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The ABCs of Dermatology: A Glossary of Common Terms

Dermatology is a vast and complex field, full of specialized terms that can be confusing for the average person. In this blog, we're going to provide you with a glossary of common dermatological terms, allowing you to navigate this field with confidence. Let's dive into the ABCs of dermatology!

A is for Acne

Acne is a skin condition characterized by the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It's often caused by clogged pores and is commonly associated with adolescence but can affect people of all ages.

B is for Biopsy

A biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the skin to diagnose various skin conditions, such as skin cancer. This sample is then examined under a microscope to determine the nature of the skin problem.

C is for Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a treatment that involves freezing skin lesions, typically using liquid nitrogen. It's used to remove warts, precancerous skin growths, and other benign skin issues by destroying the affected tissue.

D is for Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a general term for inflammation of the skin. It can manifest in various forms, including contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and seborrheic dermatitis, each with distinct causes and symptoms.

E is for Eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition characterized by dry, itchy skin and rashes. It can vary in severity and often requires ongoing management.

F is for Folliculitis

Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles, which can result in red bumps, pustules, or abscesses. This condition can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or ingrown hairs.

G is for Granuloma

A granuloma is a small area of tissue inflammation. Dermatologists often see granulomas associated with specific skin conditions, including granuloma annulare and sarcoidosis.

H is for Hives

Hives, also known as urticaria, are raised, itchy welts on the skin. They can be caused by various factors, including allergies, infections, or stress.

I is for Impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that results in sores and blisters. It's common in children but can affect people of all ages.

J is for Jaundice

Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by liver dysfunction, which can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

K is for Keloid

A keloid is an overgrowth of scar tissue that extends beyond the original wound's borders. Keloids can be itchy and bothersome but are usually harmless.

L is for Lipoma

A lipoma is a benign growth of fat cells under the skin. It typically feels soft and is movable. Lipomas are usually painless and don't require treatment unless they cause discomfort.

M is for Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that originates in the pigment-producing cells of the skin, called melanocytes. It is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and requires early detection and treatment.

N is for Nevus

A nevus is a medical term for a mole. Moles can be present at birth or develop over time and should be monitored for changes, as some may indicate skin cancer.

O is for Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that affects the toenails and, less commonly, the fingernails. It can cause discoloration, thickening, and brittleness of the nails.

P is for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin. It is caused by an overactive immune system and can vary in severity.

Q is for Quick

The quick is the sensitive, living tissue found inside the nail, extending from the base to the tip. It's essential to avoid injuring the quick when trimming your nails.

R is for Rosacea

Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels on the face. It can also lead to pimples and eye irritation.

S is for Sebaceous Gland

Sebaceous glands are tiny structures in the skin that produce sebum, an oily substance that helps protect and lubricate the skin and hair.

T is for Tinea

Tinea is a group of fungal skin infections, often referred to by specific names like tinea pedis (athlete's foot), tinea corporis (ringworm), and tinea capitis (scalp ringworm).

U is for Urticaria

Urticaria is another term for hives, those itchy welts on the skin caused by an allergic reaction or other triggers.

V is for Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin condition characterized by the loss of pigment, resulting in white patches on the skin. It occurs when melanocytes are destroyed.

W is for Warts

Warts are small, rough growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can appear on various parts of the body and are often contagious.

X is for Xerosis

Xerosis is a medical term for excessively dry skin, which can lead to itching, flaking, and discomfort. Proper moisturization is key in managing this condition.

Y is for Yellow Nail Syndrome

Yellow Nail Syndrome is a rare condition where nails become thick, curved, and discolored, often indicating underlying health problems.

Z is for Zoster

Zoster refers to the herpes zoster virus, which causes shingles, a painful skin rash. It typically affects one side of the body and is associated with the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox.

Understanding these dermatological terms is a valuable step in taking care of your skin. If you encounter any skin issues, it's always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist who can provide expert guidance and treatment. Remember, knowledge is your best tool for maintaining healthy and beautiful skin.


Dr. Sheenam Sharma

Skin Specialist in Chandigarh

Dr. Sheenam's Skin | Hair & Laser Clinic

# 1 | Sector 21 A | Chandigarh

+91 90416 - 25252


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