DERMOID TUMOUR
Dermoid cyst of the ovary
Dermoid cysts commonly occur in the ovaries. They
can contain fragments of cartilage, bone, and, in
this case, a whole tooth.
and sebaceous glands. Dermoid cysts
may also contain fragments of cartilage,
bone, and even teeth. The cysts can
occur in various parts of the body, but
they are most commonly found in the
ovaries and on the skin around the
head or neck, causing small, painless
swellings. Dermoid cysts only rarely
become cancerous.
Surgical removal of the cysts is usually
recommended. (See also
teratoma
. )
dermoid tumour
See
dermoid cyst
.
Dermovate
A brand name for clobetasol, a topical
corticosteroid drug
that is applied to the
skin. Dermovate is only prescribed for
severe
skin
disorders
that
have
not
responded to treatment with another,
weaker topical corticosteroid.
De Sanctis-Cacchione
syndrome
A hereditary condition that is transmit-
ted as an autosomal recessive trait (see
genetic disorders
) .
De Sanctis-Cacchione
syndrome is characterized by
xeroderma
pigmentosum
(extreme sensitivity of the
skin to sunlight), impaired intellectual
development, growth retardation (see
short stature
) ,
and underdevelopment of
the gonads (the
testes
or
ovaries
) .
desensitization
A technique that is used in
behaviour
therapy
for the treatment of
phobias
. T h e
patient
is
gradually
exposed
to
the
feared object or situation while using
relaxation techniques
to control his or
her feelings. The exposure is carried
out repeatedly over several weeks or
months, until the person no longer
feels afraid when confronted w ith the
object or situation.
desensitization, allergy
See
hyposensitization
.
desferrioxamine
A drug used to rid the body tissues of
excess
iron
that accumulates as a result
of repeated blood transfusions in cer-
tain types of
anaemia
,
such as aplastic
anaemia and
thalassaemia.
It is also
used to treat iron poisoning, and may
be used to treat excess
aluminium
in
people on
dialysis
.
The drug is administered by intra-
venous injection or by subcutaneous
infusion. It may be given w ith
vitamin C
to boost excretion of the iron. Side
effects may include gastrointestinal dis-
turbances, dizziness, and skin reactions.
designer drugs
A group of illegally produced chem-
icals that m im ic the effects of specific
drugs of abuse. Made in illicit laborato-
ries, they are cheap to produce and
undercut the street prices of drugs.
Designer drugs can cause
drug depen-
dence
and
drug poisoning
.
TYPES
There are three major types: drugs that
are derived from opioid
analgesic
drugs
(painkillers)
such as fentanyl; drugs
that are sim ilar to
amphetamines
,
such
as ecstasy; and variants of
phencyclidine
(PCP), a hallucinogenic drug.
RISKS
These highly potent drugs are not tested
for adverse effects or for the strength of
the tablets or capsules, making their use
hazardous. For example, some deriva-
tives of fentanyl are 20-2,000 times as
powerful as morphine. Amphetamine
derivatives can cause brain damage at
doses only slightly higher than those
required for a stimulant effect. Many
designer drugs contain impurities that
can cause permanent damage.
WARNING
Designer drugs carry a high risk of
drug dependence, with severe
withdrawal
reactions
,
and of drug poisoning, caus-
ing effects such as brain damage.
desmoid tumour
A growth, usually in the abdominal
wall. The tumour feels
hard and it
occurs most frequently in women who
have
had
children,
possibly
due
to
stretching of abdominal muscles during
pregnancy. They may also arise at the
sites of old surgical incisions. Removal
of the tumour is the usual treatment,
but recurrence is common.
desmopressin
A synthetic form of
ADH
(antidiuretic
hormone) that is used to treat
diabetes
insipidus
and bed-wetting (see
enuresis
) .
desogestrel
A
progestogen drug
that is used with
ethinylestradiol
as an ingredient of some
combined
oral contraceptives
.
Desoges-
trel is reported to have a slightly higher
risk of venous
thromboembolism
than
older drugs. Possible side effects of des-
ogestrel include weight changes and
fluid retention. There may, in addition,
be nausea, vomiting, headache, depres-
sion, and breast tenderness.
desquamation
The process by w hich the surface of the
epidermis
(the outer layer of the skin) is
shed in the form of scales or small
sheets. This process is a feature of seb-
orrhoeic dermatitis (see
dermatitis
)
and
ichthyosis
(an inherited scaling condi-
tion of the skin). Desquamation of the
skin may occur after illnesses involving
fever, particularly
scarlet fever
.
detached retina
See
retinal detachment
.
detergent poisoning
The toxic effects that can result from
swallowing
cleaning
agents
that
are
present in shampoos, laundry powders,
and household cleaning liquids. These
effects
include
vomiting,
diarrhoea,
and swelling of the abdomen.
detoxify
To remove the toxicity (the poisonous
property) from a substance or to neu-
tralize
the
substance’s
toxic
effects.
Detoxification is one of the functions
carried out by the
liver
.
The term “detoxification” is used to
describe treatment for alcohol depen-
dence and also a short-term diet in
w hich toxins such as
caffeine
and
alco-
hol
are excluded and foods high in fats
and sugar are avoided. “Detox” diets
are usually based on fruits, vegetables,
starches such as brown rice, and drink-
ing plenty of water. People who follow
these diets often feel physically and
mentally refreshed afterwards, although
there is no scientific evidence that the
diets eliminate toxins faster than nor-
mal. Detox diets should be used only
for a few days, and preferably with
guidance from a doctor or dietician.
They are not recommended for children
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