Eczema Glossary of Terms

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

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acquired: Not inherited, or present at birth (congenital), but developing after birth. For...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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Allergic contact dermatitis: A red, itchy, weepy reaction where the skin has come into con...

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Allergic rhinitis: Medical term for hay fever, an allergic reaction that mimics a chronic ...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Allergy shots: See Allergy desensitization.

Antibacterial: Anything that destroys bacteria or suppresses their growth or their ability...

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

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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

Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Atopic: A predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions. At...

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Atopic dermatitis: A skin disease characterized by areas of severe itching, redness, scali...

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Atopy: The genetic tendency to develop the classic allergic diseases -- atopic dermatitis,...

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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.

Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Boil: A skin abscess that forms at a hair follicle infected with pus-forming bacteria. The...

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Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured b...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Contact dermatitis: A skin condition caused by contact between skin and some substance. In...

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Contagious: capable of being transmitted from one human to another human via direct or ind...

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Dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin, either due to an inherent skin defect, direct contac...

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

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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

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Differentiation: 1 The process by which cells become progressively more specialize...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Dry skin: Abnormally dry skin. Can be caused by a dry climate, winter weather, severe defi...

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Dyshidrotic eczema: Irritation of the skin on the palms of hands and soles of the feet cha...

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Ear: The hearing organ. There are three sections of the ear, according to the anatomy tex...

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Eczema (dermatitis): A particular type of inflammatory reaction of the skin in which there...

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Elbow: The juncture of the long bones in the middle portion of the upper extremity. The bo...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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

Familial: A condition that tends to occur more often in family members than is expected by...

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

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Flare: 1. an exacerbation of a chronic disease. Sometimes referred to as a flare-up, a fla...

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Fungal: Pertaining to a fungus. For example, a fungal skin infection.

Fungus: A single-celled or multicellular organism. Fungi can be true pathogens (such as hi...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Hay fever: A seasonal allergy to airborne particles characterized by itchy eyes, runny nos...

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Humidifier: A machine that puts moisture into the air. Humidified air makes it easier to b...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Immunity: The condition of being immune. Immunity can be innate'for example, humans are in...

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Immunoglobulin: A protein produced by plasma cells and lymphocytes and characteristic of t...

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Immunoglobulin E: A class of immunoglobulins that includes the antibodies that are importa...

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Immunology: The study of all aspects of the immune system, including its structure and fun...

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Immunotherapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune (defense) syst...

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Impetigo: A skin infection caused by the staphylococcus or, less often, by the streptococc...

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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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Inhalant: 1. Generally, any breathable chemical vapor.
2. Specificall...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Knee: The knee is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (the femur) meets the lar...

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Lichenification: Thick, leathery skin, usually the result of constant scratching and rubbi...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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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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Nickel: A silver-white metallic element. Long-term exposure to nickel, such as from jewelr...

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Outer ear: The part of the ear that is visible along the side of the head. The outer ear c...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Penis: The external male sex organ. The penis contains two chambers, the corpora cavernosa...

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Poison: Any substance that can cause severe organ damage or death if ingested, breathed in...

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Poison oak: Skin inflammation that results from contact with the poison oak plant. Chemica...

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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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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Psoriasis: A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, sca...

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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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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Rhinitis: Irritation of the nose.

Scabies: Infestation of the skin by the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. The ini...

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Scrotum: The pouch of skin that contains the testes, epididymides, and lower portions of t...

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Seborrheic dermatitis: A medical name for what is popularly called seborrhea.

Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Staphylococcus: A group of bacteria that cause a multitude of diseases. Under a microscope...

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Stasis: A stoppage or slowdown in the flow of blood or other body fluid, such as lymph. Fo...

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Stasis dermatitis: A skin irritation on the lower legs generally related to circulatory pr...

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

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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

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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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Vesicles: In dermatology, vesicles are small blisters, most often on the skin. Vesicles al...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Vulva: The female external genital organs, including the labia, clitoris, and entrance to ...

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Medical Dictionary