically called an open comedo. A comedo, the prim...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Comedo: The primary sign of acne, consisting of a widened hair follicle filled with kerati...

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Comedones: The plural of comedo, the primary sign of acne, consisting of a dilated (widene...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Dermabrasion: A surgical procedure that involves the controlled scraping away of the upper...

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Dermatology: 1. The branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dilation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" mean...

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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Estrogens: Female hormones produced by the ovaries. Estrogen deficiency can lead to osteop...

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Exacerbate: To make worse. For example, smoking may exacerbate lung disease.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Hair follicle: A sac from which a hair grows and into which the sebaceous (oil) glands ope...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by infla...

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Lipids: Another word for "fats." (Please see the various meanings of Fat.) Lipids can be m...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uteru...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nodular: Bumpy.

Papules: Small solid rounded bumps rising from the skin that are each usually less than 1 ...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Pimples: Small papules or pustules. See: Pimple.

Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Propionibacterium acnes: A ubiquitous skin-dwelling organism that is involved in causing a...

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Puberty: Adolescence, the period in which the human body first becomes capable of reproduc...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer or other disease. A remission...

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Retinoid: 1. Vitamin A (retinol) or a naturally occurring or synthetic substance ch...

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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the ach...

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Sebaceous gland: A normal gland of the skin which empties an oily secretion into the hair ...

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Sebum: An oily secretion of the sebaceous gland which helps to preserve the flexibility of...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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Sunburn: Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that develops in response to exposure to u...

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Superficial: In anatomy, on the surface or shallow. As opposed to deep. The skin is superf...

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Tetracycline: A family of broad-spectrum antibiotics effective against a remarkably wide v...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied ...

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Vitamin A: Vitamin A is retinol. Carotene compounds (found, for example, in egg yolk, butt...

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Whitehead: A familiar term for what is medically called a closed comedo. A comedo, the pri...

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Zinc: A mineral that is essential to the body and is a constituent of many enzymes that pe...

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Medical Dictionary