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Eczema Glossary

Terms used to explain Eczema can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.


Pronunciation: \ˈal-ər-jē\

Function: noun
pl -gies

1: altered bodily reactivity (as hypersensitivity) to an antigen in response to a first exposure <his bee-venom allergy may render a second sting fatal>
2: exaggerated or pathological reaction (as by sneezing, respiratory embarrassment, itching, or skin rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states that are without comparable effect on the average individual
3: medical practice concerned with allergies


Function: noun
: any of various compounds that oppose the actions of histamine and are used esp. for treating allergic reactions (as hay fever), cold symptoms, and motion sickness


Pronunciation: \ˌkort-i-kō-ˈsti(ə)r-ˌoid also -ˈste(ə)r-\

Function: noun
: any of various adrenal-cortex steroids (as corticosterone, cortisone, and aldosterone) that are divided on the basis of their major biological activity into glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids


Pronunciation: \ˈdan-drəf\

Function: noun
: scaly white or grayish flakes of dead skin cells esp. of the scalp; also: the condition marked by excessive shedding of such flakes and usu. accompanied by itching


Pronunciation: \ˈdər-məs\

Function: noun
: the sensitive vascular inner mesodermic layer of the skin —called also corium, cutis, cutis vera, derma


Function: noun
pl -mas
also -ma*ta
Pronunciation: \-mət-ə\

: an abnormal excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue or in a serous cavity —called also dropsy


Pronunciation: \ˌer-ə-ˈthē-mə\

Function: noun
: abnormal redness of the skin due to capillary congestion (as in inflammation)


Pronunciation: \-ˌəp\

Function: noun
: a sudden increase in the symptoms of a latent or subsiding disease <a flare-up of malaria>


Pronunciation: \ˈich\

Function: noun

1: an uneasy irritating sensation in the upper surface of the skin usu. held to result from mild stimulation of pain receptors
2: a skin disorder accompanied by an itch; esp: a contagious eruption caused by an itch mite of the genus Sarcoptes (S. scabiei) that burrows in the skin and causes intense itching


Pronunciation: \lī-ˌken-ə-fə-ˈkā-shən, ˌlī-kən-\

Function: noun
: the process by which skin becomes hardened and leathery or lichenoid usu. as a result of chronic irritation; also: a patch of skin so modified


Pronunciation: \-ˌdər-mə-ˈtīt-əs\

Function: noun
pl -ti*tis*es
or -tit*i*des
Pronunciation: \-ˈtit-ə-ˌdēz\
: a chronic allergic disorder of the skin characterized by patches of an itching lichenoid eruption and occurring esp. in persons of nervous and emotional instability


Pronunciation: \ˈpap-(ˌ)yül\

Function: noun
: a small solid usu. conical elevation of the skin caused by inflammation, accumulated secretion, or hypertrophy of tissue elements

Seborrheic Dermatitis

seborrheic dermatitis
Function: noun
: a red, scaly, itchy dermatitis chiefly affecting areas (as of the face, scalp, or chest) with many large sebaceous glands

Stasis Dermatitis

stasis dermatitis
Function: noun
: inflammation of skin caused by slowing or stoppage of blood flow to the affected area


Pronunciation: \ˈtäp-i-kəl\

Function: adjective
: designed for or involving application to or action on the surface of a part of the body <applied a topical anesthetic to numb the skin> <eyedrops used in the topical treatment of glaucoma>

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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