A – Z of Skin

Information for Skin, Hair and Nail Conditions


The A to Z of Skin information has been developed to help you understand more about common skin conditions and problems, and how these may be treated.

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 currently under development. 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) of the male 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.

  • 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.

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. Fortunately it is also the least dangerous and almost always completely cured by treatment.

  • Becker’s naevus

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.  

  • Biopsy of the Skin

    Biopsy of the Skin - A skin biopsy is a simple procedure that provides valuable information to help confirm disorders including skin cancers, various skin lesions or rashes.

  • Blastomycosis

    Blastomycosis is a very rare fungal infection caused by breathing in microscopic particles (spores) of the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis (B. dermatitidis).

  • 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.

  • Brachioradial pruritus

    Brachioradial pruritus 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bullous pemphigoid

    Bullous pemphigoid is a subepidermal 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.