GLOSSARY

A

Allergen

a substance that causes an allergic reaction. For example, pollen or chemicals.

Allergy/Allergic

a response to something, an allergen, which the body is hypersensitive to.

Allergic Rhinitis

a condition where an allergen, such as pollen, causes sneezing and irritation of the nose.

Anabolic Steroid

type of steroid, sometimes used by bodybuilders, that causes muscles in the body to grow.

Asthma

a lung condition where an allergic reaction can cause difficulty in breathing. Asthma can be treated effectively with inhalers containing medication.

Atopy/Atopic

a tendency to react to allergens. Often the symptoms of an allergic reaction can occur anywhere in the body, regardless of where the allergen entered or came into contact.

B

Bacteria

one of a large group of tiny organisms that can increase quickly in numbers to cause infection and disease; a bacterial infection.

C

Corticosteroids

a type of steroid used to treat eczema flare-ups; also called topical steroids. These are available in different potencies depending on how bad your eczema is and where it's located on your body.

D

Dander

material like dandruff that is shed from the skin of animals (normally those with fur, such as dogs and cats).

E

Eczema

skin condition characterized by red, itchy and recurrent rash

Eczema skin

skin that has eczema; eczematous skin.

Emollient

a medical moisturizer for dry skin problems.

F

Flare-up

the name for when your eczema gets worse; it may become red, inflamed, itchy, drier and sore.

Flexural

relates to the inside of a bend in a body part; called flexure surfaces.

H

Hydrated

containing water

Hypoallergenic

less likely to cause an allergic reaction or sensitivity.

I

Inflamed/inflammation

swollen or puffy skin that becomes red, hot and sometimes painful. Often occurs during eczema flare-ups.

Irritant

a substance that irritates, for example: a chemical or animal saliva.

L

Luke warm

this means water or liquid is at or near body temperature; around 35°C

M

Moisturising/moisturisation/moisturized

adding, restoring or containing moisture; making eczematous skin less dry.

P

Potency

when referring to steroids; the strength of a substance.

Protective barrier

when skin is healthy, well-moisturized and hydrated it is a natural barrier protecting your body from things like allergens, dirt and bacteria.

S

Steroid

a substance produced naturally by the body whose function includes helping to reduce inflammation, and can also be made artificially for medical use.
Manufactured topical steroids are used to treat eczema flare-ups.

Skin barrier

when skin is healthy, well-moisturized and hydrated it is a natural barrier protecting your body from things like allergens, dirt and bacteria.

T

Topical steroid

a type of medicine that helps to reduce inflammation and is applied to your skin (topical); usually prescribed by your doctor to use when your eczema gets worse.

Trigger

anything that causes or 'triggers' your eczema to get worse.

V

Viral

caused by a virus; a viral infection. Viral infections require a visit to your doctor and sometimes urgent referral to a dermatologist.

Virus

a small organism that can cause infection by increasing in number inside a living cell; causes a viral infection.

References:
1. American Academy of Dermatology
2. Merriam Webster Online