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A-Z OF SKIN

Search our A to Z of Skin to find out more about common skin conditions and problems, their symptoms, causes and how they are diagnosed and treated. You can search by both common and medical names, or by medicine or treatment name.

Both common and medical names have been included to help your search, as well as the names of medications and treatments. There are also a number of cosmetic topics which explain the latest treatments for cosmetic concerns related to the skin. Many College dermatologists have contributed to the information on this site.

The process has been overseen by a committee of dermatologists to ensure that the final versions are both accurate and user friendly. Particular thanks go to Dr Pam Brown, Dr Peter Berger, Dr Davin Lim, Dr Michelle Rodrigues, Dr Yin Vun, Conjoint Associate Prof Orli Wargon and Dr Eleni Yiasemides (Chair). The A to Z information is regularly updated. Please check back on a regular basis for updates and the addition of new topics.

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  • Balanitis & balano-posthitis

    Balanitis is inflammation of the glans penis (head or knob of the penis) due to any cause. In uncircumcised males (the foreskin or “prepuce” is still present) inflammation of both the glans and the foreskin together is called balano-posthitis.

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  • Barber’s itch

    Barber’s itch also known as Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a chronic inflammation of hair-bearing areas of the skin caused by ingrown hairs that develop after shaving or plucking.

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  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

    Also known as ... a Rodent Ulcer What is Basal Cell Carcinoma? Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. Fortunately it is usually the least dangerous and almost always completely curable by treatment. BCC accounts for more than three-quarters (75%) of all skin cancers. Most Basal Cell Carcinomas are slow-growing and almost never spread to other parts of the body. However, if they are left untreated they can damage or destroy the skin and surrounding tissues and cause an ulcer known as a rodent ulcer.

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  • Becker’s Naevus

    Also known as ... Becker’s Melanosis Becker’s Naevus is a birthmark that appears in adolescence or the twenties as a flat brown discolouration in which darker thicker hairs may later grow. It is usually located on the shoulder, chest or back. It occurs most commonly in males.

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  • Benign lymphocytic infiltration of the skin

    Benign lymphocytic infiltration of the skin also known as Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate is a benign skin condition characterised by persistent lymphocyte (immune) cells in the skin. It may be a variant of lupus erythematosus, but this remains uncertain.

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  • Biologic Treatments Used in Dermatology

    Biologics are medications made from human or animal proteins. They are designed to specifically target biologic pathways that cause inflammation in the skin and other organs. Biologics have been used in many people worldwide to treat severe psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, other types of arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g. Crohn’s disease). Biologic medications are given as injections.

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  • Biopsy of the Skin

    A skin biopsy is one of the most important tools in the diagnosis and management of skin diseases. It involves removing a small piece of skin for evaluation under the microscope by the pathologist.

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  • Blastomycosis

    Blastomycosis is a very rare fungal infection caused by breathing in microscopic particles (spores) of the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis (B. dermatitidis). Blastomycosis is not usually found in Australia.  Originally it was thought to be found only in North America, but cases have been reported from many countries in the world.  It occurs mostly in males who do outdoor activities and is more common in people with weakened immune systems.

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  • Bowen’s Disease

    Bowen’s disease is a common superficial cancer of the skin. It appears most commonly as a slow-growing, persistent red scaly patch on areas of skin exposed to the sun.

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  • Brachioradial Pruritus

    Also known as ... Brachioradial Itch Brachioradial Rruritus is a skin condition where the affected person is troubled by abnormal skin sensations on the outer forearms, upper arms and occasionally on the top of the shoulder.  The affected person may describe the sensations as itching, burning, prickling or stinging.

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  • Broken blood vessels or capillaries

    Broken blood vessels or capillaries also known as telangiectases are superficial blood vessels, which are visible with the naked eye. The majority can be improved with laser treatment or sclerotherapy.

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  • Brown warts

    Brown warts also known as Seborrhoeic keratoses are benign “wart-like” growths on the skin. Seborrhoeic keratoses affect all racial groups and most commonly appear after the age of 40 years although some people may develop them earlier.

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  • Bullous Pemphigoid

    Bullous Pemphigoid is a sub-epidermal autoimmune blistering disease. “Bullous” means blistering and “pemphigoid” comes from the Greek word pemphix and means bubbles. Bullous Pemphigoid is the commonest type of autoimmune blistering disease, with an incidence of 12.1 to 66 new cases per million per year.

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  • Jessner Lymphocytic Infiltrate

    Also known as ... Benign Lymphocytic Infiltration of the skin, Jessner–Kanof Lymphocytic infiltration of the skin It is a benign skin condition characterised by persistent lymphocyte (immune) cells in the skin. It may be a variant of lupus erythematosus, but this remains uncertain.

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