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System – Integumentary (body surfaces)

This category comprises disorders of the integumentary system that cause damage to skin, nails and hair and/or impaired function.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 

What Is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus? Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease that is characterized by involvement of multiple organs due to the production of antibodies to components of the cell nucleus.1 SLE has an unpredictable course of acute ...

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Nails, Dry And Brittle (Chip, Peel, Crack, Break Easily)

What Are Brittle Nails? Brittle nails are abnormalities of the nail plate that are characterized by poor nail structure affecting all fingernails and toenails seen as thin, dry nails that easily chip, split, and are difficult to maintain a clean ...

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Dermatitis Herpetiformis or Duhring’s Disease

What Is Dermatitis Herpetiformis? Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is an autoimmune extremely itchy, painful bullous skin rash (blistering eruptions) arising from the underlying dermis layer of skin as a consequence of gluten sensitivity. Dermatitis herpetiformis is characterized by multiple intensely itchy, ...

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Dermatomyositis

What Is Dermatomyositis? Dermatomyositis is a rare autoimmune systemic disease of the connective tissue that is characterized by inflammatory and debilitating degenerative changes in the muscles and in the skin.  Dermatomyositis results in symmetric, proximal muscle weakness of limbs (upper arms and ...

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Iron Deficiency

What Is Iron? Iron is an essential mineral that is required for normal body function. Almost two-thirds of iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. Smaller amounts of ...

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Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

What Is Eczema? Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic recurring inflammatory skin disorder characterized by itching, eczematous plaques and a defective epidermal barrier (surface layer of skin cells) that fails to hold moisture, with affected areas becoming dry then inflamed. ...

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Sarcoidosis

What Is Sarcoidosis? Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disease characterized by hard granulomas and inflammation of the alveoli in lungs that occurrs in 80% of patients. Alveoli are the tiny one cell thick round structures that are clustered at the ...

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Nails, White Spots And White Bands

What Are White Spots And White Bands In Nails? White spots in the nails is a feature of zinc deficiency and white bands signify protein deficiency characterized by abnormal appearance anywhere in one or more nails. White spots and bands ...

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Nails, Splinter Hemorrhages In

What Are Splinter Hemorrhages In Nails? Subungual (under the nail) splinter hemorrhage is characterized by fragility of the underlying capillaries resulting in bleeding under the nail . Bleeding that results looks like a brown streak or splinter.1 Because the streak of ...

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Koilonychia (Washboard Nails)

What Is Koilonychia? Koilonychia is a feature of an iron deficiency state characterized by abnormally shaped nails, called spoon shaped nails, meaning that the normal downward curve is reversed. Depending on the inadequacy of iron, nails may simply remain flat ...

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Nails, Horizontal Ridges (Beau’s Lines), Fragile

What Are Horizontal Ridges In Fragile Nails? Horizontal ridges, also called “beau’s lines,” are abnormalities of the nail plate that appear as rumpling from the base to the tips of nails and are characterized by poor nail structure of both fingernails and ...

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Alopecia, Diffuse (Balding Hair Loss)

What Is Diffuse Alopecia? Diffuse alopecia is characterized by abnormal hair loss or baldness. Hair loss usually develops gradually and may be patchy or all over (diffuse). The average scalp contains about 100,000 hairs. Roughly 100 hairs are shed from the head ...

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Alopecia Areata

What Is Alopecia Areata? Alopecia areata is an autoimmune attack on hair follicles characterized by sudden hair loss involving scalp or beard, although any hairy area may be affected. Areas of hair loss have a patchy pattern with sharply defined ...

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Vitiligo

What Is Vitiligo? Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder of the skin characterized by permanent loss of melanocytes in defined areas and, in some patients, antibodies to melanin. Vitiligo has significant psychological impact if occurring before adulthood.1 Q: What are melanocytes? A: ...

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Psoriasis

 What Is Psoriasis? Psoriasis is a chronic, autommune relapsing skin disorder characterized by scaling, erythema (redness), and less commonly, pustulation.1  The body surface area affected and the degree to which psoriasis is a problem varies considerably among patients and over time.2 Often ...

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