Additional Medical Terms-integumentary system - Medical Terminology(Adaptive*)

The following are additional terms related to the integumentary system. Recognizing and learning these terms will help you understand the connection between common signs, symptoms, and diseases and their diagnoses, as well as the rationale behind methods of treatment selected for a particular disorder.

Signs, Symptoms, and Diseases


Scraping, or rubbing away of a surface, such as skin, by friction

Abrasion may be the result of trauma, such as a skinned knee, therapy, as in dermabrasion of the skin for removal of scar tissue, or normal function, such as wearing down of a tooth by mastication.


Localized collection of pus at the site of an infection (characteristically a staphylococcal infection)


Abscess that originates in a hair follicle; also called boil

Cluster of furuncles in the subcutaneous tissue

An abscess can occur in any body part. Treatment includes oral antibiotics and I&D to drain the purulent material.


Inflammatory disease of sebaceous follicles of the skin, marked by comedos (blackheads), papules, and pustules Acne is especially common in puberty and adolescence. It usually affects the face, chest, back, and shoulders


Absence or loss of hair, especially of the head; also known as baldness


Discolored, dried sebum plugging an excretory duct of the skin; also called blackhead


Closed sac or pouch in or under the skin with a definite wall that contains fluid, semifluid, or solid material

The cyst may enlarge as sebum collects and may become infected.


A cyst filled with sebum (fatty material) from a sebaceous gland


Redness of the skin caused by swelling of the capillaries

Eczematous rash may result from various causes, including allergies, irritating chemicals, drugs, scratching or rubbing the skin, or sun exposure. It may be acute or chronic.


Scattered eczema of the trunk of an infant


Loss of a large amount of blood in a short period, externally or internally

Hemorrhage may be arterial, venous, or capillary.


Hemorrhage of any size under the skin in which the skin is not broken; also known as a bruise




Skin discoloration consisting of a large, irregularly formed hemorrhagic area with colors changing from blue-black to greenish brown or yellow; commonly called a bruise (See Figure )


Minute, pinpoint hemorrhagic spot of the skin

A petechia is a smaller version of an ecchymosis.


Elevated, localized collection of blood trapped under the skin that usually results from trauma


Condition characterized by excessive growth of hair or presence of hair in unusual places, especially in women


Bacterial skin infection characterized by isolated pustules that become crusted and rupture


Chronic skin disease characterized by itchy red patches covered with silvery scales (See Figure Psoriasis.)

Psoriasis runs in families and may be brought on by anxiety. Topical corticosteroids, vitamin D, ultraviolet light exposure, and saltwater immersion are among the many methods that have been used effectively to treat the condition.



Contagious skin disease transmitted by the itch mite

Skin lesions

Areas of pathologically altered tissue caused by disease, injury, or a wound due to external factors or internal disease

Evaluation of skin lesions, injuries, or changes to tissue helps establish the diagnosis of skin disorders. Lesions are described as primary or secondary.

Primary lesions

Initial reaction to pathologically altered tissue that may be flat or elevated

Secondary lesions

Result from the changes that take place in the primary lesion due to infection, scratching, trauma, or various stages of a disease

Lesions are also described by their appearance, color, location, and size as measured in centimeters. Review the primary and secondary lesions illustrated in Figure Primary and secondary lesions.


Fungal infection whose name commonly indicates the body part affected; also called ringworm

Examples of tinea include tineabarbae (beard), tineacorporis (body), tineapedis (athlete’s foot), tineaversicolor (skin), and tineacruris (jock itch).


Lesion of the skin or mucous membranes marked by inflammation, necrosis, and sloughing of damaged tissues (See Figure Primary and secondary lesions.)

Ulcers may be the result of trauma, caustic chemicals, intense heat or cold, arterial or venous stasis, cancers, drugs, and infectious agents.
Skin ulceration caused by prolonged pressure, usually in a person who is bedridden; also known as decubitus ulcer or bedsore.

pressure ulcer

Pressure ulcers are most commonly found in skin overlying a bony projection, such as the hip, ankle, heel, shoulder, and elbow.


Allergic reaction of the skin characterized by eruption of pale-red elevated patches that are intensely itchy; also called wheals or hives.


Rounded epidermal growths caused by a virus; also called wart

Types of warts include plantar warts, juvenile warts, and venereal warts. Warts may be removed by cryosurgery, electrocautery, or acids; however, they may regrow if virus remains in the skin.


Primary and secondary lesions.


Localized loss of skin pigmentation characterized by milk-white patches; also called leukoderma(See Figure Vitiligo.)


Diagnostic Procedures


Removal of a small piece of living tissue from an organ or other part of the body for microscopic examination to confirm or establish a diagnosis, estimate prognosis, or follow the course of a disease

Types of biopsy include aspiration biopsy, needle biopsy, punch biopsy, shave biopsy, and frozen section.

skin test

Method for determining induced sensitivity (allergy) by applying or inoculating a suspected allergen or sensitizer into the skin and determining sensitivity (allergy) to the specific antigen by an inflammatory skin reaction to it

The most commonly used skin tests are the intradermal, patch, and scratch tests.(See Figure Skin tests. (A) Intradermal allergy test reactions. (B) Scratch (prick) skin test kit for allergy testing.)


Skin tests. (A) Intradermal allergy test reactions. (B) Scratch (prick) skin test kit for allergy testing.

Medical and Surgical Procedures


Use of subfreezing temperature, commonly with liquid nitrogen, to destroy abnormal tissue cells, such as unwanted, cancerous, or infected tissue


Treatment that involves removal of foreign material and dead or damaged tissue, especially in a wound, and is used to promote healing and prevent infection


Process in which high-frequency electrical sparks are used to dehydrate and destroy diseased tissue

Incision and drainage(I&D)

Incision of a lesion, such as an abscess, followed by the drainage of its contents

skin graft

Surgical procedure to transplant healthy tissue by applying it to an injured site

Human, animal, or artificial skin is used to provide a temporary covering or permanent layer of skin over a wound or burn.
Transplantation of healthy tissue from one person to another person; also called homograft


In an allograft, the skin donor is usually a cadaver. This type of skin graft is temporary and is used to protect the patient against infection and fluid loss. The allograft is frozen and stored in a skin bank until needed.


Transplantation of healthy tissue from one site to another site in the same individual


Transplantation of artificial skin produced from collagen fibers arranged in a lattice pattern

With a synthetic skin graft, the recipient’s body does not reject the synthetic skin (produced artificially) and healing skin grows into it as the graft gradually disintegrates.

Transplantation (dermis only) from a foreign donor (usually a pig) and transferred to a human; also called heterograft


A xenograft is used as a temporary graft to protect the patient against infection and fluid loss.

skin resurfacing

Procedure that repairs damaged skin, acne scars, fine or deep wrinkles, or tattoos or improves skin tone irregularities through the use of topical chemicals, abrasion, or laser

In cosmetic surgery, skin resurfacing may involve dermabrasion, chemical peels, cutaneous lasers, and other techniques.

chemical peel

Use of chemicals to remove outer layers of skin to treat acne scarring and general keratoses as well as cosmetic purposes to remove fine wrinkles on the face; also called chemabrasion

cutaneous laser

Any of several laser treatments employed for cosmetic and plastic surgery

Cutaneous laser includes treatment of pigmented lesions, wrinkles, vascular malformations, and other cosmetic skin surface irregularities.


Removal of acne scars, nevi, tattoos, or fine wrinkles on the skin through the use of sandpaper, wire brushes, or other abrasive materials on the epidermal layer.

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