A – Z of Skin

Information for Skin, Hair and Nail Conditions

WHAT IS THE A-Z OF SKIN?

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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  • Laser resurfacing – fractional

    Fractional laser resurfacing was first described in 2001 by Dr Rox Anderson, a prominent laser dermatologist from Boston. In Australia, the first generation of fractional lasers was introduced in 2007. Numerous further developments and refinements have occurred since.

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  • Laser resurfacing-fully ablative

    Laser and procedural dermatologists rely on fully ablative lasers, including CO2 (carbon dioxide) and erbium lasers to treat a variety of skin conditions.

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  • Laser tattoo removal

    A tattoo is made up of granules of pigment that are much smaller than a human cell. White blood cells known as macrophages typically ingest and remove cellular debris, and foreign matter as part of the body’s normal immune defense mechanism.

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  • Laser treatment for pigmentation

    In lesions such as solar lentigines (sun induced age spots), lentigo simplex and ephelides (freckles) the pigment (melanin) is in the top layers of the skin.

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  • Late onset acne

    Late onset acne also known as adult acne, is acne that continues past the ages of 18 to 20 or starts in the early 20s in individuals who may not have had a previous problem with acne.

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  • Leg ulcers

    Leg ulcers are extremely common and occur more frequently in elderly people. In countries with developed health systems, 1-3% of the total health budget is spent on treating leg ulcers.

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  • Leg Veins

    Abnormal veins accumulate too much blood and eventually bulge out as ‘varicose’ veins. Excess blood is forced back into capillaries which enlarge to form ‘spider veins’. So spider veins may be indicative of underlying ‘feeding’ varicose veins.

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  • Lentigo maligna

    Lentigo maligna is an early form of melanoma. In lentigo maligna the cancer cells are confined to the upper layer of the skin (epidermis). When the cancer cells spread deeper into the skin (to dermis) it is called lentigo maligna melanoma.

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  • Leprosy

    Leprosy is a chronic bacterial infection caused by the organism Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the skin and the nerves. It may also affect mucous membranes (such as the nose) as well as eyes and testicles. Long standing leprosy may cause limb deformities as well.

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  • Lice

    Pediculosis is the medical term for an infection or infestation with lice which are blood feeding parasites.

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  • Lichen Keloidalis Nuchae

    Lichen Keloidalis Nuchae also known as Acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects hair follicles on the back of the neck. AKN is most commonly seen in men of African-Caribbean background but it is also seen in those of Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean backgrounds. In rare cases, it may also be see in Caucasians. Whilst this condition mostly affects men, women may be affected in some cases (the ratio of  affected men to women is 20:1). The term AKN is misleading because the condition does not form true keloid scars and is not associated with acne.

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  • Lichen planopilaris

    Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is a rare inflammatory scalp disorder characterised by scarring alopecia (permanent hair loss) with several different patterns. The condition is considered to be a form of lichen planus which affects the hair follicles.

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  • Lichen planus

    Lichen planus is a non-infectious, inflammatory skin condition, which generally occurs in middle-aged adults. It affects up to 1-2% of the population.

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  • Lichen sclerosus

    Lichen sclerosus is a skin disease that mostly affects the genital region in children and adults of both sexes. Sometimes lichen sclerosus involves the skin around the anus in young girls and women. Lichen sclerosus is more common in women than men. Occasionally, lichen sclerosus occurs on other parts of the body.

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  • Lichen simplex chronicus

    Lichen simplex chronicus is characterised by thickening of the skin due to chronic rubbing or scratching. Exaggerated skin markings termed “lichenification” are common.

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  • Linear IgA Disease

    Linear IgA Disease is a rare skin blistering condition. It affects young children (usually before 5 years of age) or adults (usually after 40 years of age). This condition affects the skin and mucosal (inside the mouth and/or genitalia) surfaces of the body.

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  • Linear Immunoglobulin A Dermatosis

    Linear immunoglobulin A dermatosis also known as Linear IgA Disease is a rare skin blistering condition. It affects young children (usually before 5 years of age) or adults (usually after 40 years of age). This condition affects the skin and mucosal (inside the mouth and/or genitalia) surfaces of the body.

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  • Lip rejuvenation

    We are all born with different shaped and sized lips.Some people never develop adequate fullness of the lip and others develop loss of the soft tissue volume of the lip as they age.

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  • Lipodermatosclerosis

    Lipodermatosclerosis is a type of panniculitis (inflammation of the fat under the skin) and usually affects the lower legs. It more commonly affects middle-aged people.

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  • Livedo reticularis

    Livedo reticularis is a term referring to the appearance of a “net-like”, red-blue pattern on the skin.

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  • Lobular capillary haemangioma

    Lobular capillary haemangioma also known as pyogenic granuloma is a common benign (not malignant) growth of blood vessels on the skin. It appears as a single fast growing red nodule that commonly bleeds. Whilst benign, pyogenic granulomas can be distressing due to their appearance and fast growth.

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  • Localised scleroderma

    Morphoea also known as localised scleroderma, is a disorder of the skin collagen. It can occur at any age but most commonly occurs in young adults and children. Females are affected twice as often as males (ratio 2:1). Morphoea is characterised by thickening of the skin. It does not usually have any internal involvement.

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  • Lower face rejuvenation

    Non surgical facial rejuvenation requires overall assessment so that the whole face is treated in proportion. As long as your treating practitioner is aware of this, the lower face is very suitable for rejuvenation with injectable substances such as muscle relaxing injections and dermal or tissue fillers.

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  • Lymphomatoid papulosis

    Lymphomatoid papulosis is a rare chronic skin condition which can occur at any age or in any race (prevalence rate 1 to 2 cases per 1,000,000). It has a gradual onset and typically has no symptoms but can cause itch in the skin of some people

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