Doctors in Dubai / Dermatology / Commonly Used Dermatology Terms

Commonly Used Dermatology Terms


This is a condensed glossary of terms that I have encountered the most often:

Acne – an inflammatory disease of the fatty substance glands, characterized by a thickened secretion plugging the pores of the skin resulting in pimples, especially on the face, back, and chest, and, in severe cases, by cysts and nodules resulting in scarring.

Age spots – also known as ‘liver spots”, these flat, brownish patches on the skin are caused by sun exposure and aging.

Antioxidants – vitamins A (in conjunction with beta carotene), C, and E that protect and repair cells by neutralizing the damaging free radicals.

Basal cell carcinoma – is a type of skin cancer associated with long-term overexposure to the sun that forms at the base of the epidermis of the skin.

Blackhead – is a pore clogged with hardened oils and dead skin cells. The tip of the blackhead is usually visible at the pore opening.

Chemical peel – is a solution that is applied to the skin to remove the damaged outer layers.

Dermabrasion – is a procedure using a rotating brush to scrape off the outer surface of the dermis.

Dermatitis – is inflammation of the skin.

Eczema – is an inflammation of the skin that can result in redness, itching, and scaling.

Epidermis – the outer non-sensitive layer of skin that covers the true layer of skin.

Exfoliate – to peel off thin layers of the outer layer of membrane cells.

Follicle – is a shaft in the surface through which hair grows.

Laser resurfacing – is a laser procedures to remove fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots in an effort to remove the signs of aging.

Melanin – a chemical in the body that gives hair and skin their unique color.

Melanoma – is a form of skin cancer usually developing from an existing mole that can be life-threatening.

Mole – a small, congenital spot or blemish on the skin, slightly elevated, usually of a dark color, and sometimes hairy.

Papule – is an acne lesion that appears as a small red bump on the skin.

Psoriasis – skin condition identified by red, raised, scaly patches of skin.

Rosacea – this skin condition portrays prominent spider veins and occasional swelling.

Sclerotherapy – treatment of injecting a special solution for reducing the appearance of varicose and spider veins.

Sebaceous glands – are oil-producing glands in the skin that affix to hair follicles.

Seborrheic dermatitis – condition of the scalp associated with flakiness and itching, or otherwise known as dandruff, which may also develop on the face.

Skin biopsy – a diagnostic procedure where a portion of the skin is removed for examination in a laboratory.

Spider veins – appear as small reddish/purplish sunburst-shaped veins under the skin.

Subcutis – a layer of fat beneath the skin.

Urticaria – also known as hives, are raised reddish itchy areas of the skin.

Varicose veins – appear as blue bulges beneath the skin from large blood vessels. There may be pain, swelling and other symptoms associated.

Whitehead – caused by a clogged hair follicle that results in a closed acne lesion.

These are just a few dermatology conditions that you may came across. If you ever are in a position that you don’t understand a word or phrase ask if a better definition or explanation of the word/condition.

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