Life-Threatening Skin Rashes Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Life-Threatening Skin Rashes article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious allergic reaction. Symptoms include di...

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Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anap...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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

Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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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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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blister: A collection of fluid underneath the top layer of skin (epidermis). There are man...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bone marrow: The soft blood-forming tissue that fills the cavities of bones and contains f...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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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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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Cardiovascular system: The heart and blood vessels. Also known as circulatory system.

Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

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

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Collagen: The principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, and connective tiss...

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Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the membrane covering the surface of the eyeball. It can b...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Dehydration: Excessive loss of body water. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that ca...

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

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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

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Emergency physician: A physician focused on the immediate decision making and action neces...

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Enzyme: A protein (or protein-based molecule) that speeds up a chemical reaction in a livi...

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Epidermal: Pertaining to the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin.

Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Groin: The area where the thigh meets the hip.

HAART: Stands for highly active antiretroviral therapy....

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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Human immunodeficiency virus: HIV, the cause of AIDS. HIV has also been called the human...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Idiopathic: Of unknown cause. Any disease that is of uncertain or unknown origin may be te...

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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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Immunodeficiency: The inability to form a normal immune response. Immunodeficiency can be ...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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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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Influenza: The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divide...

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Intensive care: See critical care.

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

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Lesion: An area of abnormal tissue change. Lesions vary in severity from harmless to serio...

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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the...

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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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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Marrow: The bone marrow.

Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

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

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Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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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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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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

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Pemphigus: One of a group of chronic, relapsing autoimmune skin diseases that cause bliste...

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Penicillin: The most famous of all antibiotics, named for the fungal mold Penicillium n...

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

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

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

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

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Protease: An enzyme that can split a protein into the peptides from which it was originall...

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

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Public health: The approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community...

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Pus: A thick, whitish-yellow fluid that results from the accumulation of white blood cells...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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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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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory failure: Inability of the lungs to perform their basic task of gas exchange, t...

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Reverse transcriptase: An enzyme that permits DNA to be made, using RNA as the template. A...

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Runny nose: The production of extra mucus by the nose. Rhinorrhea is the medical term for ...

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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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Scalded skin syndrome: A potentially serious side effect of infection with the Staph (Stap...

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Scarlet fever: A skin condition that is due to a streptococcal sore throat or any other st...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Skin biopsy: Removal of a piece of skin for the purpose of diagnostic examination. Skin bi...

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Smallpox: A highly contagious and frequently fatal viral disease that is characterized by ...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Sore throat: Pain in the throat. Sore throat may be caused by many different causes, inclu...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Staph: Very commonly used shortened form of Staphylococcus, a very common and important gr...

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Staph infection: A staph infection is an infection with a Staphylococcal bacteria.

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome: An infection of the skin with group II Staphylococc...

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

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

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Stevens-Johnson syndrome: A serious systemic (bodywide) allergic reaction with a character...

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

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Systolic: The blood pressure when the heart is contracting. It is specifically the maximum...

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

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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

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Toxic shock: See Toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic shock syndrome: A grave condition occurring predominantly in menstruating women usin...

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Tuberculous: Pertaining to tuberculosis. Affected by tuberculosis. Caused by Mycobacterium...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Urethra: The tube that leads from the bladder and transports and discharges urine outside ...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Vaccination: Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against...

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Vagina: The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is ...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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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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Viral infection: Infection caused by the presence of a virus in the body. Depending on...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Medical Dictionary