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Dermatosis is a term that refers to diseases of the integumentary system. The integumentary system includes everything on the surface of the body, including the skin, nails, hair, and skin glands. “Derma” means skin and “osis” means disease or condition. Any condition affecting the skin could be called a dermatosis. Normally, dermatosis is used for skin conditions that do not involve inflammation (those would be called dermatitis).
Dermatosis is a condition that affects the skin, nails, hair or glands. The term does not include skin conditions involving inflammation. Another term for a dermatosis is a cutaneous condition.
Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and there are thousands of documented conditions that affect the skin. Hair and nails are also affected by a wide variety of conditions.
Skin has several layers, including the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue. A dermatosis may involve changes in any or all of these skin layers. Terms you may hear to describe dermatosis of the skin condition include:
There are thousands of skin conditions; some of most common dermatoses that may send you to your doctor include:
There are many other skin conditions that involve inflammation and rashes, such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, and hives. These can be due to infection, allergic reactions, or autoimmune disease. These are typically referred to as a “dermatitis” not as “dermatosis,” although dermatosis is often used to refer to all skin conditions.
While not as common as the skin conditions listed above, there are a wide variety of diseases that have “dermatosis” in their name. Some examples include:
It is very difficult to correctly diagnose skin conditions without the help of an expert physician. Often, biopsies must be examined under a microscope in order for a definitive diagnosis to be made. Changes in skin can be external—due to a skin infection or contact with an outside substance such as poison oak, or internal—reflecting a disease within the body such as lupus or measles. Because there are thousands of possible skin conditions, it is important to discuss any changes with your skin with your doctor. Also, it is important to talk with your doctor before attempting any treatment.
Written by: Christine Case-Lo and Rachel Nallon: Sep 06, 2016
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