is a temporary rise in thyroid hormone
lasting for a few
weeks, as damage to the thyroid gland
causes it to release its hormone stores.
This is followed by insufficient levels
) when the stores then
is used to treat the inflam -
mation, with a short course of the
in more severe cases. Thyroid function
usually returns to normal once the ill-
ness has been treated.
Also called adiposis dolorosa, a disor-
der characterized by the accumulation
of localized, symmetrical fat deposits
under the skin, mainly on the forearms
and thighs. The swellings are uncom -
fortable or painful. Other symptoms of
the disease include muscle weakness
and headaches. The disease may cause
death from heart failure. Dercum’s dis-
ease mainly affects middle-aged women
and is thought to be an autosomal
Feeling that the world has
unreal. It usually occurs together with
and may be caused by
dered brain function.
Removal of the surface layer of the skin
by high-speed sanding to improve the
appearance of scars, such as from
or to remove tattoos.
Inflammation of the skin, sometimes
due to an
Dermatitis is the same
and the terms can be used
types of dermatitis.
This condition is a red, scaly, itchy rash
that develops on the face (particularly
the nose and eyebrows), scalp, chest,
times of stress and is probably caused
by an excessive growth of yeast on the
and drugs that
kill microorganisms may help.
Contact dermatitis results from a reac-
tion to some substance that comes in
contact with the skin. Common causes
are detergents, nickel, certain plants,
and cosmetics. It may be treated with
An allergic reaction to the metal (often nickel)
in a ring has produced a red, inflamed area of
skin around the finger.
topical corticosteroids. A patch test (see
) may be performed in order
to identify the cause.
This form of dermatitis occurs in peo-
ple whose skin is abnormally sensitive
to light. A cluster of spots or blisters
occurs on any part of the body exposed
to the sun (see
Any self-induced damage to the skin. It
may range from scratches to extensive
mutilation that produces severe ulcers
or other lesions. W hen given a medical
examination, the affected person may
vigorously deny having any part in caus-
ing the problem. Psychiatric assessment
and treatment is required to control the
behaviour. (See also
A chronic skin disease in w hich clus-
ters of tiny, red, intensely itchy blisters
occur in a symmetrical pattern, most
commonly on the back, elbows, knees,
buttocks, and scalp. It usually develops
in adult life and is believed to be related
a condition in w hich
the lining of the small intestine reacts
to gluten, a constituent of wheat, rye,
and some other cereals.
The branch of medicine that is con-
cerned with the
and their disorders.
An area of skin that is supplied with
nerve fibres by a single spinal nerve
from the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or
sacral regions of the spinal cord.
The entire body surface is an inter-
locking pattern of dermatomes, w hich
is sim ilar from one person to another.
Abnormal sensation in a dermatome
signifies damage to a particular nerve
root, commonly due to a
A surgical instrument for cutting vary-
ing thicknesses of skin for use in skin
in w hich the
muscles and skin become inflamed. In
most cases the cause is unknown, but
in some instances the disease is linked
to an underlying
Dermatomyositis causes a skin rash
that may first appear on the bridge of
the nose and cheeks, followed by a pur-
ple discoloration on the eyelids and
sometimes a red rash over the knees,
knuckles, and elbows. Muscles become
affected people may find that they can-
not raise their hands above their head,
deposited in the muscles, particularly
in affected children.
The diagnosis is made by medical
muscle tissue. Treatment is with
In about half of
all cases, full recovery occurs after a
few years. The remainder have persis-
tent muscle weakness. In some cases,
the disease eventually affects the lungs
and other organs and may be fatal.
A group of common fungal infections
affecting the skin, hair, and nails, also
or, popularly, ringworm.
The inner layer of the
Abnormal sensitivity of the skin to
mechanical irritation, to the extent that
firm stroking leads to the appearance of
itchy weals. The condition is a form of
(nettle rash). It is most com-
mon in fair-skinned people who have a
tendency to allergic conditions.
A noncancerous tumour w ith a cell
structure sim ilar to that of skin. The
growth contains hairs, sweat glands,