Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Acne Main Article Glossary Acne Index Acne (Pimples)

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs.
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Acne: Localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands come to life around puberty, when these glands are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls.
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Acne vulgaris: The common form of acne seen most often in teenagers or young adults, acne vulgaris is the result of overactive oil glands that become plugged, red, and inflamed. Most outbreaks of acne can be treated by keeping the skin clear and avoiding irritating soaps, foods, drinks, and cosmetics. Severe acne and acne in those who are prone to scarring (see the article on Keloid) can be treated with topical creams and anti-inflammatory medications. Skin damaged by acne can be improved with treatment by a dermatologist or facial technologist. Techniques include dermabrasion ("sanding"), removal of scar tissue via laser, and chemical peels. Acne is also called pimples.
Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system of defense against foreign invaders, particularly pathogens (the agents of infection). The allergic reaction is misguided in that these foreign substances are usually harmless. The substances that trigger allergy are called allergen. Examples include pollens, dust mite, molds, danders, and certain foods. People prone to allergies are said to be allergic or atopic.
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Amoxicillin: An antibiotic of the penicillin type that is effective against different bacteria such as Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria gonorrhoea, Escherichia coli, Pneumococci, Streptococci, and certain strains of Staphylococci, particularly infections of the middle ear, tonsillitis, throat infections, laryngitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Amoxicillin is also used in treating urinary tract infections, skin infections, and gonorrhea. The brand names are Amoxil, Polymox, and Trimox. A generic version is available.
Amoxil: See: Amoxicillin.
Androgen: A male sex hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of the male sex characteristics. The major androgen is testosterone.
Antibacterial: Anything that destroys bacteria or suppresses their growth or their ability to reproduce. Heat, chemicals such as chlorine, and antibiotic drugs all have antibacterial properties. Many antibacterial products for cleaning and handwashing are sold today. Such products do not reduce the risk for symptoms of viral infectious diseases in otherwise healthy persons. This does not preclude the potential contribution of antibacterial products to reducing symptoms of bacterial diseases in the home.
Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally, an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic antibiotics, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks.
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Anticonvulsant: A medication used to control (prevent) seizures (convulsions) or stop an ongoing series of seizures. There are a large number of anticonvulsant drugs today including, but not limited to: phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine, ethosuximide (Zarontin), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and midazolam (Versed). Anticonvulsant drugs taken during pregnancy put the baby at risk of major birth defects -- growth retardation, microcephaly (a small head) and deformities of the face and fingers -- a condition known as anticonvulsant embryopathy.
Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms which can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent upon another organism for life).
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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria. For example, a bacterial lung infection.
Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid, but more often they are gradual and slow, and intervals of normal mood may occur between the high (manic) and low (depressive) phases of the condition. The symptoms of both the depressive and manic cycles may be severe and often lead to impaired functioning.
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Bowel: Another name for the intestine. The small bowel and the large bowel are the small intestine and large intestine, respectively.
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Breast cancer: Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician-examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy. There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading to other body tissues (metastasis). Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type and location of the breast cancer, as well as the age and health of the patient. The American Cancer Society recommends that a woman should have a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40 years. Between 40 and 50 years of age mammograms are recommended every other year. After age 50 years, yearly mammograms are recommended.
Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured blood vessels into the tissues as well as from the body's response to the injury. A purplish, flat bruise that occurs when blood leaks out into the top layers of skin is referred to as an ecchymosis.
Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to metastasize (spread).
See the entire definition of Cancer
Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains the lungs, the heart and part of the aorta. The walls of the chest are supported by the dorsal vertebrae, the ribs, and the sternum.
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Chin: Medically, the mentum. The lower portion of the face below the lower lip including the prominence of the lower jaw and the line of fusion of the two separate halves of the jawbone (mandible). This line of fusion (called the symphysis menti) encloses a triangular area at tip of the chin (termed the mental protuberance). On each side, below the second premolar tooth, is the mental foramen, an opening for the passage of blood vessels and a nerve that supply the chin.
Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body, cholesterol has gotten something of a bad name. However, cholesterol is a critically important molecule.
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Comedones: The plural of comedo, the primary sign of acne, consisting of a dilated (widened) hair follicle filled with keratin squamae (skin debris), bacteria, and sebum (oil). Comedones may be closed or open.
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Cortisone: An adrenocorticoid hormone, a naturally occurring hormone made by and secreted by the adrenal cortex, the outer part (the cortex) of the adrenal gland.
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Cyst: A cyst is an abnormal, closed sac-like structure within a tissue that contains a liquid, gaseous, or semisolid substance. A cyst can occur anywhere in the body and can vary in size. The outer, or capsular, portion of a cyst is termed the cyst wall.
Cysts: Cysts are abnormal, closed sac-like structures within a tissue that contain a liquid, gaseous, or semisolid substance. Cysts can occur anywhere in the body and can vary in size. The outer, or capsular, portion of a cyst is termed the cyst wall.
Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with a depressive disease cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression.
See the entire definition of Depression
Dermatologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems.
Doxycycline: Brand name: Vibramycin. A synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotic derived from tetracycline. Doxycycline is used for many different types of infections, including respiratory tract infections due to Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It is also used for the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis (due to Ureaplasma), Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhus, chancroid, cholera, brucellosis, syphilis, and acne.
See the entire definition of Doxycycline
Dynacin: Brand name for minocycline.
Erythromycin: Erythromycin is a common antibiotic for treating bacterial infection. Sold under many brand names, including EES, Erycin and Erythromia.
Eskalith: See: Lithium.
Esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus. The esophagus is that soft tube-like portion of the digestive tract connecting the pharynx with the stomach.
Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lies between the trachea (windpipe) and the spine. It passes down the neck, pierces the diaphragm just to the left of the midline, and joins the cardiac (upper) end of the stomach. In an adult, the esophagus is about 25 centimeters (10 inches) long. When a person swallows, the muscular walls of the esophagus contract to push food down into the stomach. Glands in the lining of the esophagus produce mucus, which keeps the passageway moist and facilitates swallowing. Also known as the gullet or swallowing tube. From the Greek oisophagos, from oisein meaning to bear or carry + phagein, to eat.
Essential: 1. Something that cannot be done without.
2. Required in the diet, because the body cannot make it. As in an essential amino acid or an essential fatty acid.
3. Idiopathic. As in essential hypertension. "Essential" is a hallowed term meaning "We don't know the cause."
Estrogen: Estrogen is a female hormone produced by the ovaries. Estrogen deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.
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Exfoliate: 1) To peal off scaly skin spontaneously. The skin exfoliates from the palms and soles in Kawasaki's disease and Reiter's syndrome. 2) To deliberately wear away the top layer of skin, as many be done gently by a facial technologist who is applying a topical skin treatment for cosmetic purposes, or more severely by a dermatologist treating acne. In the latter case, the most common exfoliating methods are sanding and chemical peels.
Fasting: going without food or drink. Patients may be advised to fast for a certain period of time prior to surgery, medical procedures, or certain blood tests.
FDA: The Food and Drug Administration, an agency within the U.S. Public Health Service, which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
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Folliculitis: An infection of the hair follicles of the skin. Infection of the hair follicles can occur when the skin is disrupted or inflamed due to a number of conditions, including acne, skin wounds or injuries, friction from clothing, excessive sweating, or exposure to toxins. The symptoms vary and include small, red bumps or blisters around hair follicles, blisters filled with pus, or itching and tenderness of the involved area. When the deeper parts of the hair follicle are infected, a painful lump or mass may be felt.
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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large intestines.
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Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug may be sold. 3.A term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.

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Gram-negative: Gram-negative bacteria lose the crystal violet stain (and take the color of the red counterstain) in Gram's method of staining. This is characteristic of bacteria that have a cell wall composed of a thin layer of a particular substance (called peptidoglycan).
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Hair follicle: A sac from which a hair grows and into which the sebaceous (oil) glands open. The follicle is lined by cells derived from the epidermal (outside) layer of the skin.
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Heredity: Genetic transmission from parent to child.
Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs.
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Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. From the name of Hygeia, the daughter of Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine (whose staff with entwined snake is the symbol of medicine). Asklepios (known to the Romans as Aesculapius) had a number of children including not only Hygeia but also Panaceia, the patroness of clinical medicine. Hygeia also followed her father into medicine. As the patroness of health, Hygeia was charged with providing a healthy environment to prevent illness. In Greek, "hygieia" means health.
Immune: Protected against infection. The Latin immunis means free, exempt.
Inflammation: A basic way in which the body reacts to infection, irritation or other injury, the key feature being redness, warmth, swelling and pain. Inflammation is now recognized as a type of nonspecific immune response.
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Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by inflammation of the bowel -- the large or small intestine. The most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease.
See the entire definition of Inflammatory bowel disease
Laser: A powerful beam of light that can produce intense heat when focused at close range. Lasers are used in medicine in microsurgery, cauterization, for diagnostic purposes, etc. For example, lasers are employed in microsurgery to cut tissue and remove tissue.
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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the vagina. They are the labia majora (the larger outside pair) and the labia minora (the smaller inside pair). Together they form part of the vulva (the female external genitalia).
Lithium: Lithium carbonate (brand names: Eskalith; Lithobid), a drug used as a mood stabilizer for the treatment of manic/depressive (bipolar) disorder. It prevents or diminishes the intensity of episodes of mania in bipolar patients. Typical symptoms of mania include pressure of speech, motor hyperactivity, reduced need for sleep, flight of ideas, grandiosity, elation, poor judgment, aggressiveness and possibly hostility.
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Lithobid: See: Lithium.
Liver: An organ in the upper abdomen that aids in digestion and removes waste products and worn-out cells from the blood. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. The liver weighs about three and a half pounds (1.6 kilograms). It measures about 8 inches (20 cm) horizontally (across) and 6.5 inches (17 cm) vertically (down) and is 4.5 inches (12 cm) thick.

See the entire definition of Liver Melanin: A skin pigment (substance that gives the skin its color). Dark-skinned people have more melanin than light- skinned people. Melanin also acts as a sunscreen and protects the skin from ultraviolet light.
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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrual cramps, menstrual cycle, and premenstrual syndrome. From the Latin menstrualis, from mensis meaning month.
Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within an organism. Metabolism consists both of anabolism and catabolism (the buildup and breakdown of substances, respectively). The biochemical reactions are known as metabolic pathways and involve enzymes that transform one substance into another substance, either breaking down a substance or building a new chemical substance. The term is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy.
Minocin: Brand name for minocycline.
Minocycline: A tetracycline antibiotic used to treat many different bacteria in urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, and other injections. The brand names for minocycline include Dynacin, Minocin, and Vectrin.
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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called "skeletal muscle." Heart muscle is called "cardiac muscle." Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called "smooth muscle."
Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constricted part of a bone or organ that joins its parts as, for example, the neck of the femur bone.
Nose: The external midline projection from the face.
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Oral contraceptive: A birth control pill taken by mouth. Most oral contraceptives include both estrogen and progesterone. When given in certain amounts and at certain times in the menstrual cycle, these hormones prevent the ovary from releasing an egg for fertilization.
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Papule: A small solid rounded bump rising from the skin that is usually less than 1 centimeter in diameter (less than 3/8 inch across).
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Peeling agent: An agent that promotes the softening and shedding of the horny outer layer of the skin. Also called a keratolytic.
Pigment: A substance that gives color to tissue. Pigments are responsible for the color of skin, eyes, and hair.
Pimple: A small papule or pustule. Pimples are sebaceous glands (oil glands) that are infected with bacteria, become inflamed, and fill with pus. Pimples are due to overactivity of the sebaceous glands located at the base of the hair follicles, especially on the face, back, chest, and shoulders. They are a visible and palpable hallmark of acne.
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Pimples: Small papules or pustules. See: Pimple.
Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside of cells. The chemical notation for potassium is K+.
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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman's last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long.
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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.
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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or device for a patient. A prescription has several parts. They include the superscription or heading with the symbol "R" or "Rx", which stands for the word recipe (meaning, in Latin, to take); the inscription, which contains the names and quantities of the ingredients; the subscription or directions for compounding the drug; and the signature which is often preceded by the sign "s" standing for signa (Latin for mark), giving the directions to be marked on the container.
Puberty: A complex biologic and psychologic process involving sexual development, accelerated growth, and adrenal maturation heralded by the secretion of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This event is the first known step in the reproductive cascade. It initiates the pulsatile release of gonadotropins, gonadal secretion of sex steroids, pubertal development, and gametogenesis (the production of sperm and ova).
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Pustule: A pustule is a small collection of pus in the top layer of skin (epidermis) or beneath it in the dermis. Pustules frequently form in sweat glands or hair follicles. Pus is a mixture of inflammatory cells and liquid.
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Regimen: With the accent on the first syllable (reg as in Reggie Jackson), a regimen is a plan, a regulated course such as a diet, exercise or treatment, designed to give a good result. A low-salt diet is a regimen.
Remedy: Something that consistently helps treat or cure a disease. From the Latin "remedium" meaning that which heals again (and again).
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Retinoid: 1. Vitamin A (retinol) or a naturally occurring or synthetic substance chemically related to it. (Retinoid literally means "like retinol.")
2. In ophthalmology, resembling the retina.
Retinol: Retinol is vitamin A. Carotene compounds (found, for example, in egg yolk, butter and cream) are gradually converted by the body to vitamin A (retinol). A form of vitamin A called retinal is responsible for transmitting light sensation in the retina of the eye. Deficiency of vitamin A leads to night blindness.
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Rosacea: A chronic skin disease that affects the middle third of the face with persistent redness over the areas of the face and nose that normally blush: mainly the forehead, the chin and the lower half of the nose. The tiny blood vessels in these areas enlarge (dilate) and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (called telangiectasias). Pimples can occur that look like teenage acne.
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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the achilles tendon). Rupture of the appendix is more likely among uninsured and minority children when they develop appendicitis.
Salicylic acid: A substance obtained from plants (white willow back and wintergreen leaves) and also synthesized which is versatile and possesses bacteriostatic, fungicidal, and keratolytic actions.
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Scrubs: A protective garment designed to be worn by the doctor, nurse, and others in the operating room. The garment was originally a gown. Scrubs now include the shirt and pants worn by those who scrub in for surgery.
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Sebum: An oily secretion of the sebaceous gland which helps to preserve the flexibility of the hair.
Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sensitivity training, training in small groups to develop a sensitive awareness and understanding of oneself and of ones relationships with others. 2. In disease epidemiology, the ability of a system to detect epidemics and other changes in disease occurrence. 3. In screening for a disease, the proportion of persons with the disease who are correctly identified by a screening test. 4. In the definition of a disease, the proportion of persons with the disease who are correctly identified by defined criteria.
Sleep: The body's rest cycle.
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Stress: Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems.
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Substance: 1. Material with particular features, as a pressor substance.
2. The material that makes up an organ or structure. Also known in medicine as the substantia.
3. A psychoactive drug as, for example, in substance abuse.
Sumycin: See: Tetracycline.
Sunburn: Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that develops in response to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or from tanning beds and booths that emit UV radiation. Sunburn is manifested by reddened, painful skin that may develop blisters.
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Superficial: In anatomy, on the surface or shallow. As opposed to deep. The skin is superficial to the muscles. The cornea is on the superficial surface of the eye.
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Sweat: A colorless transparent acidic fluid with a distinctive odor secreted by the small tubular sudoriferous (sweat) glands situated within the skin and under it in the subcutaneous tissue. The sweat glands discharge their fluid through tiny openings in the surface of the skin.
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Tetracycline: A family of broad-spectrum antibiotics effective against a remarkably wide variety of organisms. Bacteria susceptible to teracycline include H. flu (Hemophilus influenzae), strep (Streptococcus pneumoniae), Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the cause of gonorrhea). Tetracycline is also used to treat nongonococcal urethritis (due to Ureaplasma), Rocky mountain spotted fever, typhus, chancroid, cholera, brucellosis, anthrax, and syphilis. It is used in combination with other medications to treat Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria associated with ulcers of the stomach and duodenum.
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Therapy: The treatment of disease.
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Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. A topical agent is applied to a certain area of the skin and is intended to affect only the area to which it is applied. Whether its effects are indeed limited to that area depends upon whether the agent stays where it is put or is absorbed into the blood stream.
Triglycerides: The major form of fat stored by the body. A triglyceride consists of three molecules of fatty acid combined with a molecule of the alcohol glycerol. Triglycerides serve as the backbone of many types of lipids (fats). Triglycerides come from the food we eat as well as from being produced by the body.
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Trimox: See: Amoxicillin.
Urine: Liquid waste. The urine is a clear, transparent fluid. It normally has an amber color. The average amount of urine excreted in 24 hours is from 40 to 60 ounces (about 1,200 cubic centimeters). Chemically, the urine is mainly an aqueous (watery) solution of salt (sodium chloride) and substances called urea and uric acid. Normally, it contains about 960 parts of water to 40 parts of solid matter. Abnormally, it may contain sugar (in diabetes), albumen (a protein) (as in some forms of kidney disease), bile pigments (as in jaundice), or abnormal quantities of one or another of its normal components.
Vibramycin: Brand name for doxycycline.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is retinol. Carotene compounds (found, for example, in egg yolk, butter and cream) are gradually converted by the body to vitamin A (retinol). A form of vitamin A called retinal is responsible for transmitting light sensation in the retina of the eye.
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