Medical Terminology Chapter 12

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hairy, rough


horny, hard


fat, lipid


black, dark


fingernail or toenail












rash, hives





Integumentary system (in-teg-you-MEN-tah-ree)

performs important functions in maintaining the health of the body -Is made up of the skin & its related structures


comes from the Latin word meaning to cover or enclose


forms the protective outer covering the external surfaces of the entire body -Waterproofs the body & prevents fluid loss -Intact skin plays an important role in the immune system by blocking the entrance of pathogens into the body -Is the major receptor for the sense of touch -Helps the body synthesize vitamin D, an essential nutrient, from the sun’s ultraviolet light, while screening out some harmful ultraviolet radiation -Average adult has 2 square yards of skin, making it the largest bodily organ -Is a complex system of specialized tissues made up of 3 basic layers: the epidermis, dermis, & subcutaneous layers

Related structures of the integumentary system:

-Sebaceous glands -Sweat glands -Hair -Nails

Sebaceous glands (seh-BAY-shus)

secrete sebum (oil) that lubricates the skin & discourages the growth of bacteria on the skin

Sweat glands

help regulate body temp & water content by secreting sweat -A small amount of metabolic waste is also excreted through the sweat glands


helps control the loss of body heat


protect the dorsal surface of the last bone of each toe & finger

Cutaneous (kyou-TAY-nee-us)

pertaining to the skin


pertaining to

Epidermis (ep-ih-DER-mis)

the outermost layer of the skin that is made up of several specialized epithelial tissues -Doesn’t contain any blood vessels or connective tissue -Is dependent on lower layers for nourishment


above, upon


noun ending

Epithelial tissues (ep-ih-THEE-lee-al)

form a protective covering for all of the internal & external surfaces of the body

Squamous epithelial tissue (SKWAY-mus)

forms the upper layer of the epidermis -Consists of flat, scaly cells that are continuously shed



Basal layer (BAY-suhl)

the lowest layer of the epidermis -Here new cells are produced & then pushed upward -When these cells reach the surface, they die & become filled with keratin

Keratin (KER-ah-tin)

a fibrous, water-repellent protein -Soft keratin is a primary component of the epidermis -Hard keratin is found in the hair & nails

Melanocytes (MEL-ah-noh-sights)

special cells that are also found in the basal layer -Produce & contain a dark brown to black pigment known as melanin

Melanin (MEL-ah-nin)

the pigment that determines the color of the skin, which depends upon the type & amount of this pigment that is present -Produces spots of color such as freckles & age spots -Protects the skin against some of the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun

Ultraviolet (UV)

refers to light that is beyond the visible spectrum at the violet end -Some UV rays help the skin produce vitamin D -Other rays damage the skin

Dermis (DER-mis)

the thick layer of living tissue directly below the epidermis -Corium -Contains connective tissue, blood & lymph vessels, & nerve fibers -Hair follicles, sebaceous glands, & sweat glands are found here

Sensory nerve endings

are located in the dermis & are the sensory receptors for stimuli such as touch, temp, pain, & pressure

Collagen (KOL-ah-jen)

a tough, yet flexible, fibrous protein material found in the skin, & also in the bones, cartilage, tendons, & ligaments -Means glue

Mast cells

are found in the connective tissue of the dermis, respond to injury, infection, or allergy by producing & releasing substances, including heparin & histamine

Heparin (HEP-ah-rin)

an anticoagulant that is released in response to allergens


prevents blood clotting

Histamine (HISS-tah-mean)

is released in response to allergens & causes the signs of an allergic response, including itching & increased mucus secretion

Subcutaneous layer (sub-kyou-TAY-nee-us)

located just below the layers of the skin & connects the skin to the surface muscles -Is made up of loose connective tissue & adipose tissue -Also has cellulite & lipocytes

Adipose tissue (AD-ih-pohs)

helps make up the subcutaneous layer of skin




a term used to describe deposits of dimpled fat around the buttocks & thighs

Lipocytes (LIP-oh-sights)

predominant in the subcutaneous layer where they manufacture & store large quantities of fat -Fat cells



Sebaceous glands (seh-BAY-shus)

located in the dermis layer of the skin & are closely associated with hair follicles -Secrete sebum -The mammary glands are modified sebaceous glands

Sebum (SEE-bum)

an oily substance that is released through ducts opening into the hair follicles -From here, the sebum moves onto the surface & lubricates the skin -Is slightly acidic, which discourages the growth of bacteria on the skin

Mammary glands

are modified sebaceous glands that are sometimes classified with the integumentary system -Produce milk

Sweat glands

tiny, coiled glands found on almost all body surfaces -Sudoiferous glands -Most numerous in the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, the forehead, & in the armpits -Have ducts called pores -Excrete sweat (perspiration)


the openings on the surface of the skin that act as the ducts of the sweat glands


secreted by sweat glands & is made up of 99% water plus some salt & metabolic waste products -Sweat -Perspiring is one way in which the body excretes excess water -As the perspiration evaporates into the air, it also cools the body (Body odor associated with perspiration comes from the interaction of sweat with bacteria on the skin’s surface)

Hidrosis (high-DROH-sis)

the production & excretion of perspiration


fibers are rod-like structures composed of tightly fused, dead protein cells filled with hard keratin -The darkness & color of the hair is determined by the amount & type of melanin produced by the melanocytes that surround the core of the hair shaft -Although hair is dead tissue, it appears to grow because the cells at the base of the follicle divide rapidly & push the old cells upward. As these cells are pushed upward, they harden & undergo pigmentation

Hair follicles (FOL-lick-kulz)

the sacs that hold the root of the hair fibers -The shape of the follicle determines whether hair is straight or curly

Arrector pili (ah-RECK-tor PYE-lye)

tiny muscle fibers attached to the hair follicles that cause the hair to stand erect -In response to cold or fright, these muscle contract, causing raised areas of skin known as goose bumps

Unguis (UNG-gwis)

the keratin plate that protects the dorsal surface of the last bone of each finger & toe -Fingernail or toenail -Consists of: nail body, nail bed, free edge, lunula, cuticle, & nail root

Nail body

is translucent, is closely molded to the surface of the underlying tissues -Made up of hard, keratinized plates of epidermal cells

Nail bed

joins the nail body to the underlying connective tissue & nourished the nail -The blood vessels here give the nail its characteristic pink color

Free edge

the portion of the nail not attached to the nail bed & extends beyond the tip of the finger or toe

Lunula (LOO-new-lah)

a pale half-moon-shaped region at ever nail root, which is generally most easily seen in the thumbnail -Is the active area of the nail, where new keratin cells form






a narrow band of epidermis attached to the surface of the nail just in front of the root, protecting the new keratin cells as they form

Nail root

fastens the nail to the finger or toe by fitting into a groove in the skin

Dermatologist (der-mah-TOL-oh-jist)

a physician who specializes in diagnosing & treating disorder of the skin



Plastic surgeon

a physician who specializes in the surgical restoration & reconstruction of body structures


related to the suffix -plasty, meaning surgical repair

Cosmetic surgeons

plastic surgeons who perform operations such as breast augmentation, liposuction, & facelifts that are usually done for aesthetic rather than medical reasons

Acne vulgaris (ACK-nee vul-GAY-ris)

a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by pustular eruptions of the skin caused by an overproduction of sebum around the hair shaft -Acne -Triggered by hormones in puberty & adolescence, but can occur in adults


Latin term meaning common

Comedo (KOM-eh-doe)

non-infected lesion formed by the buildup of sebum & keratin in a hair follicle often associated with acne vulgaris


a comedo with an obstructed opening


a sebum plug that is exposed to air often oxidizes & becomes this

Sebaceous cyst (seh-BAY-shus SIST)

a closed sac associated with a sebaceous gland that is found just under the skin -Contain yellow, fatty material & are usually found on the face, neck, or trunk

Seborrhea (seb-oh-REE-ah)

the over-activity of the sebaceous glands that results in the production of an excessive amount of sebum


flow or discharge

Seborrheic dermatitis (seb-oh-REE-ick der-mah-TYE-tis)

inflammation sometimes resulting from seborrhea that causes scaling & itching of the upper layers of the skin or scalp


-Extensive dandruff is a form of seborrheic dermatitis -Mild dandruff is usually caused by a yeast-like fungus on the scalp

Cradle cap

the scalp rash in infants

Seborrheic keratosis (seb-oh-REE-ick kerr-ah-TOE-sis)

a benign skin growth that has a waxy or "pasted-on" look -Can vary in color from light tan to black & occur most commonly in the elderly

Anhidrosis (an-high-DROH-sis)

abnormal condition of lacking sweat in response to heat




abnormal condition

Diaphoresis (dye-ah-foh-REE-sis)

profuse sweating -Normal condition when brought on by heat or exertion, but can also by the body’s response to emotional of physical distress


through or complete




abnormal condition

Heat rash

an intensely itchy rash caused by blockage of the sweat glands by bacteria & dead cells -Prickly heat

Hyperhidrosis (high-per-high-DROH-sis)

a condition of excessive sweating in one area or over the whole body



Sleep hyperhidrosis

the occurrence of excessive hyperhidrosis during sleep -Night sweats -Causes of this condition: menopause, certain medications, & some infectious diseases

Folliculitis (foe-lick-you-LIE-tis)

inflammation of the hair follicles -Is especially common on arms, legs, & in the beard area of men -One cause: a bacterium found in poorly chlorinated hot tubs or whirlpools

Hot tub folliculitis

folliculitis caused by a bacterium found in poorly chlorinated hot tubs or whirlpools

Trichomycosis axillaris (try-koh-my-KOH-sis ak-sih-LAR-sis)

superficial bacterial infection of the hair shafts in areas with extensive sweat glands, such as the armpits




Latin for axillary




pertaining to

Hirsutism (HER-soot-izm)

is the presence of excessive body and facial hair in women, usually occurring in a male pattern -This condition can be hereditary or caused by a hormonal imbalance



Alopecia (al-oh-PEE-shee-ah)

the partial or complete loss of hair, most commonly on the scalp -Baldness





Alopecia areata (ah-ree-AY-tuh)

an autoimmune disorder that attacks the hair follicles, causing well-defined bald areas on the scalp or elsewhere on the body -Often beings in childhood


occurring in patches

Alopecia totalis (toe-TAL-is)

an uncommon condition characterized by the loss of all the hair on the scalp -Alopecia captitis totalis

Alopecia universalis (yoo-nih-vers-AHL-is)

the total loss of hair on all parts of the body



Female pattern baldness

a condition in which the hair thins in the front & on the sides of the scalp & sometimes on the crown -Rarely leads to total hair loss

Male pattern baldness

common hair-loss pattern in men, with the hairline receding from the front to the back until only a horseshoe-shaped area of the hair remains in the back & at the temples


the abnormal curving of the nails that is often accompanied by enlargement of the fingertips -Condition can be hereditary, but usually is caused by changes associated with oxygen deficiencies related to coronary or pulmonary disease

Koilonychia (koy-loh-NICK-ee-ah)

a malformation of the nails in which the outer surface is concave or scooped out like the bowl of a spoon -Is often an indication of iron-deficiency anemia


hollow or concave

Onychia (oh-NICK-ee-ah)

inflammation of the matrix of the nail that often results in the loss of the nail -Onychitis

Onychocryptosis (on-ih-koh-krip-TOH-sis)

edges of a toenail, usually on the big toe, curve inward & cut into the skin -Ingrown toenail

Onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis)

a fungal infection of the nail -Depending on the fungus, this condition can cause the nail to be white, yellow, green, or black & it can become thick or brittle

Onychophagia (on-ih-koh-FAY-jee-ah)

nail biting or nail eating


eating or swallowing

Paronychia (par-oh-NICK-ee-ah)

an acute or chronic infection of the skin fold around a nail



Age spots

discolorations caused by sun exposure -Solar lentigines or liver spots -Are harmless, but sometimes resemble skin cancer growths

Albinism (AL-bih-niz-um)

a genetic condition characterized by a deficiency or the absence of pigment in the skin, hair, & irises of the eyes -Is a result of a missing enzyme that is necessary for the production of melanin






a person with albinism

Chloasma (kloh-AZ-mah)

a pigmentation disorder characterized by brownish spots on the face -Melasma or the mask of pregnancy -Can occur during pregnancy, especially among women with dark hair & fair skin, & usually disappears after delivery

Vitiligo (vit-ih-LIE-go)

a skin condition resulting from the destruction of the menlocytes due to unknown causes -Causes irregular patches of white skin -Hair growing in an affected area may also turn white


the process of creating irregular patches of white skin

Contusion (kon-TOO-zhun)

injury to underlying tissues without breaking the skin & is characterized by discoloration & pain -The discoloration is caused by an accumulation of blood within the skin





Ecchymosis (eck-ih-MOH-sis)

a large, irregular area of purplish discoloration due to bleeding under the skin -Bruise


pouring our of juice

Purpura (PUR-pew-rah)

the appearance of multiple purple discolorations on the skin caused by bleeding underneath the skin -These areas of discoloration are smaller than an ecchymosis & larger than petechiae




noun ending

Petechiae (pee-TEE-kee-ee)

very small, pinpoint hemorrhages that are less than 2 mm in diameter -Sometimes result from high fevers

Hematoma (hee-mah-TOE-mah)

usually caused by an injury & is a swelling of clotted blood trapped in the tissues -The body eventually reabsorbs this blood -Often named for the area where it occurs





Subungual hematoma

blood trapped under a finger or toenail

Lesion (LEE-zhun)

a pathologic change of the tissues due to disease or injury -Skin lesions are described by their appearance, location, color, & size as measured in centimeters


a collection of dried serum & cellular debris -Scab

Erosion (eh-ROH-zhun)

the wearing away of a surface, such as the epidermis of the skin or the outer layer of a mucus membrane -Also described the progressive loss of dental enamel

Macule (MACK-youl)

a discolored flat spot that is less than 1 cm in diameter -Macula -Ex: freckles, flat moles

Nodule (NOD-youl)

a solid, raised skin lesion that is large than .5 cm in diameter & deeper than a papule -In acne vulgaris, nodules can cause scarring

Papule (PAP-youl)

a small, raised red lesion that is less than .5 cm in diameter & doesn’t contain pus -Small pimples & insect bites

Plaque (PLACK)

a scaly, solid raised area of closely spaced papules -Ex: the lesions of psoriasis


flakes or dry patches made up of excess dead epidermal cells -Some shedding of these scales is normal, but excessive shedding is associated with skin disorders

Verrucae (veh-ROO-kee)

small, hard skin lesions caused by the human papillomavirus -Warts

Plantar warts

verrucae that develop on the sole of the foot

Wheal (WHEEL)

a small bump that itches -Welt -Can appear as urticaria, or hives as a symptom of an allergic reaction

Abscess (AB-sess)

a closed pocket containing pus that is caused by a bacterial infection -Can appear on the skin of within other structures of the body

Purulent (PYOU-roo-lent)

producing or containing pus

Exudate (ECKS-you-dayt)

a fluid, such as pus, that leaks out of an infected wound

Cyst (SIST)

abnormal sac containing gas, fluid, or a semisolid material -Can also refer to a sac of vesicle elsewhere in the body -Most common skin cyst: sebaceous cyst

Pustule (PUS-tyoul)

small, circumscribed lesion containing pus -Pimple -Can be caused by acne vulgaris, impetigo, or other skin infections


contained within a limited area

Vesicle (VES-ih-kul)

small blister, less than .5 cm in diameter, containing watery fluid -Ex: rash of poison ivy

Bulla (BULL-ah)

large blister that is usually more than .5 cm in diameter

Abrasion (ah-BRAY-zhun)

an injury in which superficial layers of skin are scraped or rubbed away

Fissure (FISH-ur)

a groove or crack-like break in the skin -Also describes folds in the contours of the brain

Laceration (lass-er-AY-shun)

a torn or jagged wound, or an accidental cut wound

Pressure sore

an open ulcerated wound that is caused by prolonged pressure on an area of skin -Decubitus ulcer or bedsore -Without proper care, these sores quickly become seriously infected & can result in tissue death

Puncture wound

a deep hole made by a sharp object such as a rusty nail or ice pick -This type of percutaneous wound carries a high risk of infection, particularly tetanus


through the skin

Needlestick injury

accidental puncture wound caused by a used hypodermic needle, potentially transmitting an infection

Ulcer (UL-ser)

an open lesion of the skin or mucous membrane resulting in tissue loss around the edges -Can also occur inside the body

Pigmented birthmarks

include nevi: also known as moles, as well as cafe-au-lait spots, stork bites, & other irregularities in skin color

Vascular birthmarks

caused by blood vessels close to the skin’s surface

Capillary hemangioma (KAP-uh-ler-ee hee-man-jee-OH-mah)

a soft, raised, pink or red vascular birthmark -Strawberry birthmark




blood or lymph vessels


a benign tissue mass made up of newly formed small blood vessels that in birthmarks are visible through the skin

Port-wine stain

a flat vascular birthmark made up of dilated blood capillaries, creating a large,, reddish-purple discoloration on the face or neck -Will not resolve without treatment

Dermatitis (der-mah-TIE-tis)

describes an inflammation of the skin -Usually characterized by redness, swelling, & itching



Contact dermatitis (CD)

a localized allergic response caused by contact with an irritant, such as diaper rash -Can also be caused by exposure to an allergen, such as poison ivy, or an allergic reaction to latex gloves

Eczema (ECK-zeh-mah)

form of persistent or recurring dermatitis usually characterized by redness, itching, & dryness, with possible blistering, cracking, oozing, & bleeding -Atopic dermatitis -Most often seen in infants & children & appears to be the result of a malfunction of the body’s immune system

Exfoliative dermatitis (ecks-FOH-lee-ay-tiv der-mah-TIE-tis)

condition in which there is wide-spread scaling of the skin -Often accompanied by pruritus, erythroderma (redness), & hair loss -May occur in severe cases of many common skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, & allergic reactions

Pruritus (proo-RYE-tus)

associated with most forms of dermatitis -Itching




singular noun ending

Erythema (air-ih-THEE-mah)

redness of the skin due to capillary dilation -Dilation describes the expansion of the capillary



Erythema infectiosum

a mildly contagious viral infection that is common in childhood -Fifth disease -Produces a red, lace-like rash on the child’s face that looks as if the child has been slapped -Is called the fifth disease because its place on the list of six common childhood diseases that can cause exanthem

Erythema multiforme

skin disorder resulting from a generalized allergic reaction to an illness, infection, or medication -This reaction, which affects the skin, the mucous membranes, or both, is characterized by a rash that may appear as nodules or papules, macules, or vesicles or bullae

Erythema pernio

a purple-red inflammation that occurs when the small blood vessels below the skin are damaged, usually due to exposure to cold & damp weather -Chilblains -When warmth restores full circulation, the affected areas begin to itch, but they usually heal without treatment


a form of erythema in which skin cells are damaged by exposure to the UV rays in sunlight -Increases the chances of later developing skin cancer

Erythroderma (eh-rith-roh-DER-mah)

abnormal redness of the entire skin surface





Exanthem (eck-ZAN-thum)

a widespread rash, usually in children


a breaking out, or eruption, that changes the color or texture of the skin

Dermatosis (der-mah-TOH-sis)

a general term used to denote skin lesions or eruptions of any type that aren’t associated with inflammation

Ichthyosis (ick-thee-OH-sis)

a group of hereditary disorders characterized by dry, thickened, & scaly skin -Caused either by the slowing of the skin’s natural shedding process or by a rapid increase in the production of the skin’s cells

Lipedema (lip-eh-DEE-mah)

a chronic abnormal condition that is characterized by the accumulation of fat & fluid in the tissues just under the skin of the hips & legs -Painful fat syndrome -Usually affects women & even with weight loss, this localized excess fat doesn’t go away



Systemic lupus erythematosus (sis-TEH-mik LOO-pus er-ih-thee-mah-TOH-sus)

an autoimmune disorder characterized by a red, scaly rash of the face & upper trunk -Lupus -Also attacks the connective tissue in other body systems, especially in the joints

Psoriasis (sow-RYE-uh-sis)

a common skin disorder characterized by flare-ups in which red papules covered with silvery scales occur on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, or buttocks

Rosacea (roh-ZAY-shee-ah)

characterized by tiny red pimples & broken blood vessels -Adult acne -Usually develops in individuals with fair skin, between 30 & 60 years of ages -Unknown cause

Rhinophyma (rye-noh-FIGH-muh)

usually occurs in older men -Bulbous nose -Characterized by hyperplasia (overgrowth) of the tissues of the nose & is associated with advanced rosacea





Scleroderma (sklair-oh-DER-mah)

autoimmune disorder in which the connective tissues become thickened & hardened, causing the skin to become hard & swollen -Can affect the joints & internal organs



Urticaria (ur-tih-CARE-ree-ah)

itchy wheals caused by an allergic reactions -Hives


connected with

Xeroderma (zee-row-DER-mah)

excessively dry skin -Xerosis

Carbuncle (CAR-bung-kul)

cluster of connected furuncles (boils)

Cellulitis (sell-you-LIE-tis)

an acute, rapidly spreading bacterial infection within the connective tissues that is characterized by malaise, swelling, warmth, & red streaks


a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness that is often the first indication of an infection or other disease

Furuncles (FYOU-rung-kulz)

large, tender, swollen areas caused by a staphylococcal infection around hair follicles or sebaceous glands

Gangrene (GANG-green)

tissue necrosis that is most commonly caused by a loss of circulation to the affected tissues -The tissue death is followed by bacterial invasion that causes putrefaction, & if this infection enters the bloodstream, it can be fatal


decay that produces foul-smelling odors

Impetigo (im-peh-TIE-go)

highly contagious bacterial skin infection that commonly occurs in children -Characterized by isolated pustules that become crusted & rupture

Necrotizing fasciitis (NECK-roh-tiz-ing fas-ee-EYE-tis)

a severe infection caused by Group A strep bacteria (flesh-eating bacteria: normally live harmlessly on the skin, but if they enter the body through a skin wound, this serious infection can result; if untreated, the infected body tissue is destroyed & the illness can be fatal)


causing tissue death


inflammation of the fascia

Pyoderma (pie-oh-DER-mah)

any acute, inflammatory, pus-forming bacterial skin infection such as impetigo

Mycosis (my-KOH-sis)

any abnormal condition or disease caused by a fungus

Tinea (TIN-ee-ah)

a fungal infection that can grow on the skin, hair, or nails -Ringworm -Not because of an actual worm, but because as the fungus grows, in spreads out in a worm-like circle

Tinea capitis

found on the scalps of children



Tinea corporis

a fungal infection of the skin on the body



Tinea cruris

found in the genital area -Jock itch

Tinea pedis

most commonly found between the toes -Athlete’s foot



Tinea versicolor

fungal infection that causes painless, discolored areas on the skin -Pityriasis versicolor


a variety of color


the dwelling of microscopic parasites on external surface tissue -Some parasites live temporarily on the skin -Others lay eggs & reproduce there

Pediculosis (peh-dick-you-LOH-sis)

infestation with lice




lice eggs

Pediculosis capitis

infestation with head lice

Pediculosis corporis

infestation with body lice

Pediculosis pubis

infestation with lice in the pubic hair & pubic region

Scabies (SKAY-beez)

skin infection caused by an infestation of itch mites -Tiny mites cause small, itchy bumps & blisters by burrowing into the top layer of human skin to lay their eggs -Medications applied to the skin kill the mites, but itching may persist for several weeks

Callus (KAL-us)

thickening part of the skin on the hands or feet caused by repeated rubbing

Clavus or corn

a callus in the keratin layer of the skin covering the joints of the toes, usually caused by ill-fitting shoes

Cicatrix (sick-AY-tricks)

normal scar resulting from the healing of a wound

Granulation tissue

the tissue that normally forms during the healing of a wound -Eventually forms the scar

Granuloma (gran-you-LOH-mah)

a general term used to describe a small, knot-like swelling of granulation tissue in the epidermis -Can result from inflammation, injury, or infection

Keloid (KEE-loid)

abnormally raised or thickened scar that expands beyond the boundaries of the original incision -A tendency to form keloids is often inherited & is more common among people with dark-pigmented skin


growth or tumor



Keratosis (kerr-ah-TOH-sis)

any skin growth, such as a wart or callus, in which there is overgrowth & thickening of the skin

Lipoma (lih-POH-mah)

a benign, slow-growing fatty tumor located between the skin & the muscle layer -Is usually harmless, & treatment is rarely necessary unless the tumor is in a bothersome location, is painful, or is growing rapidly

Nevus (NEE-vus)

a small, dark, skin growth that develops from melanocytes in the skin -Mole -Normally are benign

Dysplastic nevi (dis-PLAS-tick NEE-vye)

atypical moles that can develop into skin cancer

Papilloma (pap-ih-LOH-mah)

a benign, superficial wart-like growth on the epithelial tissue or elsewhere in the body, such as in the bladder


resembling a nipple

Polyp (POL-up)

a general term used most commonly to describe a mushroom-like growth from the surface of a mucous membrane, such as a polyp in the nose -Have many causes & aren’t necessarily malignant

Skin tags

small, flesh-colored or light-brown polyps that hang from the body by fine stalks -Benign & tend to enlarge with age

Skin cancer

a harmful, malignant growth on the skin, which can have many causes, including repeated severe sunburns or long-term exposure to the sun -Is becoming common, affecting about 1 in 5 Americans in his/her lifetime -3 main types: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, & melanoma

Actinic keratosis (ack-TIN-ick kerr-ah-TOE-sis)

a precancerous skin growth that occurs on sun-damaged skin -Often looks like a red, tan, or pink scaly patch & feels like sandpaper


describes a growth that isn’t yet malignant, but if not treated, it’s likely to become malignant

Basal cell carcinoma

a malignant tumor of the basal cell layer of the epidermis -Most common & least harmful type of skin cancer because it’s slow growing & rarely spreads to other parts of the body -The lesions, which occur mainly on the face or neck & tend to bleed easily, are usually pink, smooth, & are raised with a depression in the center

Squamous cell carcinoma (SKWAY-mus)

originates as a malignant tumor of the scaly squamous cells of the epithelium -It can quickly spread to other body systems -Begin as skin lesions that appear to be sores that will not heal or that have a crusted look

Malignant melanoma (mel-ah-NOH-mah)

a type of skin cancer that occurs in the melanocytes -Melanoma -Most serious type of skin cancer & often the first signs are changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole




an injury to body tissues caused by heat, flame, electricity, sun, chemicals, or radiation -Severity of a burn is described according to the % of the total body skin surface affected -Is also described according to the depth or layers of skin involved

First-degree burn

no blisters, superficial damage to the epidermis -Superficial burn

Second-degree burn

blisters, damage to the epidermis, & dermis -Partial thickness burn

Third-degree burn

damage to the epidermis, dermis, & subcutaneous layers, & possibly also the muscle & bone below -Full thickness burn

Biopsy (BYE-op-see)

the removal of a small piece of living tissue for examination to confirm or establish a diagnosis


pertaining to life


view of

Incisional biopsy

a piece, but not all, of the tumor or lesion is removed

Excisional biopsy

the entire tumor or lesion & a margin of surrounding tissues are removed


the complete removal or a lesion or organ

Needle biopsy

a hollow needle is used to remove a core of tissue for examination

Exfoliative cytology (ecks-FOH-lee-ay-tiv sigh-TOL-oh-jee)

a technique in which cells are scraped from the tissue & examined under a microscope


the removal of dead epidermal cells, often through sanding or chemabrasion, & is sometimes done for cosmetic purposes


that blocks out the harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) rays is sometimes measured in terms of the strength of the sunprotection factor -Some sunscreens also give protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) rays

Cauterization (kaw-ter-eye-ZAY-zhun)

the destruction of tissue by burning

Chemabrasion (kem-ah-BRAY-zhun)

the use of chemicals to remove the outer layers of skin to treat acne scarring, fine wrinkling, & keratoses -Chemical peel

Cryosurgery (krye-oh-SIR-jur-ee)

the destruction or elimination of abnormal tissues cells, such as warts or tumors, through the application of extreme cold by using liquid nitrogen




operative procedure

Curettage (kyou-reh-TAHZH)

the removal of material from the surface by scraping -Used to remove basal cell tumors

Debridement (dah-BREED-ment)

the removal of dirt, foreign objects, damaged tissue, & cellular debris from a wound to prevent infection & to promote healing

Irrigation & debridement procedure

pressurized fluid is used to clean out wound debris

Dermabrasion (der-mah-BRAY-zhun)

form of abrasion involving the use of a revolving wire brush or sandpaper -Used to remove acne & chickenpox scars as well as for facial skin rejuvenation


removes only a fine layer of skin, so the results are temporary

Electrodesiccation (ee-leck-troh-des-ih-KAY-shun)

a surgical technique in which tissue is destroyed using an electric spark -Is primarily used to eliminate small superficial growths & to seal off blood vessels


a cut made with a surgical instrument

Incision & drainage (I & D)

an incision of a lesion, such as an abscess, & the draining of the contents

Mohs’ surgery

a technique used to treat various types of skin cancer -Individual layers of cancerous tissue are removed & examined under a microscope one at a time until a margin that is clear of all cancerous tissue has been achieved


an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation -Are used to treat skin conditions & other disorders of the body

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) (foh-toh-dye-NAH-mik)

a technique used to treat damaged & precancerous skin, as well as various types of cancer -A photosensitizing drug is administered topically or by injection; an incubation period is followed by exposure to a specific wavelength of light, administered either externally or endoscopically -When the photosensititizers are thus activated, they produce a form of oxygen that kills nearby cells; PTD is used to treat tumors on or near the surface of the skin, or in the lining of internal organs such as the lungs & esophagus

Retinoids (RET-ih-noydz)

class of chemical compounds derived from vitamin A that are used in skin care & treatment because of their effect on epithelial cell growth -Can make the skin burn more easily


a powerful retinoid taken in pill form for the treatment of severe acne -Accutane


the active ingredient in Retin-A & Renova, which are used to treat sun-damaged skin, acne, & wrinkles

Topical steroids

such as hydrocortisone & other more potent variations are used int he treatment of various skin disorders & diseases -Mus be used cautiously to avoid potential side effects, which can include irreversible thinning of the skin

Blepharoplasty (BLEF-ah-row-plas-tee)

the surgical reduction of the upper & lower eyelids by removing sagging skin -Lid lift -A small amount of fat from the patient’s thighs or buttocks is sometimes injected in the hollow below the eye




surgical repair


a formulation of botulinum toxin -This is the same neurontoxin responsible for the form of food poisoning known as botulism -When small sterile doses are injected into muscles on the forehead, it can temporarily block the nerve signals to the injected muscle for up to 3 to 4 months, reducing moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows -Now being used therapeutically to treat migraines & muscle spasms

Collagen replacement therapy

a form of soft-tissue augmentation used to soften facial lines or scars, or to make lips appear fuller -The quantities of collagen are injected under a line or scar to boost the skin’s natural supply of collagen -Effect usually lasts for 3 to 12 months

Dermatoplasty (DER-mah-toh-plas-tee)

the replacement of damaged skin with healthy tissue taken from a donor site on the patient’s body -Skin graft

Electrolysis (ee-leck-TROL-ih-sis)

the use of electric current to destroy hair follicles in order to produce the relatively permanent removal of undesired hair



Lipectomy (lih-PECK-toh-mee)

the surgical removal of fat beneath the skin to improve physical appearance


surgical removal

Liposuction (LIP-oh-suck-shun)

the surgical removal of fat beneath the skin with the aid of suction -Suction-assisted lipectomy

Rhytidectomy (rit-ih-DECK-toe-mee)

the surgical removal of excess skin & fat from the face to eliminate wrinkles -Facelift

Sclerotherapy (sklair-oh-THER-ah-pee)

the treatment of spider veins by injecting a saline sclerosing solution into the vein -This solution irritates the tissue, causing the veins to collapse & disappear

Spider veins

small, nonessential veins that can be seen through the skin


basal cell carcinoma



Ecz, Ez


I & D

irrigation & debridement


malignant melanoma


necrotizing fasciitis


photodynamic therapy






squamous cell carcinoma

SC, subq



systemic lupus erythematosus

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