Psoriasis Glossary of Terms

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

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

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Antipsoriatic: Directed against psoriasis. Sunlight is antipsoriatic, as are a number of d...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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

Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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

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

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Body surface area: BSA. The total surface area of the human body. The body surface area is...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Calcipotriene: A synthetic form of vitamin D3 that can be applied to the skin to treat pso...

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Calcitriol: The active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol is formed in the kidneys or made in t...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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

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Cardiovascular disease: Disease affecting the heart or blood vessels.

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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

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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Cortisone: A naturally occurring adrenocorticoid hormone that is produced in minute amount...

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

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Dermatologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems...

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

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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

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

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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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Erythrodermic psoriasis: A particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis that often affects ...

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Excimer laser: A laser that emits very concentrated light in the ultraviolet (UV) region o...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

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

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Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical...

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Generic drug: The term "generic" has several meanings as regards drugs:

  1. The chemi...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Guttate psoriasis: A type of psoriasis characterized by red, scaly plaques of inflamed ski...

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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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Hepatitis B: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought t...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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

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

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

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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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Incubation period: In medicine, the time from the moment of exposure to an infectious agen...

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Incurable: Not amenable to a cure. Incapable of being cured, healed and made well again. ...

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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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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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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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Laser: A powerful beam of light that is used in some types of surgery to cut or destroy ti...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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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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Lithium: A naturally occurring salt that, in purified form, is used to treat certain psych...

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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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Lymphoma: A tumor of the lymphoid tissue. The major types of lymphoma are Hodgkin's diseas...

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Malaria: An infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites from the Plasmodium family th...

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Malignancy: A tumor that is malignant (cancerous), that can invade and destroy nearby tiss...

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

Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also...

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Molecule: The smallest unit of a substance that can exist alone and retain the character o...

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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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Nail: In medicine, there are two types of nails. One is just a plain old metal nail used t...

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

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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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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Ointment: An oil-based preparation that is applied to the skin. Whereas an ointment has an...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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

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

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Phototherapy: Treatment with light. For example, a newborn with jaundice may be put under ...

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Plaque: 1. An semi-hardened accumulation of substances from fluids that bathe an a...

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Plaque psoriasis: The most common form of psoriasis -- about 80% of people with psoriasis ...

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Postpartum: The period just after delivery, as with postpartum depression. Postpartum refe...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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

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

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Psoralen: Any of a number of drugs and other substances containing chemicals that react wi...

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

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Psoriatic arthritis: Joint inflammation that is associated with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthr...

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

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

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Pustular psoriasis: A type of recurring psoriasis characterized by the appearance of pus-...

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PUVA: PUVA stands for psoralen (P) and ultraviolet A (UVA) therapy in which the patient is...

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Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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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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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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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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Rheumatologist: A specialist in the non-surgical treatment of rheumatic illnesses, espec...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Salicylic acid: A substance obtained from plants (white willow back and wintergreen leaves...

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Scaling: Abnormal shedding or accumulation of an upper layer of skin (the stratum corneum)...

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

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

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

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

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

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Systemic therapy: Treatment that reaches cells throughout the body by traveling through th...

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Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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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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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Ultraviolet A: One of the three types of invisible light rays (together with ultraviolet ...

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Ultraviolet B: One of the three types of invisible light rays (together with ultraviolet ...

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UV radiation: Ultraviolet radiation. Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes...

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

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Vitamin D: A steroid vitamin which promotes the intestinal absorption and metabolism of ca...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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Medical Dictionary