Education Resource Center: Glossary of Terms
Foreign substances that cause allergic reactions. Examples of allergens are plant pollens, dust mites, animal dander, foods, insect venom, antibiotics, and substances such as latex and rubber
Medicine used to counteract histamine, a chemical released by the body in an allergic reaction that contributes inflammation. Some examples include (Benadryl) and hydroxyzine (Atarax). Many may cause drowsiness.
Airway disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. People with asthma have acute episodes when the air passages in their lungs suddenly narrow, and breathing becomes more difficult. Sometimes, asthma attacks are triggered by allergens, but infection, exercise, cold air and other factors are also important triggers.
Also called eczema, this is a chronic, recurring inflammatory skin disorder that usually first appears in babies or very young children and may last through adulthood. Eczema causes the skin to itch and develop a red, scaly, patchy rash. It often develops in people who have hay fever or asthma or who have family members with these conditions.
Atopic dermatitis (commonly called eczema) forms part of what is known as the atopic triad, which also includes hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and asthma. It is a medical term doctors use to refer to these 3 allergic disorders: asthma, hay fever or allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.
Thinning of the skin.
comes from the seeds of the borage (Borago officinalis) plant.
Long-lasting and occurring over and over again or characterized by long suffering; referring to a disease or disorder that lasts for a long time.
A byproduct obtained from bituminous coal.
A semisolid mixture of oil and water that is mostly oil and is intended for topical use.
A type of skin condition with redness, itch, bumpiness, and scaling (see atopic dermatitis)
Something that will make skin softer and more pliant by increasing its hydration. Also called moisturizer.
evening primrose oil
Comes from the seeds of the evening primrose plant.
A term used to describe when eczema worsens (itching and redness).
gamma linoleic acid
An essential fatty acid in the omega-6 family that is found primarily in plant-based oils.
Treatment based on homeopathic principles. Homeopathy views symptoms as the body�s natural reaction in fighting the illness and, unlike conventional medicine, seeks to stimulate rather than suppress them.
Any substance that influences the immune system; a substance or process capable of modifying functions of the immune system.
The body's natural response to injury or abnormal stimulation by a physical, biologic, or chemical agent. Typical signs of inflammation include pain, itchiness, warmth, redness, and loss of function.
A semisolid mixture of oil and water that is mostly water and is intended for topical use.
Something that will make skin softer and more pliant by increasing its hydration. Also called emollient.
A clear, greasy semisolid (contains no water) preparation that is intended for topical use.
Taken by mouth (for example, a pill)
An oral medication that prevents or suppresses a response by the immune system.
A drug that can be purchased without a prescription.
Therapeutic use of ultraviolet light.
Something that looks like a drug and is used like a drug but that has no active ingredient; often used to test the efficacy and safety of prescription medications in clinical trials.
Substances that promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Probiotics may reduce allergic reactions by improving digestion or by influencing the immune system, or both.
Not responsive to usual treatments.
Glucocorticoid steroids are used as anti-inflammatory treatment for eczema. These steroids can be topical or oral. They are different from the anabolic steroids used by some athletes.
Does not contain a steroid.
Anything that a patient experiences that may indicate a disease.
Involving the whole body.
Also known as T lymphocytes, T cells are a type of white blood cells involved in rejecting foreign tissue, regulating immunity, and controlling the production of antibodies to fight infection.
Pertaining to the surface of the skin; a medication applied to the skin.
Things that cause eczema to flare, such as irritants, microbes, extremes in temperature, humidity, stress, and allergens.