Dermatology Glossary of Terms

This Dermatology Glossary contains the most commonly used key terms and phrases in the dermatology industry, to give you a better understanding of the Los Angeles area based dermatology practice of Dr. Robert Miller, especially in the areas of cosmetic, surgery, and medicine. This glossary will also help you get familiar with some of the terms you may come across on this website and during your visit with Dermatologist, Dr. Robert Miller. The following information should not be utilized to self diagnose any medical condition. The dermatology terms are provided for information purposes only.

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

 

 

A

Abscess: A pus-containing skin infection that occurs from bacteria or parasites. Contact Dr. Miller for this type of dermatological treatment.

Acanthosis: Involves thickening of the skin, which results in papules and plaques forming. Commonly treated by a dermatologist.

Acanthosis Nigricans: A breakout of hyperpigmented plaques and warty papules in the axillae, groin, neck, and/or anogenital region. Please visit Dr. Miller’s dermatology office for this kind of treatment.

Acne: A skin condition characterized by blackheads, pimple outbreaks, cysts, infected abscesses, and scarring that is most commonly found on the face, back, shoulders and chest.

Acne Vulgaris: A skin condition resulting in whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red pimples. Consult a dermatologist for this type of skin care treatment.

Acitinic Purpura: A skin condition that results from chronic sun-exposure and increasing age, a dermatologist can perform certain treatments to help this type of dermalogical condition.

Acrochordon: A small skin tag that can be located almost anywhere on the body or face. Skin tags are a type of condition that can easily be removed by your chosen dermatologist or surgical doctor.

Albinism: A skin defect that result in little or no color pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

Alopecia: A general term to describe hair loss or baldness. Consult Dr. Miller for this type of treatment.

Angioedema: Swelling beneath the skin rather than on the surface of the skin. This type of dermatological condition happens suddenly and can persist for hours or through out a few days.

Atopic Dermatitis: Also called Eczema, is a chronic skin condition that cause scaly and itchy rashes. Dr. Miller or other dermatologists can treat this type of skin condition.

Atrophy: Thinning of the skin due to reduction of underlying tissue.

 

 


 

B

Basal Cell Carcinoma: The most common, slow-growing form of skin cancer where small bumps form on the skin and may bleed. Basal Cell Carcinoma is derived from cells in the basal cell layer of the lower epidermis. A dermatologist will have treatment options for this type of skin disease.

Biopsy: A surgical procedure performed by a dermatologist or surgeon that involves the removal and examination of tissues or cells from the body.

Blemish: Also called Acne, a skin condition characterized by blackheads, pimple outbreaks, cysts, infected abscesses, and scarring that is commonly found on the face, back, shoulders and chest. Blemish’s can be treated and prevented with help and guidance from your dermatologist or skin care professional.

Blepheroplasty: Also called Eye Lid Rejuvenation, is a cosmetic procedure that Dr. Miller or other dermatologists perform to improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Blepheroplasty gives a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of your eyes, making you look more rested, alert and youthful.

Botox: A cosmetic injection that Dr. Miller, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon’s perform to temporarily diminishe or remove frown lines, forehead creases, and crows feet near the eye.

Bulla: A skin blister that is raised more than .5 cm that contains serous fluid above the dermis. Bulla is a condition that can be treated by a certified dermatologist or skin care professional.

Bullous Pemphigoid: A skin disorder producing large blisters. Bullous Pemphigoid often occurs in the elderly and is often chronic.

 

 


 

C

Café au lait Spot: Pigmented birthmarks that are uniform light to dark borwn colors and are usually oval in shape. Birthmarks are present at birth.

Candidiasis: Also called Yeast Infection, is a fungus skin infection occurring in the mouth, skin folds, navel, genitals, and nail beds.

Carbuncle/Furuncle: Also called Furuncle, an acute, round, firm, and tender boil on the skin. To treat this type of skin condition please contact Dr. Miller or your preferred dermatologist of choice.

Cavernous Hemangioma: A raised, red to purple sore on the skin due to a buildup of blood vessels that can be treated by a dermatologist or skin care professional.

Cellulitis: A common deep skin infection caused by bacteria resulting in localized area inflammation.

Chemical Peels: A dermatological solution Dr. Miller and other dermatologists and skin care professionals use to improve the texture of the face by removing the top layer of the skin to help minimize the appearance of sun damaged skin, irregular pigment, and scars.

Cherry Angioma: Small red to purple papules on the skin containing abnormal proliferation of blood vessels.

Clavus: Also known as corn and heloma, is condition which results in the thickening of the skin. Clavus is commonly known as corn or heloma in the world of dermatology.

Closed Comedo: Also called a Whitehead, a type of acne with a white or yellowish head on the skin. Dermatologists, such as Dr. Miller have many treatment options for this type of skin condition.

Cold Sore: A recurrent lesion around the mouth caused by herpes simplex virus.

Collagen: A natural protein found in bone, skin, ligaments, and tendons.

Collagen Injections: A cosmetic injection injected beneath the skin to replace the body’s natural collagen to treat minor imperfections on the face such as wrinkles, scars, and facial lines. Dr. Miller, dermatologists and other facial surgeons perfmor Collagen Injections, usually in people between the ages of 25 and 50.

Contact Dermatitis: A rash or inflammation of the skin caused by having contact with various substances.

Creeping Eruption: A skin infection that causes severe itching. Creeping Eruption can be treated by a dermatologist or skin care professional.

Crusting: Also known as scab, is dried blood, pus, or other fluids on the surface of the skin.

Cryosurgery: A dermatological procedure, performed by a dermatologist or skin care professional, done by freezing the lesion with liquid nitrogen.

Cyst: A deep lesion filled with pus or fluids.

Cystic Acne: A severe form of acne forming papule.

 

 


 

D

Dermabrasion: A dermatological procedure, performed by a dermatologist to remove acne scars or the like by abrading.

Dermatitis: A skin condition that is inflammation of the skin from a variety of skin conditions.

Dermatofibroma: A small, non-cancerous red or brown bump in the skin normally found on the legs.

Dermatographism: A skin condition where raised, reddish marks or hives appear on the skin due to light scratching. Dermatographism is usually caused from physical trauma or rubbing. Please visit Dr. Miller’s dermatology office for this kind of treatment.

Dermis: The middle layer of the skin consisting of the blood vessels, hair follicles, and sweat glands.

Desquamation: The peeling or shedding of the epidermis. This type of skin condition can be treated by a dermatologist such as Dr. Miller.

Dimple sign: A central depression or dimple educed within a lesion when it is squeezed.

Discoid/Discoid Lupus: A descriptive term used for round papules, plaques, or patch resembling a disk-like shape.

Drug Eruption: An eruption caused by injection, ingestion, inhalation, or insertion of a drug.

 

 


 

E

Ecchymosis: A non-blanching skin discoloration due to the escape of blood from ruptured blood vessels. Consult a dermatologist for this type of skin care treatment.

Eczema: Also called Atopic Dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that results in itching, scaling, and thickening of the skin, often associated with pruritus or burning. Eczema is treated by a dermatologist like Dr. Miller.

Ephelis: Also called Freckle, are Clusters brownish spots on the skin caused by deposition of pigment, and typically appear on sun-exposed areas.

Epidermis: The most outer layer of the skin that is exposed to the environment. Dermatologists commonly treat skin conditions of the epidermis.

Erosion: Loss of the epidermis due to friction or pressure.

Erysipelas: An acute streptococcus bacterial infection that results in inflammation and is commonly treated by Dr. Miller or other dermatologists.

Erythema Multiforme: Abnormal redness of the skin usually caused by inflammation.

Erythema Nodosum: A skin infection where red bumps appear on the shins.

Erythrasma: A skin infection where irregular pink patches are localized or generalized, and turn to brown scales. Dr. Miller a certified dermatologist treats this type of skin condition.

Erythroderma: An extensive reddening of the skin often due to exfoliation, that can be treated by a dermatologist.

Exanthem: An extensive rash.

Excoriation: When the skin is covered by scabs due to scratching.

Eye Lid Rejuvenation: Also called Blepheroplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that Dr. Miller performs to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, and gives a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of your eyes, making you look more rested, alert and youthful.

 

 


 

F

Face Lift: Also called Rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure Dr. Miller and other facial surgeons perform to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck.

Fissure: A deep furrow, cleft, or slit in the epidermis that is often treated by a dermatologists.

Folliculitis: Inflammation of hair follicles from infection.

Freckle: Also called Ephelis, is a clusters brownish spots on the skin caused by deposition of pigment, and typically appear on sun-exposed areas.

 

 


 

G

Granuloma Annulare: A chronic skin disease where raised, red bumps appear in a circle or ring with a normal or sunken center. Consult your dermatologist of choice for this type of skin care treatment.

 

 


 

H

Herpes Simplex: A recurrent, self limited viral disease that causes the eruption of fluid-containing vesicles.

Herpes Zoster: Also known as Shingles, is a painful, viral infection of the nerves that causes a painful rash with small blisters.

Hirsutism: Excessive facial and body hair growth especially found in women that can be treated by a dermatologist or skin care professional of choice.

Hives: An allergic reaction from food or medication where red, itchy, and swollen spots appear on the skin. Hives are commonly known as Urticaria. Contact Dr. Miller for this type of dermatological treatment

Hyperpigmentation: Excess, darker than normal, pigmentation.

Hypopigmentation: Diminished, paler than normal, pigmentation.

 

 


 

I

Ichthyosis: A heredity skin disease where epidermis flakes off in large scales or plates that can be treated by a dermatologist.

Immunocompromised: A condition where the immune system has been impaired by disease and decreases a person’s ability to fight infections.

Impetigo: A bacterial skin infection where microscopic pus-filled blisters appear. Contact Dr. Miller, a dermatologist, for this type of dermatological treatment.

Induration: The hardening of normally soft skin due to inflammation, cellular infiltration, or an accumulation of blood a condition that can be treated by Dr. Miller.

Inflammation: The reaction of the skin that causes redness, swelling, heat, and pain due to injury, infection, or allergic reaction.

 

 


 

J

Juvederm: A cosmetic, dermal filler gel injection consisting of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in your skin that Dr. Miller uses to help to add volume and hydration. Please contact Dr. Miller for this treatment option.

 

 


 

K

Keloids: A firm pink, raised scar tissue caused by excessive tissue repair that extends beyond the borders of the original injury. Please visit Dr. Miller’s dermatology office for this kind of treatment.

Keratinocytes: Also called Squamous Cells, is the main cell found in the epidermis.

Keratoacanthomas: A skin growth that is round and fleshed-colored that contain pasty material.

Keratosis Pilaris: A genetic skin condition where rough bumps appear on the back, upper arms and thighs that can be treated by your dermatologist of choice.

 

 


 

L

Laser Resurfacing: A cosmetic procedure Dr. Miller, a dermatologist and facial surgeon, performs where high-energy light is used to burn away damaged skin, including wrinkles and fine scars.

Lentigo: A freckle or other pigmented spot found on the surface of the skin.

Lice: Contagious, tiny insects infested in the scalp, and sometimes on the eyebrows and eyelashes causing intense itching. Lice are commonly found and spread through children.

Lichen: Refers to clinical lesions that various skin diseases cause by the eruption of flat papules.

Lichenification: Diffuse, thickening of the skin due to scratching and rubbing. This condition can be treated by a dermatologist such as Dr. Miller.

Lipomas: A benign tumor under the skin composed of fatty tissue, that commonly is treated by dermatologists such as Dr. Miller.

Liver Spots: Discoloration of the skin due to aging and sun exposure.

Lymphangioma: A benign proliferation of lymphatic vessels causing a raised, yellow-tan or red mark on the skin.

 

 


 

M

Macular Stains: Also called Angel’s Kisses or Stork Bites, are faint, red marks on the skin present at birth.

Macule: A circumscribed flat, discolored spot on the skin, that is commonly treated by a dermatologist like Dr. Miller.

Malignant Melanoma: A rare but sometimes fatal type of skin cancer that starts off as a mole and turns cancerous. Skin cancers should be treated by dermatologists when immediate signs appear.

Melanocytes: An epidermis cell that produce melanin.

Melasma: A light to dark brown, patchy pigmentation of the cheeks and occasionally the forehead and upper lip that results from sun-exposure and is associated with estrogens that is why it is common in pregnant women. Consult a dermatologist for this type of skin care treatment.

Moles: A small, dark raised congenital spot on the skin.

Mongolian spots: Bluish-black congenital skin marks found at birth, on the lower back and buttock and usually goes away after three to five years after birth.

 

 


 

N

Nevi Flammeus: A birthmark consisting of malformed, dilated blood vessels in the skin that leave pink, red, or purple marks on the outer layer of the skin.

Neck Lift: A set of cosmetic procedures Dr. Miller performs to enhance the appearance of the neck, to help present a more youthful look.

Nodule: Also called Papule, is a raised area of the skin that does not contain any fluids.

 

 


 

O

Onychomycosis: Chronic fungal infection of the nails causing chronically thickened, splitting, rough, and discolored nails. This condition can be treated by a dermatologist such as Dr. Miller.

Open Comedo: Also called a Blackhead, is a type of acne with a blackish bump on the skin. Open Comedo’s are very commonly treated by dermatologists such as Dr. Miller.

 

 


 

P

Paronychia: A pus-forming, fungal skin infection that causes inflammation around the fingernail and toenail. This commonly results in separation of the skin from the proximal nail.

Papule: A raised area of the skin that does not contain any fluids. Papule’s can be treated by a dermatologist such as Dr. Miller.

Patch: A circumscribed flat, discolored spot on the skin. Patch’

Perlane: A cosmetic dermal filler injection Dr. Miller and other facial surgeons use to soften your wrinkles and facial lines, and lift and add volume to your face.

Pimple: An inflamed lesion on the skin that resemble a pink bump. Pimple’s are common in teenagers and young adults, however do occur in people of all ages. Pimple’s can be treated and prevented by a dermatologist.

Pityriasis Rosea: A common skin condition resembling patches of scaly, pink, and inflamed skin usually found on the torso. Most dermatologists can treat this type of skin condition. Please contact Dr. Miller for any questions regarding this skin condition.

Plaque: A small, elevated, solid lesion with a disk-shaped formation. Usually consists of a flat top.

Pore: A tiny opening on the surface of the skin.

Port-Wine Stains: Also called Nevi Flammeus, is a birthmark consisting of malformed, dilated blood vessels in the skin leaving pink, red, or purple marks on the skin.

Prickly Heat: A skin condition that resembles a rash, and is caused by sweat that is trapped under the skin. Contact Dr. Miller, a dermatologist, for this type of treatment.

Psoriasis: A chronic skin condition that can be treated by a dermatologist, that causes rapid skin growth which results in redness, irritation, and scaly patches.

Punch Grafts: A dermatological procedure to help treat deep acne scars by removing the scar on the skin and placing a skin graft in the area of the cut.

Pus: A yellow or white fluid formed in infected tissue.

Pustule: Also called Pimple, is an inflamed lesion on the skin that resembles a pink bump. Please contact a dermatologist for this type of acne treatment.

Pyogenic Granuloma: Raised marks caused by excessive growth of the capillaries.

 

 


 

Q

(no entry)

 

 


 

R

Radiesse: A new long-lasting cosmetic filler injection made of microscopic balls of calcium hydroxylapatite that Dr. Miller injects in areas such as the lips for more fullness.

Rash: A skin infection that causes itching and blistering that can be treated by a skin care professional such as a dermatologist.

Restylane: A cosmetic gel injection Dr. Miller uses to restore their skin’s volume to enhance their natural look with a soft and revitalizing appearance. Restylane gives people a more refreshed and youthful look and is a lot like Perlane, another cosmetic gel injection.

Ringworm: A fungal skin infection with the formation of red, blistery, ring-shaped patches. Ringworm is very contagious and spreads easily through touch. Ringworm should be treated at first sign of appearance to help avoid spreading.

Rosacea: A skin condition that causes inflammation all over the face, and is treated by a dermatologist.

 

 


 

S

Salicylic Acid: A keratolytic drug used by dermatologists, in dermatological procedures to remove the out layer of the skin.

Sarcoidosis: A disease that causes inflammation in the lymph nodes and other organs.

Scab: Also called Crust, is dried blood, pus, or other fluids on the surface (outer most layer) of the skin.

Scabies: A contagious skin infection caused by mites that result in intense itching. Please contact a dermatologist or skin care professional when you see immediate signs of this condition.

Scales: Dry skin that flakes due to dead skin cells.

Scar: A fibrous tissue on the skin due to an injury, skin disease, rash, or acne. Scars are common conditions dermatologists and facial surgeons treat.

Sebaceous Glands: Microscopic glands in the skin that secrete oil to the surface of the skin.

Seborrheic Keratosis: A non-cancerous wart-like spots on the skin that is commonly flesh-colored, brown, or black. Dermatologists often treat this type of skin condition.

Shingles: Also called Herpes Zoster, is a viral infection of the nerve that causes a painful rash with small blisters. Shingles should be treated when first sign of the condition appears.

Skin Cancer: The uncontrolled growth of cancerous tumor on the skin that can spread to other tissues and organs. Skin cancer is a condition that dermatologists specialize in. Please contact Dr. Miller or a dermatologist of choice for treatment options for this type of condition.

Skin Cancer Screening: Skin Cancer Screening involves a 2 to 3 minute visual inspection of the patient’s body for irregular spots or moles that Dr. Miller performs at his office in Los Angeles.

Skin Resurfacing: A cosmetic treatment Dr. Miller, a dermatologist, performs to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of your skin.

Skin Surgery: Either a surgical or cosmetic procedure rapidly advancing in the areas of medicine, surgery, and cosmetics in which Dr. Miller’s dermatology practice in Los Angeles offers.

Skin Tags: A small non-cancerous, flesh-colored skin flaps that appear on the neck, armpits, or groin. Skin tags can be removed in a simple procedure performed by a dermatologist or skin car professional.

Spider Angioma: An abnormal collection of blood vessels near the skin’s surface causing bright red mark with a distinct dark spot.

Spider Veins: Also called Telangiectasia is dilated blood vessels that cause dark red blotches on the surface of the skin. Spider veins are commonly found in people older than the age of 55.

Squamous Cells: Also called Keratinocytes, are the main cell found in the epidermis.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Result from skin cancer and becomes an open sore. Please visit Dr. Miller’s dermatology office for this kind of treatment.

Stretch Marks: Scaring caused by the stretching or tearing of the skin, is also called Striae and can be treated by a dermatologist such as Dr. Miller.

Striae: Scaring caused by the stretching or tearing of the skin. Please consult a dermatologist for this type of cosmetic treatment.

Subcautaneous Layer: Also called Subcutis. The deepest layer of the skin that lies below the dermis.

Subcutis: Also called Subcautaneous Layer. The deepest layer of the skin that lies below the dermis.

 

 


 

T

Telangiectasia: Also called Spider Veins, are dilated blood vessels that cause dark red blotches on the skin.

Tinea versicolor: A chronic non-inflammatory fungal infection where white or light brown patches appear on the skin that can be treated by a dermatologist.

Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: A severe skin disorder caused by a reaction to medicine where the top layer of skin starts blistering and peeling. Dermatologists can treat this type of skin reaction.

Tretinoin: A common, dermatological drug, chemically related to vitamin A, used to treat acne. You can visit Dr. Miller’s dermatology office for this cosmetic procedure.

 

 


 

U

Urticaria: Also known as Hives, is an allergic reaction from food or medication where red, itchy, and swollen spots appear on the surface of the skin. Please contact a dermatologist for treatment for this type of condition.

Urushiol: A toxic substance found in resin that causes allergic skin reaction.

 

 


 

V

Vitiligo: A skin disorder where smooth, white patches appear in the skin due to the loss of pigment-producing cells. Dermatologists can treat this type of skin disorder.

Volume Restoration: A treatment that provides long-lasting results to give you a natural, youthful appearance. Dr. Miller’s cosmetic treatments include Catique, Radiesse, and Sculptra injections.

 

 


 

W

Wart: A small non-cancerous skin growth caused by a virus that appears on the surface of the skin. Warts can be removed by a dermatologist such as Dr. Miller.

Whitehead: Also called Closed Comedo, is a type of acne with a white or yellowish head on the skin. Whiteheads often appear in teenagers and young adults, but can appear in people of all ages. Please visit a dermatology office for this type of skin care treatment.

Wrinkle: A small crease or fold in the skin surface resulting from aging or frowning. Contact Dr. Miller’s dermatology office for different types of cosmetic procedure to treat wrinkles.

 

 


 

X

Xerosis: Excessive and pathological dryness of the skin or mucous membranes that can be treated by Dr. Miller or other dermatologists. Also known as xeroderma.

 

 


 

Y

(no entry)

 

 


 

Z

(no entry)