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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  • T-cell lymphoma

    T-cell lymphoma also known as mycosis fungoides is a rare skin condition caused by the presence of abnormal white blood cells within the skin. Most cases of mycosis fungoides are not life-threatening and can be treated but not cured.

  • 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.

  • Telangiectases

    Also known as spider veins, angioectasias, broken blood vessels or capillaries Telangiectases are superficial blood vessels, which are visible with the naked eye. The majority can be improved with laser treatment or sclerotherapy.

  • Telogen effluvium

    Telogen effluvium results when the normal ratio of growing and resting hairs is altered, and the percentage of hair follicles in telogen is increased. The hair shedding is usually noted 3 to 4 months after the trigger.

  • Tetracyclines

    Tetracyclines are a class of antibiotics (including tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline) which are used to treat skin infections. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, they are also used to treat a range of certain skin conditions including acne, rosacea, periorificial dermatitis and bullous pemphigoid

  • Thalidomide

    Thalidomide is notoriously well-known for its severe birth defects and associated temporary market withdrawal in 1961.

  • Three-day Fever

  • Tinea capitis

    Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp and hair. It most commonly affects children between three to seven years of age but adults can also be affected.

  • Tinea Onychomycosis

    The term tinea generally refers to fungal infection of the skin and its appendages. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails. It is more common in adults and accounts for 50-60% of abnormal looking nails. Onychomyosis often results from untreated or unrecognised tinea pedis (fungal infection of the feet).

  • Tinea versicolor

    Tinea versicolor also known as pityriasis versicolor is a common skin rash in puberty and early adult life but can occur in infants. It is more common in warm humid environments and may be seasonal.

  • Topical steroids

    Many skin conditions can be treated with topical steroids which act by reducing inflammation. As topical steroids are applied directly to affected areas of skin, the risk of internal side effects is minimised.

  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)

    Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) are extremely rare, sudden onset, often life-threatening reactions to medications occurring in the skin and the linings of the mouth, the gastrointestinal tract, genitalia and eyes. The affected person has a fever and there may be enlargement of the lymph nodes and inflammation in the liver and other organ systems.

  • Toxic Pustuloderma

    Also known as … Acute Generalised Exanthematous Pustulosis, Pustular Eruption.   Acute generalised exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP) is a rare skin condition triggered predominantly by medications (incidence 3 to 5:1,000,000 per year), mainly in adults. AGEP is rarely fatal.

  • Trabecular cell carcinoma of the skin

    Trabecular cell carcinoma of the skin also known as merkel cell carcinoma, is a very uncommon type of aggressive skin cancer.  It presents most commonly in elderly fair-skinned individuals, particularly in sun-exposed areas on the head, neck and limbs.

  • Traction Alopecia

    Traction alopecia is the name given to a type of hair loss most commonly seen in people with skin of colour (pigmented skin).  In its earliest stages hair loss may be reversible. Without treatment however, the condition can lead to permanent hair loss.

  • Transient acantholytic dermatosis

    Transient acantholytic dermatosis also known as Grover’s disease, is a skin condition where red spots and small lumps develop most commonly in the sun-damaged skin of the front and back of the upper chest and abdomen.

  • Treeman Syndrome

    Also known as … Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis, Lewandowsky-Lutz syndrome, Lewandowsky-Lutz dysplasia.   Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV) is a rare inherited skin condition that predisposes a person to infections caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

    Tuberous sclerosis complex is a genetic disorder that can affect multiple organs including the skin, brain, kidneys, heart and lungs.