Dermatitis - Glossary

Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD
Last Updated on Aug 20, 2019
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Glossary

Allergen: A substance that causes an allergic reaction.

Corticosteroids: Any of a group of steroid hormones produced by the adrenal cortex or made synthetically. There are two kinds: glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. They have various metabolic functions and some are used to treat inflammation.

Dandruff: Small pieces of dead skin in a person’s hair.

Dermatologist: A doctor specializing in the treatment of diseases of the skin.

Dust mites: These are microscopic bugs that live in household dust. They penetrate soft places like pillows, blankets, and mattresses.

Emollient: A cream or lotion having the quality of softening or soothing the skin.

Exudation: The process of oozing out of fluid.

Hair follicle: The sheath of cells and connective tissue that surrounds the root of a hair.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV): HSV 1 and 2, also known as human herpesvirus 1 and 2, are two members of the herpes virus family, Herpesviridae, that infect humans. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are ubiquitous and contagious.

Immunosuppressant: A drug that can suppress or prevent the immune response.

Itch: An uncomfortable sensation on the skin that causes a desire to scratch.

Keratin: A fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of the skin surface and hair.

Lichen simplex chronicus: Also, known as “Neurodermatitis”, this is a skin disorder characterized by chronic itching and scratching. The constant scratching causes thick, leathery, brownish skin.

Papule: A small pimple or swelling on the skin, often forming part of a rash.

Pet dander: All warm-blooded animals, (including pets such as cats and dogs) shed tiny flakes from their skin, fur, or feathers called dander (which is equivalent to dandruff in humans). Dander can cause allergy in susceptible individuals.

Poison Ivy: A North American climbing plant which secretes an irritant oil from its leaves that can cause dermatitis.

Rhinitis: Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose.

Sebaceous gland: A small gland in the skin which secretes a lubricating oily matter (sebum) into the hair follicles to lubricate the skin and hair.

Staphylococcus aureus: It is a round-shaped bacterium that is frequently found in the nose, respiratory tract and skin.

Sweat gland: A small gland situated in the dermis of the skin that secretes sweat.

Varicose veins: Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted.

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