The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the mometasone, Elocon article.
Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system of defense against foreign invaders, particularly pathogens (the agents of infection). The allergic reaction is misguided in that these foreign substances are usually harmless. The substances that trigger allergy are called allergen. Examples include pollens, dust mite, molds, danders, and certain foods. People prone to allergies are said to be allergic or atopic.
Anal itching: Irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, accompanied by the desire to scratch. The intensity of anal itching is increased by moisture, pressure, and abrasion caused by clothing and sitting. It may be caused by irritating chemicals in food (as in spices, hot sauces, and peppers); irritation due to frequent liquid stools, as in diarrhea; diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or HIV infection, that increase the possibility of yeast infections; and psoriasis. Other causes of anal itching include hemorrhoids, anal fissures, abnormal local growth of anal skin (anal papillae), and skin tags. Treatment is directed first toward relieving the burning and soreness, including cleaning and drying the anus thoroughly, avoiding leaving soap in the anal area, showering gently without directly rubbing or irritating the skin, and using moist pads rather than toilet paper to clean the anus after bowel movements. Local application of cortisone cream may help. Also known as pruritus ani.
Atopic: A predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions. Atopy may have a hereditary component, although contact with the allergen must occur before the hypersensitivity reaction can develop.
Contact dermatitis: A skin condition caused by contact between skin and some substance. Includes irritant contact dermatitis (a rash brought on purely by repeated irritation from a substance such as water causing "dish pan hands") and allergic contact dermatitis (involving a specific sensitivity or allergy to a specific substance such as poison ivy).
Cortisol: A metabolite of the primary stress hormone cortisone. Cortisol is an essential factor in the proper metabolism of starches, and it is the major natural glucocorticoid (GC) in humans.
Cutaneous: Related to the skin.
Dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin, either due to direct contact with an irritating substance, or to an allergic reaction. Symptoms of dermatitis include redness, itching, and in some cases blistering.
Eczema: A particular type of inflammatory reaction of the skin in which there are typically vesicles (tiny blister-like raised areas) in the first stage followed by erythema (reddening), edema (swelling), papules (bumps), and crusting of the skin followed, finally, by lichenification (thickening) and scaling of the skin. Eczema characteristically causes itching and burning of the skin.
FDA: Food and Drug Administration.
Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth.
Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug may be sold. 3.A term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.
Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.
Glucocorticoid: A hormone that predominantly affects the metabolism of carbohydrates and, to a lesser extent, fats and proteins (and has other effects). Glucocorticoids are made in the outside portion (the cortex) of the adrenal gland and chemically classed as steroids. Cortisol is the major natural glucocorticoid. The term glucocorticoid also applies to equivalent hormones synthesized in the laboratory.
Granuloma: A granuloma is one of a number of forms of localized nodular inflammation found in tissues. The fact that a granuloma is localized is important. So is its nodularity. Granulomas have a typical pattern when examined under a microscope.
Granuloma annulare: The definition of granuloma annulare in one of the standard print medical dictionaries begins: "a benign, usually self-limited granulomatous disease of unknown etiology, chiefly involving the dermis." Translation: This condition usually clears up by itself (it is "usually self-limited); it is not malignant (it is "benign"); we don't have a clue as to what causes it (it is "of unknown etiology"); it affects the layer (the "dermis") of the skin just below the outside layer (the epidermis).
Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.
Immune response: Any reaction by the immune system. For example, poison ivy can cause an immune response in the skin characterized by inflammation with tiny blisters, and itching. Also, a flu shot is designed to produce an immune response by stimulating the production of antibodies against the flu virus.
Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a result of infection, irritation, or injury. Inflammation can be external or internal.
Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on the skin and makes the person want to scratch the affected area. Itching is medically known as pruritis; something that is itchy is pruritic.
Lupus: A chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by autoimmunity. Patients with lupus have in their blood unusual antibodies that are targeted against their own body tissues. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. The first symptom is a red (or dark), scaly rash on the nose and cheeks, often called a butterfly rash because of its distinctive shape. As inflammation continues, scar tissue may form, including keloid scarring in patients prone to keloid formation. The cause of lupus is unknown, although heredity, viruses, ultraviolet light, and drugs may all play a role. Lupus is more common in women than in men, and although it occurs in all ethnic groups, it is most common in people of African descent. Diagnosis is made through observation of symptoms, and through testing of the blood for signs of autoimmune activity. Early treatment is essential to prevent progression of the disease. A rheumatologist can provide treatment for lupus, and this treatment has two objectives: treating the difficult symptoms of the disease and treating the underlying autoimmune activity. It may include use of steroids and other anti-inflammatory agents, antidepressants and/or mood stabilizers, intravenous immunoglobulin, and, in cases in which lupus involves the internal organs, chemotherapy. See also lupus, discoid; lupus erythematosis, systemic.
Lymphoma: A tumor of the lymphoid tissue. The major types of lymphoma are Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). NHL can in turn be divided into low-grade, intermediate-grade, high-grade, and miscellaneous lymphomas. The course of NHL varies greatly, from indolent to rapidly fatal. Treatment options include chemo and radiation therapy.
Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintenance and restoration of health by attending the needs of sick persons. 2) Feeding a infant at the breast.
Ointment: An oil-based preparation that is applied to the skin. Whereas an ointment has an oil base, a cream is water soluble.
Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special functions. Examples of organs include the eyes, ears, heart, lungs, and liver.
Plaque: 1. An semi-hardened accumulation of substances from fluids that bathe an area. Examples include dental plaque and cholesterol plaque.
Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman's last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long.
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 device for a patient. A prescription has several parts. They include the superscription or heading with the symbol "R" or "Rx", which stands for the word recipe (meaning, in Latin, to take); the inscription, which contains the names and quantities of the ingredients; the subscription or directions for compounding the drug; and the signature which is often preceded by the sign "s" standing for signa (Latin for mark), giving the directions to be marked on the container.
Pruritus: Itching. Pruritus can result from drug reaction, food allergy, kidney or liver disease, cancers, parasites, aging or dry skin, contact skin reaction, such as poison ivy, and for unknown reasons.
Pruritus ani: A medical name for itchiness of the anus. See Anal itching.
Psoriasis: A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals or buttocks. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that is mediated by T lymphocytes. It is also a very common disease, Chronic plaque psoriasis affects approximately 2% of people around the world. About 10-15% of patients with psoriasis develop joint inflammation (inflammatory arthritis). Treatment options include topical steroid creams, tar soap preparations, and exposure to ultraviolet light.
Seborrheic dermatitis: A medical name for what is popularly called seborrhea.
Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon structure. Steroids include drugs used to relieve swelling and inflammation, such as prednisone and cortisone; vitamin D; and some sex hormones, such as testosterone and estradiol.
T-cell lymphoma: A disease in which cells in the lymphoid system called T cells (or T lymphocytes) become malignant. T-cell lymphomas account for a minority (about 15%) of non-Hodgkin lymphomas in the US and are more common in Asia.
Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied to a certain area of the skin and is intended to affect only the area to which it is applied. Whether its effects are indeed limited to that area depends on whether the agent stays where it is put or is absorbed into the bloodstream. Cortisone creams are topical 'medications.
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