Paragon Dermatology Glossary in Sequim, WA

Home - Glossary of Dermatological Terms

Skin Conditions Treatment

Information is Key; here are some Dermatological Terms

Acral – Acral distribution of a dermatosis means it affects distal portions of limbs (hand, foot) and head (ears, nose).Atrophy - Atrophy occurs when some component of the skin has shrunk.Benign - Benign means mild, harmless, or having good prognosis.Carcinoma - Carcinoma refers to cancer made up of malignant epithelial cells (e.g. basal cell carcinoma, illustrated).Dysplasia - Dysplasia means abnormal development of a cell or tissue. ‘Dysplastic naevi’ are atypical moles (illustrated), and are variously defined.Ecchymoses – BruisesErythema - Erythema is the name given to red skin due to increased blood supply and may be applied to any red coloured dermatosis.Erythroderma - Erythroderma occurs when a skin condition affects the whole body or nearly the whole body, which is red all over.Eschar - Dark-coloured adherent crust of dead tissue found on some ulcers.Hyperkeratosis - Hyperkeratosis or scaling is an increase in the dead cells on the surface of the skin (stratum corneum).Hyperpigmentation - Hyperpigmentation may be due to hypermelanosis or haemosiderin deposits that result in skin colour that is darker than normal.Hyperplasia - Hyperplasia is the enlargement of a tissue by an increase in cell numbers.Latrogenic - Iatrogenic illness is caused by a doctor's actions, for example a rash due to prescription of a medicine.Induration - Induration is skin that feels hard and thickened.

Lichenification - Lichenification is caused by chronic rubbing, which results in palpably thickened skin with increased skin markings and lichenoid scale. It occurs in chronic atopic eczema and lichen simplex.Lichenoid - A lichenoid skin eruption is one that resembles lichen planus. It usually has a tight adherent scale. This term also refers to a particular pattern of inflammation seen on histology (pathological examination).Malignant - Usually used in reference to a tumour, malignant means having poor prognosis if left untreated.Metaplasia - Metaplasia is a condition where one type of cell transforms into another type of cell, because of a changed environment.Pedunculated - Pedunculated means a lesion has a peduncle or is on a stalk.Perioral - Perioral distribution means the dermatosis is around the mouth. Also ‘periocular’, ‘perianal’ and so forth.Petechiae - Petechiae are small red, purple or brown spots - a form of purpura.Poikiloderma - Poikiloderma is skin with a variegated appearance, usually mixed pallor, telangiectasia & pigmentation.Purpura - is bleeding into the skin. This may be as petechiae or ecchymoses. Purpura does not blanch with pressure (diascopy).Serpignous - A serpignous lesion is in the shape of a snake or serpent.Sessile- Sessile skin lesions appear to be stuck directly onto the skin surface without a stalk.Telangiectasia - Telangiectasia is the name given to prominent cutaneous blood vessels. They are red or purple in colour.Verrucous - Verrucous means wart-like, ie. thickened and scaly.