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Psoriasis Glossary

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

Terms used to explain Psoriasis can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

ankylosing spondylitis
Function: noun
: rheumatoid arthritis of the spine —called also Marie-Strümpell disease, rheumatoid spondylitis


Pronunciation: \-bī-ˈät-ik; -bē-\
Function: adjective
1: tending to prevent, inhibit, or destroy life
2: of or relating to antibiotics or to antibiosis


Pronunciation: \ˌbī-ə-ˈläj-ik\

Function: noun
: a biological product (as a globulin, serum, vaccine, antitoxin, or antigen) used in the prevention or treatment of disease


Pronunciation: \ˈkrän-ik\

Function: adjective

1 a: marked by long duration, by frequent recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly progressing seriousness : not acute <chronic[1] indigestion> <her hallucinations became chronic[1]>
b: suffering from a disease or ailment of long duration or frequent recurrence <a chronic[1] arthritic> <chronic[1] sufferers from asthma>
2 a: having a slow progressive course of indefinite duration used esp. of degenerative invasive diseases, some infections, psychoses, and inflammations <chronic[1] heart disease> <chronic[1] arthritis> <chronic[1] tuberculosis> compare acute 2b(1)
b: infected with a disease-causing agent (as a virus) and remaining infectious over a long period of time but not necessarily expressing symptoms <chronic[1] carriers may remain healthy but still transmit the virus causing hepatitis B>

Coal Tar

coal tar
Pronunciation: \ˈkōl-\

Function: noun
: tar obtained by distillation of bituminous coal and used in the treatment of some skin diseases by direct local application to the skin


Pronunciation: \ˌkort-i-kō-ˈsti(ə)r-ˌoid also -ˈste(ə)r-\

Function: noun
: any of various adrenal-cortex steroids (as corticosterone, cortisone, and aldosterone) that are divided on the basis of their major biological activity into glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids


Pronunciation: \ˈsīt-ə-ˌkīn\

Function: noun
: any of a class of immunoregulatory proteins (as interleukin, tumor necrosis factor, and interferon) that are secreted by cells esp. of the immune system


Pronunciation: \-ˌəp\

Function: noun
: a sudden increase in the symptoms of a latent or subsiding disease <a flare-up of malaria>


Pronunciation: \ˈlē-zhən\

Function: noun
: an abnormal change in structure of an organ or part due to injury or disease; esp: one that is circumscribed and well defined


Pronunciation: \ˈlü-bri-ˌkāt\

Function: transitive verb
: to make smooth, slippery, or oily in motion, action, or appearance <lubricate the eye> <lubricate the skin>


Pronunciation: \ˈoint-mənt\

Function: noun
: a salve or unguent for application to the skin; specif: a semisolid medicinal preparation usu. having a base of fatty or greasy material


Pronunciation: \-ˈther-ə-pē\

Function: noun
pl -pies
: the application of light for therapeutic purposes


Pronunciation: \sə-ˈrī-ə-səs\

Function: noun
pl -a*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\

: a chronic skin disease characterized by circumscribed red patches covered with white scales

Learn more: What is Psoriasis?
Psoriatic Arthritis

psoriatic arthritis
Function: noun
: a severe form of arthritis accompanied by inflammation, psoriasis of the skin or nails, and a negative test for rheumatoid factor —called also psoriasis arthropathica


Pronunciation: \ˈret-ən-ˌoid\

Function: noun
: any of various synthetic or naturally occurring analogs of vitamin A


Pronunciation: \ˈsti(ə)r-ˌoid also ˈste(ə)r-\

Function: noun
: any of numerous natural or synthetic compounds containing a 17-carbon 4-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides see anabolic steroid


Function: noun
: a systemic pesticide

T Cell

T cell
Function: noun
: any of several lymphocytes (as a helper T cell) that differentiate in the thymus, possess highly specific cell-surface antigen receptors, and include some that control the initiation or suppression of cell-mediated and humoral immunity (as by the regulation of T and B cell maturation and proliferation) and others that lyse antigen-bearing cells —called also T lymphocyte, see cytotoxic t cell helper t cell suppressor t cell t4 cell


Pronunciation: \ˈtäp-i-kəl\

Function: adjective
: designed for or involving application to or action on the surface of a part of the body <applied a topical anesthetic to numb the skin> <eyedrops used in the topical treatment of glaucoma>

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Reference: Skin, Hair and Nails section on Better Medicine

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Did You Know?

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Psoriasis usually starts between ages 15 and 35.

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