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...

See the entire definition of Abdomen

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

See the entire definition of Acetaminophen

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

See the entire definition of Acquired

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

See the entire definition of Acute

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

See the entire definition of Allergic reaction

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

See the entire definition of Allergy

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

See the entire definition of Analysis

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

See the entire definition of Antibiotic

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

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

See the entire definition of Autoimmune

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

See the entire definition of Bacteria

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 ...

See the entire definition of Biopsy

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

See the entire definition of Blister

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

See the entire definition of Blood pressure back to top

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

See the entire definition of Brain

Bullae: More than one bulla, a bulla being a blister more than 5 mm (about 3/16 inch) in d...

See the entire definition of Bullae

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

See the entire definition of Bumps

Capillaries: Capillaries are the smallest of blood vessels. They serve to distribute oxyge...

See the entire definition of Capillaries

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

See the entire definition of Cardiovascular

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...

See the entire definition of Chest

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

See the entire definition of Dehydration

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

See the entire definition of Diagnosis

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

See the entire definition of Diarrhea

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

See the entire definition of Dizziness

Doxycycline: Brand name: Vibramycin. A synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotic derived from te...

See the entire definition of Doxycycline

Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

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

See the entire definition of Electrolyte back to top

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

See the entire definition of Emergency department

Endemic: A characteristic of a particular population, environment, or region. Examples of ...

See the entire definition of Endemic

Enzyme: Proteins that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An e...

See the entire definition of Enzyme

Eosinophilia: An abnormally high number of eosinophils in the blood. Normally, eosinophils...

See the entire definition of Eosinophilia

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

Erythema: Redness of the skin that results from capillary congestion. Erythema can occur w...

See the entire definition of Erythema

Erythema multiforme: See: Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

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

See the entire definition of Essential

Evolution: The continuing process of change.

Extremity: An uttermost part of the body, such as a hand or a foot.

Fasciitis: Inflammation of the fascia.

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

See the entire definition of Fatigue

Febrile: Feverish.

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

See the entire definition of Fever

Flu: Flu is a colloquialism for influenza. The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused ...

See the entire definition of Flu back to top

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

See the entire definition of Headache

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

See the entire definition of Heart

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

See the entire definition of Heart failure

Hemorrhagic: Pertaining to bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

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

See the entire definition of Hepatitis

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

See the entire definition of Herpes

HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

See the entire definition of HIV

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

See the entire definition of Ibuprofen

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

See the entire definition of Idiopathic

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

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

See the entire definition of Immune system

Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional.

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

See the entire definition of Infection

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

See the entire definition of Inflammation

Influenza: Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses Mo...

See the entire definition of Influenza back to top

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

See the entire definition of Itching

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

See the entire definition of Joint

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

See the entire definition of Kidney

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

See the entire definition of Lesion

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

See the entire definition of Lightheadedness

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

See the entire definition of Lips

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

See the entire definition of Liver

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

See the entire definition of Low blood pressure

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

Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges, the three membranes that envelop the brain and t...

See the entire definition of Meningitis

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

See the entire definition of Mouth

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

See the entire definition of Mucous

Multiple organ failure: A term synonymous with multiple system failure and equally vague a...

See the entire definition of Multiple organ failure

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

See the entire definition of Muscle

Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

back to top

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

See the entire definition of Nausea

Necrosis: The death of living cells or tissues. Necrosis can be due, for example, to ische...

See the entire definition of Necrosis

Necrotizing fasciitis: Severe bacterial infection of the fascia, the tissues that line and...

See the entire definition of Necrotizing fasciitis

Neisseria: A group of bacteria that includes the bacterium that causes gonorrhea.

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

See the entire definition of Onset

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

See the entire definition of Organ

Organ failure: The failure of an essential system in the body. Multiple organ failure is t...

See the entire definition of Organ failure

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

See the entire definition of Pain

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

See the entire definition of Pemphigus

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

See the entire definition of Penicillin

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

See the entire definition of Prognosis

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

See the entire definition of Protease

Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

See the entire definition of Protein

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

See the entire definition of Proteins

Purpura: Hemorrhage (bleeding) into the surface of the skin. The area of skin with purpura...

See the entire definition of Purpura back to top

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

See the entire definition of Rash

Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

See the entire definition of Respiratory failure

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

See the entire definition of Reverse transcriptase

Rickettsia: A member of a group of microorganisms that (like viruses) require other living...

See the entire definition of Rickettsia

Septicemia: Systemic (bodywide) illness with toxicity due to invasion of the bloodstream b...

See the entire definition of Septicemia

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

See the entire definition of Shock

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

See the entire definition of Skin biopsy

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

See the entire definition of Smallpox

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

See the entire definition of Sodium

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

See the entire definition of Sore

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

See the entire definition of Sore throat

Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

See the entire definition of Spinal cord

Spotted fever: Also known as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. An acute febrile (feverish) dis...

See the entire definition of Spotted fever

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

See the entire definition of Stage back to top

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

See the entire definition of Staphylococcus

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

See the entire definition of Steroid

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

See the entire definition of Stevens-Johnson syndrome

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

See the entire definition of Superficial

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

See the entire definition of Surgery

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

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

See the entire definition of Systemic

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

See the entire definition of Systolic

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...

See the entire definition of Throat

Tick: A small wingless bloodsucking insect that, along with the mite, belongs to the order...

See the entire definition of Tick

Tick bite: A bite from a bloodsucking, parasitic insect that punctures the skin with a sha...

See the entire definition of Tick bite

Ticks: Small wingless bloodsucking insects that, along with the mite, belongs to the order...

See the entire definition of Ticks

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

See the entire definition of Tongue

Toxic shock: See Toxic shock syndrome.

back to top

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

See the entire definition of Toxic shock syndrome

Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

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

See the entire definition of Tuberculous

Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

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

See the entire definition of Vaccination

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

See the entire definition of Vagina

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

See the entire definition of Vein

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

See the entire definition of Viral

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

See the entire definition of Viral infection

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

See the entire definition of Viruses

Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

back to top




Medical Dictionary